When you hear the phrase “a new era” coming from a technology company, you probably envision exciting new problem-solving technologies that will change humanity for the better and enrich our lives with convenience, efficiency, or protection.
We wish that was that was the kind of “new era” we were referring to here — unfortunately, it’s not.
This year has seen a dramatic increase in cyber-attacks on websites, email, and even Wi-Fi routers. Cyber-attacks increase every year, so this might not seem like big news. But what is really unsettling about the current wave of hacking is the skill level of the modern hacker and the depth to which he or she is able to penetrate your website’s defenses.
A big mistake a lot of website owners make is believing that 100% of the security of their website is handled by their hosting company. In reality, keeping a server secure is only half the battle: Websites must be maintained and updated regularly to protect against security breaches and work smoothly with changing web technologies. A website that has been neglected for months (or sometimes even years) can be a huge security risk for the owner.
A Complex Problem
The Internet and the technologies that run it have become very sophisticated. Even the most simple three-page website built with an open-source content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla is a complex web-based program consisting of hundreds or even thousands of files of code. Add to this all the files associated with themes, plugins, extensions, apps, etc., and you end up with a patchwork quilt of computer languages, technologies, and web-based infrastructure built by coders with varying degrees of skill. However, all this complexity is necessary if you want your website to have both technical and user (human) relevance for today’s mobile-driven Internet. In a previous article, we made the proclamation that web design is dead — the complexity of keeping a modern website secure is a great contributor to this.
So What Can You Do?
In our last article we spelled out some basic strategies you can employ to keep you safe on the web. Of these, the most critical is making sure you have a plan in place to keep your website up-to-date and routinely scanned for vulnerabilities and compromises.
For more specific advice on how to keep your website safe, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our security experts can help address any problem, big or small.
UPDATE [9/22/15]: This just in! We are now offering a new suite of white-glove, high-security hosting plans specifically designed for WordPress websites. Visit our hosting page for more details.