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Secure Web Access: Why You Should Protect Access to Your Website

Your website is one of your business’s most valuable assets. It’s your online storefront, your brand ambassador, and often your business’s first interaction with potential customers. Unfortunately, it’s also the first point of contact for scammers and hackers, which is why it’s important, now more than ever, that you secure web access to your sites.

At Planned Growth, we’ve seen firsthand the damage that can occur when businesses fall for scams involving granting access to their websites. With over ten years of experience in web design, security and maintenance, we’re here to offer some crucial advice: you must secure web access as you would your front door.

The Risks of Failing to Secure Web Access to Your Site

When someone contacts you claiming your website is vulnerable (or out of date) and offers to help or fix it, it might seem like a mutually beneficial offer. However, this is often a scam designed to exploit your trust. When you don’t keep your web access secure, you open yourself up to many bad outcomes:

Data Theft
Once a person has access to your website, they can steal sensitive information, including customer data, financial details, and proprietary business information.

Malware Installation
Users who have web access to your site can install malicious software on your site, which can spread to your visitors, harm your website’s functionality, and damage your business’s online reputation.

Loss of Control
By giving access to the wrong person, you risk losing control over your website. They could lock you out, deface your site, or use it for illegal activities. Your site could be held for ransom, stopping your business in its tracks. Beyond that, your reputation could be poorly damaged by the activities of those who do not have your best interests in mind.

Financial Loss
Repairing the damage caused by the wrong person accessing your website files and database can be expensive. You might need to pay for extensive security audits, data recovery services, and website rebuilding. In some cases, there could even be damages that cost your business far more, financially, than working with a secure and proven web developer ever could.

Legal Trouble
When sensitive information is compromised legal consequences can fall on the business owner, including hefty fines for violating privacy laws and lawsuits from affected costumers. These troubles could lead to the loss of one’s business, propietary information and, possibly the revocation of certain licenses in worst case scenarios.

When you fail to secure web access to your site, you expose yourself to numerous serious risks, as illustrated by several high-profile data breaches. For instance, the Equifax data breach in 2017 resulted from inadequate security measures, leading to the exposure of sensitive personal information of 147 million individuals, including Social Security numbers and birth dates (Wikipedia) (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). Similarly, the Target data breach occurred due to insecure access, allowing hackers to steal credit and debit card information from millions of customers. Furthermore, the Sony Pictures hack demonstrated how unsecured web access can lead to significant reputational damage and operational disruptions. These examples highlight the critical importance of securing web access to protect your site from similar vulnerabilities and threats.

The Hidden Risks of Granting Administrative Access to Your Website 

While it might seem less risky to grant website access to people you know or are considering for hire, even well-meaning individuals can inadvertently cause significant site damage. Whether it’s your friend’s cousin who dabbles in web design, a potential hire, or an untrained staff member in your own office, giving access to anyone who isn’t fully qualified and trusted can lead to serious problems. Here’s how:

Unintentional Errors
Someone with basic web design knowledge might make changes that inadvertently break your site. They might delete important files, misconfigure settings, or introduce vulnerabilities without realizing it — all of this could cause critical consequences to your site.

Outdated Practices
Web technologies evolve rapidly. A well-meaning but inexperienced individual might use outdated practices that compromise your site’s security or functionality.

Lack of Security Awareness
Without a thorough understanding of cybersecurity, even someone with good intentions can fall prey to phishing scams, use weak passwords, or fail to recognize security threats, putting your website at risk.

Incomplete Fixes
An untrained person might attempt to fix issues but only address surface problems, leaving underlying vulnerabilities that could be exploited later.

Real-World Examples of  the Consequences of failing to secure web access

The Novice Designer
A business owner let their friend’s cousin, who had some web design experience, make updates to their site. Unfortunately, the novice designer deleted critical code, causing the site to crash. It took days to diagnose and fix the problem, resulting in lost revenue and a damaged reputation.

The Potential Hire
An e-commerce company allowed a job candidate to access their website as a test of their skills. The candidate made several changes that seemed to work at first but later caused security vulnerabilities. The company had to hire a professional to clean up the mess, costing additional time and money.

The In-House Error
A small business allowed an untrained staff member to manage their website updates. The staff member unknowingly introduced malware by downloading a plugin from an untrusted source. The malware spread, compromising customer data and requiring extensive and costly remediation efforts.

Undoing the Damage 

Once damage is done to your company’s website, it can be incredibly challenging to undo. Here are some of the ways how:

Complex Recovery
Reversing the damage caused by inexperienced hands can be a complex and time-consuming process. It often requires deep technical expertise to identify and fix the issues, restore lost data, and ensure no residual vulnerabilities remain.

Data Loss
Incorrect changes can result in permanent data loss. If backups aren’t regularly maintained or properly configured, recovering this data might be impossible.

Reputation Damage
Even if technical issues are resolved, the reputational damage can linger. Customers who experience site outages or security breaches might lose trust in your business.

Financial Cost
The cost of professional recovery services, combined with potential legal fees if customer data is compromised, can be significant. This financial burden is often much higher than the cost of regular, professional website maintenance.

Secure Website Access to Your Site by Working with Planned Growth

As a, proudly, US-based company with a proven track record of over ten years, we at Planned Growth offer a comprehensive Website Maintenance Plan designed to keep your site safe and up to date. Here’s what sets us apart:

Trusted Expertise
Our team consists of experienced professionals who are well-versed in the latest security protocols and web technologies.

Comprehensive Support
Whether it’s routine maintenance or emergency support, we’re here to help whenever you need it.

Regular Updates
We ensure your website software is always up to date, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities.

24/7 Monitoring
We continuously monitor your website for any signs of suspicious activity and take immediate action if necessary.

Transparent Service
We pride ourselves on being transparent and trustworthy. We provide each our clients detailed timelogs, ensuring you’ll always know what we’re doing to keep your site secure.

Don’t leave your website’s safety to chance. Instead, rely on a trusted partner like Planned Growth. With our extensive experience and dedication to protecting your online presence, you can rest assured that your website is in safe hands. Contact us today to learn more about our Website Maintenance Plan and how we can help keep your website secure.

By choosing Planned Growth, you’re choosing peace of mind. Let us handle your website maintenance, so you can focus on growing your business.

View our Website Maintenance Plans and rest assured that your website is in the best hands with Planned Growth.