There’s a widely quoted and (typically misattributed) sentiment that works are never truly completed, only abandoned. This applies to website development as much as any other project but when it comes to the former, it is as much of a warning as a statement of integrity. A website that isn’t being actively maintained is a security risk and potential threat to an organization’s online presence, reputation and the data of their users and clients.
Case in point: “The All in One” SEO WordPress plugin, installed across three million websites, was found to have two major software vulnerabilities. While the plugin developer quickly released a patch, over 800,000 websites remained open to attack two weeks later.
Once a hacker gains access to a website through this or other vulnerabilities, the possibilities for trouble are nearly endless. They can lock out the website’s owner and hold the site for ransom, implement e-skimming code to compromise customer payment information, spread malware, and more.
This isn’t to finger point at website owners; many are too busy to reasonably be able to jump to the ready each time news of a security vulnerability makes headlines. Instead, it’s to give one of the many reasons Watermelon Web Works strongly recommends our Security and Performance (S&P) plans to our clients.
By committing to a relatively small period of time, each of the websites on our S&P plans is checked regularly by a developer for available updates to software; signs of potential nefarious cyber activity; as well as for any other bugs or glitches that could damage the site’s performance and standing on search engines. Websites on these plans are also backed up in the event of a successful cyberattack or show-stopping error.
The cost of allocating time to identify outdated software and security issues before they’re exploited pales in comparison to the costs often associated in data breaches and provides peace of mind.