If you have been watching the news lately, then you undoubtedly know about the importance of cybersecurity and the recent data breaches inflicted on everyone from small websites to large corporations in every vertical. Everyone from healthcare providers to retail stores to credit card companies are experiencing the brunt of hackers as they try to – and succeed at – stealing customer information. In fact, 43% of companies reported data breaches in the past year.
As you read this blog, you might wonder if cybersecurity is something that affects you. After all, if hackers are attacking the brand names, why would they go after the smaller sites, right? Wrong. It turns out that sites built on popular blogging platforms can be penetrated – 162,000 sites were hijacked just last year.
Let’s explore three reasons why you should seriously consider cybersecurity for your website:
As the pace of small business picks up, so does the adoption of technology. In past years, the operative words that got many small business owners excited for the upcoming year included terms like mobile or social media, or, if you go way back, web. Each of these phrases generated enough buzz to take an entire industry from anonymity to mainstream. Now most small businesses have a social media presence and a website, with many following up soon with a mobile responsive website or application.
In 2015, the operative term that will motivate everyone is Cloud. As businesses become more mobile, agile, and lean, moving to Cloud becomes a wise choice for business leaders who want to stay relevant – and the numbers prove it: In a late 2014 Rackspace survey, 68% of companies with a staff size under 20 have adopted at least one Cloud solution, and 20% of SMBs are developing Cloud strategies, compared to 16% of companies in the Enterprise.
If you’re running an SMB and haven’t considered Cloud, then know that the benefits of adopting cloud solutions are many. Check out some of the reasons why we think Cloud is an asset that should be a part of your next technology audit:
Question: What happens if you have a great e-commerce website, and a great product or service but no SSL?
Answer: Not very much.
Here’s why: SSL is all about trust. Without trust people are shy about giving you their business – or their credit card information. SSL enables e-commerce websites to safely and secure conduct business without all the unnecessary drama associated with online shopping.
Some people assume that SSL is mainly about SEO, but those people are wrong. The main reason to use SSL is to establish security and trust with your customers. Period.
But wait, you may say. My website doesn’t collect sensitive personal information, or even any user information. Do I still need an SSL certificate? Yes, Virginia, you do. Because even if you don’t collect that sort of user info, you can still benefit from the ranking boost that SSL encryption provides.
Don’t believe me? Ask Google:
We’ve heard the excuses before: “I don’t have time”, “What could go wrong?” and “I’ll get to it later”, but you know you need to back up your website, don’t you?
Well, if you don’t, here are 5 really good reasons you should do so:
The “Oops” Factor: Truth be told, anyone with FTP access to your site can unintentionally delete important files in a single keystroke. Oops! There goes your website.
Hackers and Viruses: Yes, they really do exist and just because they haven’t found your website yet doesn’t mean you’re not on their list. Besides, a full restore is much faster – and less painful – than cleaning hundreds of files corrupted with malicious code. Trust us.
Data Loss: Every time you do an upgrade to your CMS or add a new plugin or other component you’re at risk for data loss. No one is immune.
Imagine this: You have 5 to 6 windows servers. Each of them is running at different workloads. Suddenly something fails on the hardware and you lose critical up time.
What do you do? Well, if you’re like most you’ll cut bait and start moving your windows servers to the cloud.
But, before you do that you might want to consider this first: Consolidate your software solutions alongside your hardware consolidation.
Start by planning your compute requirements, including storage, CPU, Ram and network needs. Hint: You can capture all of this data from within your Windows administrator tools.
Next, create a list of all the apps and check how they can be moved to the same host. This way you may end up only managing 3 VM’s instead of the 6 dedicated servers that you currently have. (You’re welcome.)
Ok. Now that you have all the data ready, take it to your IaaS provider. They should be able to recommend what products in their portfolio map to your specific requirements. See? You just saved yourself a lot of time and money.
One more thing: Don’t forget to add your backup resources and bandwidth requirements, because you are moving to a platform where you are more dependent on network/internet connectivity. This new dependence upon the internet isn’t really a big deal since all businesses need 24/7 web connectivity anyway. This is the 21st century, after all.
While moving to a new environment is never easy, it can be a blessing in disguise. Especially if you count the fact that the process will leave you with lower TCO, consolidated infrastructure and less management headaches.
So, what are you waiting for? Get moving!
Public cloud servers are insecure. There. I said it.
It’s just a fact of life that many don’t want to admit, but any cloud server on a shared environment has an inherent risk of being compromised.
If you’re considering a move to a public cloud server you need to calculate and evaluate your risk factors in advance. So now that our eyes are wide open, let’s talk turkey.
The truth is, cloud servers are only as vulnerable as the servers in your own building which are connected to the internet. So, while there is a risk, it should be no greater than what you’re probably already prepared to deal with. In other words, if you’re using existing measures and protocols like email and web security solutions for your in-house servers – and if you’re not please stop reading and take care of that right now – then your cloud servers should be totally safe.
The good news is that the ease of use and functionality that the cloud environment brings to your business is unimaginable in a local environment. So, simply put, it’s worth the risk to move to a cloud server, as long as you address and manage those risks properly.
What are the benefits exactly? Well, to begin with, you can save hundreds of dollars in CAPEX by moving your workloads to cloud servers. Let that sink in for a moment.
Another benefit to a cloud environment is that you can access your data from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a reliable connection to the internet. That’s pretty impressive. Also quite handy if your sales force needs support on the road, or if your executive staff wants to take a working vacation to Maui. It happens.
Finally, the cloud environment provides your everyday users with the computing power they need for word processing, reporting, or even hosting web content, with essentially no limits upon those resources.
Honestly, when you examine the benefits of a cloud environment, the pros far outweigh the cons.
By taking some basic steps your cloud environment can be secured and your business can start reaping the benefits of moving to a more affordable and cost effective solution.