Research says small businesses should be investing in security

By Crista Quintos

Technology firm GoDaddy recently hosted a roundtable discussion wherein it presented its research report which found that small businesses owners are just as vulnerable to website security hacks as big companies are.

GoDaddy, which provides a cloud platform for small independent ventures, said its Small Business Website Security conducted a survey of 1,000 small businesses on their experiences and perspective on cyber security.

Research showed that because of the limited knowledge of online security, small business owners don’t put cyber security as a top priority.

“Small business owners have this notion that they need huge fund to fully secure their website. But once the website gets hacked, it can lead to significant financial loss due to its effect on business reputation. The saying ‘it’s takes time to gain trust, but it only takes a moment of that time to lose it’ remains true,” said Tony Perez, general manager for security at GoDaddy.

Once a website gets hacked, especially smaller businesses, there may be lasting effects that go further than losing trust, the company said. With companies like Google and Norton flagging an online portal as dangerous once they detect that it’s been compromised, this action can end up negatively affecting the website and eventually the business as a whole.

To mitigate these risks, small businesses need to invest in cyber security, and take the threat seriously, putting it high on the list of priorities that should be dealt with, said GoDaddy. Only half of the businesses surveyed use a monitoring service to stay on top of their site’s security.

“Cyber security is not about preventing a risk. That isn’t yet possible. It’s about reducing the risk. It’s understandable that very small business operators handle a lot and it’s hard to make website security a priority. But taking even modest steps can make a difference,” added Perez.

GoDaddy said small business should spend on a website security monitor service to keep an eye on any red flags or warning signs with 24/7 monitoring. Some signs of hacking include suspicious log-ins and websites changing fonts/design,

The company also suggested deploying a website firewall, and registering with Google’s webmaster tools which give out alerts when there is an issue with the website before the negative impact shows up in search results.

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