This is a very real risk, but it is easily avoidable.
Due to the pandemic, more workers have permanently shifted to remote environments so, the issue of website security is more important than ever. While a quick shift to work-from-home situations in the first half of 2020 was an essential change, work-from-home has remained the norm for some companies in 2022. Those companies face a challenge as the technology infrastructure in place may not be designed to handle the security needed to prevent attacks from hackers.
In 2019, Philadelphia based radio company, Entercom, found themselves as the victim of a ransomware attack which compromised one of their major pieces of machinery. Faced with a $500,000 ransom, Entercom made the decision not to pay the attackers leaving their systems damaged. According to reports, the damages could actually exceed the cost of the ransom. This is a choice no company wants to be faced with and ensuring your website is secure and up to date is the first step in preventing this type of attack.
In a more recent attack, the University of California, San Francisco, paid over $1.14 million dollars to the hacking group, Netwalker, when their systems were attacked with malware and their records compromised. While this may be an extreme example, it’s a serious word of caution to business owners and technology teams charged with keeping their company’s and client’s data safe. Having technologies like VPN and cloud-based servers in place is a step in the right direction, but does it really solve the problem? Not quite.
The ability to embrace change and quickly pivot system resources is a priority and will set your business apart. We’re pretty sure that you don’t want to be the person responsible for a major security breach (or the clean up after the fact), so get ahead of the curve and embrace software and security updates regularly.
To get some insider perspective, we asked our friends and partners at LV Technology Company to elaborate on the importance of keeping your security up to date and intact, especially in light of the high volume of remote work during COVID-19 and beyond. Ryahn Toole, General Manager of LV Technology Company, explains, “This situation has accelerated the movement of company data beyond the network perimeter and forced many businesses to respond with less secure systems than would otherwise be put in place. This emphasizes the need for the ‘human firewall,’ a user who has had some security awareness training and can recognize phishing emails and signs of compromise before they pivot and spread to the corporate network.”
The moral of the story?
Update your content management system when an update is released. Don’t wait to save a dollar now; it can cost your organization greatly. Your website security is essential, and site security includes maintenance and updates that might otherwise get pushed to the backburner. It’s no secret that websites are kind of our thing (if you couldn’t tell), so check out some of our other articles on website updates and security, which feature topics like security tips for your WordPress website, SEO spam, and how to secure your website with HTTPS.