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WordpressHackYou’re kidding yourself if you think that your business website is safe from hackers. They’re not just after the likes of Sony, Home Depot, and other large corporations. In fact small businesses are often the target of cyber attacks more so than large corporations because they don’t have the budget or technical power to prevent and protect against them.  According to an article published by the National Small Business Association, 44% of Small Businesses experienced some form of hack in 2013, costing an average of $8,700*.

So how do you stop hackers from defacing your website, much like the above recent example? First we need to understand why this is happening in the first place.

Content Management Systems
Recent advances in web design technologies and techniques has lead to an increase in what is known as Content Management Systems or CMS’s. Popular CMS’s, such as WordPress and Joomla power millions of websites world wide.  A CMS is a different breed of site compared to the older straight HTML sites of days gone. A CMS site allows website owners to update content, to manage the content on their site, and to keep it up to date. They are more flexible and easier to maintain, therefore often lowering the cost to operate. Small changes to content no longer require the skills of a web developer to get in to the code. This is all made possible by the site architecture. CMS websites use a database with the visual files layering over top of that database. The database stores the content, the site files access the content and display it to the visitor in a friendly fashion. This however adds more complexity and the potential for more risk.

Protecting Your CMS
As much as the benefits of the CMS are a great thing, there are inherent risks in running a more complicated platform. Much like your desktop computer is a lot more complicated than your iPhone, so are CMS websites more complex than the basic HTML website.  Like your Windows PC needs regular updates, so do the CMS platforms. Security updates to the core files as well as associated plugins happen on a regular basis and should be maintained. Due to the nature of a CMS website, the files are often changed regularly, therefore backups should occur regularly.  Partek employs a number of security plugins, monitors and proactive scanners to ensure that sites are hardened against hackers and those looking to deface websites. We also run regular backups and can restore the site in the event of a major issue. Customers and consumers are finding your products and services online today more than ever.  Imagine the negative impact your site could have on a visitor if they came to it and it was hacked. To learn more about protecting your website for a small annual fee with guaranteed results, contact us.