It’s one of the most dreaded experiences of any business owner. You wake up and pull up your Orange County business website to see a white screen— or worse, your content has been replaced with some kind of protest or menacing message, or even something in a foreign language. Of course, sometimes hacking happens more subtly, and you eventually discover someone has been quietly mining your customers’ sensitive information for months.
A hacked website can do serious damage to your business, sometimes within minutes. If you rely on e-commerce for income, even a few minutes of downtime can add up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Just as damaging is your loss of reputation and trust by any customer who logged on to your site only to see that same awful, menacing message you saw. If your business website has been hacked, what can you do to regain control quickly?
Contact Your Service Provider Immediately
The moment you discover signs of a hack, your first step is to contact your web hosting company or IT company to alert them to the problem. In most cases, your provider can staunch the damage by retaking control of the website and locking out the perpetrators. If your website has crashed, been altered or suffered data loss, they can also put up an “under maintenance” page to alleviate customer fears while your IT company works to repair the damage.
Your next line of defense is to change all passwords associated with your Orange County business website as soon as possible—preferably a long-string combination of letters, numbers and symbols that is difficult to guess. If hackers have changed your passwords and blocked your access, you may have to wait on this step until your IT provider has retaken control—but do this step as soon as possible to mitigate further damage.
Have a Backup Plan
You may already be backing up your business data on a regular basis, but many business owners forget that their website is data, also—and as such, it should also be backed up regularly. Your web host may already be performing backups, but we also recommend saving periodic copies of your website somewhere offsite with a third-party as an extra layer of protection. Once you have control of your site again, you can go back to the latest backup not affected by the hack and reload the content.
Proactive Solution: Managed IT
One of the best ways to deal with hacking is to have safeguards in place to keep hackers out to begin with. A good managed IT service will include strong security protocols and ongoing monitoring to detect and halt cyberattacks, quite often before they are able to do damage. And if hackers do take over your site, your IT team will usually know about it before you do, and they’ll already have protocols in place to mitigate the damage.
NetServe can offer robust protection of your Orange County business website as part of a comprehensive managed IT plan. To learn more, call us at 1-877-NetServ.