A web maintenance service? With today’s competitive marketplace, you might be wondering why you need to pay for yet another service. Isn’t there some way to handle this with free software and delegate it to low-level employee. If you find yourself thinking this way, you are putting your business at risk in a big way.
A Brave New Internet
The Internet has radically changed. The idea that web maintenance is simple, easy and cheap reflects a dated approach of years long gone. You have probably upgraded your website to reflect this new reality, but you have not updated your web maintenance.
In the good ol‘ days, websites were like brochures hanging out in cyberspace. There was no real back-end or hidden depths to these websites. They did not collect or store any information. E-commerce was for the large players like Amazon.com, not for your run-of-the-mill small business.
Fast forward to today: websites have evolved into marketing and sales engines that drive traffic and revenue. They collect information from prospective customers, track the behavior of leads and provide a point of sale. There is a lot more going behind the scenes of today’s websites than in the past. Hackers want access to the valuable resources and information that are hidden behind the curtains of your website.
In addition to legitimate Internet traffic, your site is exposed to a vast array of malicious software that crawls the web looking for weak points to exploit for nefarious purposes. In the past, hackers ignored websites because they did not have any valuable information. But today’s website have a wealth of information that hackers are very interested in. Without good web maintenance, you could leave yourself open to attacks.
What Hackers Want
You might think that you are a small fish in the big ocean of the Internet. What could a hacker possibly want from your website? Well, the answer is a lot. Your website is built on multiple layers of software deploying valuable resources and collecting information that hackers want.
- E-commerce: The first layer is obvious. If you are running any kind of e-commerce then hackers are going to want the credit card information from your customers.
- Marketing Information: The second is layer of your website is the system you use to manage your content and collect information from your prospects. These marketing tools can collect thousands of names and emails from visitors.Hackers can sell your email contact list to unscrupulous marketing agencies that will spam them with all kinds of phishing schemes. They might also try to convince your contacts to do something to actually spread malware and viruses.
- Hosting Resources: All this software for e-commerce, marketing and content management sits on top of the software that runs your hosting service. Make sure that you have a reputable hosting service that implements the best security measures to keep your website free from hackers. At this level, hackers can gain access to the mail server in order to send out email spam from your account. They can also redirect requests to view your website to xxx sites or to malware.Think of this level of security as keeping track of who has keys to gain access to your business. If you share your key with too many people, eventually someone is going to copy it, and it is going to wind up in the wrong hands. You want to carefully control who has access to your server by using a reputable hosting company.
How Does This Happen?
Hopefully you are getting the idea that managing a website in today’s web environment is not a simple task. There are multiple layers of software that need to interact with each other seamlessly in order for your site to be effective. The software on each layer is constantly undergoing upgrades and changes. If you are not paying attention, the various layers software that you rely on might get out of alignment. When this happens, your website performance suffers. It also creates a weakness that hackers can exploit.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
It should be clear that web maintenance is a serious concern. It is not something that you can take for granted. You need to make sure that you have plan to monitor the various layers of your website to make sure they are up to date and compatible. Every website is unique so there are no one size fits all solutions. You want constant feedback on the state of your website so that you do not allow any holes for hackers to exploit.
Protection from hackers is just one reason that you might consider a web maintenance and support service. It is the best way to secure your website. There are many other good reason that web maintenance is a necessity today.