The real cost of a breached website

What if your website got breached? What would that cost you? I can almost hear you think:

“We’ve never been hacked, and it probably won’t happen to us.”

Here’s an interesting statistic: about 30 000 websites get hacked A DAY. Let that sink in for a moment. According to WebARX, they’re mostly small business websites that unknowingly get infected with malware.

A hacked website costs way more than you can quantify in an invoice, so I thought to break it up into hard and soft costs for you. The hard costs are easy to work out because you get accounts and receipts for them. They are:

  • The cost for a developer to fix the damage,
  • Admin costs of time spent communicating with your internal team, outside vendors and clients, and
  • Investment in preventative measures like moving to new hosting and preventative services.

But the soft costs are far more subtle and destructive:

  • Data loss: Do you have backups? A loss of data can be CATASTROPHIC. And not just for you, but for your clients too – if their confidential information is stolen along with the hack. Under privacy laws, that could open you to potential legal issues, and costs associated with that. Also, if you lost all your website content, what would it take to rebuild it?
  • Loss of confidence: Your clients will not trust you again, your online reputation will certainly take a hit. A lot of blame gets thrown around. You might want to blame your hosting provider, they will tell you that you should have kept your software updated.
  • Loss of revenue: If you sell online, a website breach will bring your sales to a screeching halt, obviously. There is damage to your online reputation and a loss of potential leads – and all of this will hurt your bottom line tremendously.

Is it worth it?

Investing in the safety and security of your website is insurance. And, as it turns out, you can measure it. My advice to you is to find ways to minimise your risk, such as:

  • Keep backups
  • Use a trusted, reliable hosting provider
  • Make sure you have an SSL certificate for your domain
  • Install firewall software, like WordFence
  • Have a website maintenance and support system in place

Don’t let a ‘what if’ turn into an actual disaster.

Want to receive these posts directly to your inbox?