Security August 24, 2017

The business impact of a hacked website

Yorgos Fountis

4 min read
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In our previous article, we shed some light on the different reasons behind a website hack. And why your website, as low-profile and insignificant as you think it is, it can easily be the victim of a security compromise. The article was also written to bring attention to the fact that you primarily need a secure WordPress solution and not just a ‘fast’ one. Security provides peace of mind. 

In this post, we will discuss the impact a security incident has on your business. This is an incident for which you need to be well prepared and have a plan for when it happens. We are not fear-mongering. However, security compromises are more frequent than you think, and a security incident of some sort is bound to happen sometime. For this, you need to be aware of the following.

What a website hack can do to your business

There are various areas affected by a security incident, and the level of impact is generally different depending on the target and the motivation behind it. But in all cases, there is a decent amount of psychological cost.

Brand Reputation

This is perhaps the most obvious and difficult-to-manage impact. Most of the times high visibility targets are impacted by equally high visibility website hacks. Publishing password databases, or defacing a site are some of the most typical examples. This generates negative publicity and damages your brand. Especially if it is done with ulterior political or financial motives.

In any case, surviving the incident and regaining trust is quite difficult.

Financial

This is not only related to companies that host sensitive data such as credit cards and personal information. Security compromises can cost money even to the average website owner. For instance, when the hacker is after stealing resources (network, computational, etc). Extra traffic is generated for example, perhaps by a compromised website that acts as a participant in a DDoS attack. This can cost a serious amount of money. 

Resources

This ties in with the financial impact mentioned above. When a compromised website behaves normally you won’t probably notice it. But the website’s resources will be silently handled at the whim of the intruder. Your website can be used as a spam origin, a backdoor, a secret hideaway to store encrypted stashes, as part of a bot network, and generally in any way the attacker sees fit and is capable of.

Both the financial and the resource impact are going to affect your psychology. Particularly if your hosting provider is unable to provide you with any details of what happened, or does not address the problem correctly, and lets you fall victim again and again. This is exasperated especially when the provider attempts to bill you the moon and the stars, without any transparency or debrief of what happened. 

Psychological

Not knowing what is happening and being caught in the middle can be a very stressful experience. Communicating with Support, with your own developers or co-workers, figuring out what is happening while at the same time locking everything out and ensuring it’s not going to get worse, can be a traumatic experience! After all, it is your business.

This is why you need a secure WordPress solution and not merely a ‘fast’ one.

Secure WordPress Hosting

Pressidium’s Security is designed around 5 different layers. From the moment requests hit your website, they are filtered first from our Web Application Firewall (WAF). There are security layers that provision your WordPress installation, execute malware scans frequently, perform security updates and ensure the PHP runtime environment is locked down in a chroot jail.  

You can request a security scan by submitting a support ticket at support -at- pressidium -dot- com. Our support is built on two key principles: transparency and human communication. We are there no matter what happens, you get the straight facts, and we provide consultation on further action. In the unlikely event your website gets compromised, we lock it down, perform a post-mortem analysis, gather information and analyse it, clean it up, and present you with our findings. All, free of charge.

A security compromise is a serious thing, no matter the size of your business. Pressidium’s secure WordPress hosting and expert DevOps support takes the edge off that. You are kept updated, provided with facts, provisioned with a clean installation, and most importantly: you are not alone in this.

Secure WordPress Hosting

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