Does Your Site Need a Security Audit?

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Jan 10, 2022

Your website is beautiful, functional, and you even update the blog weekly. It does everything it needs to do: takes orders, shows off your awesome services, and gets people connected to you and excited about your services. But what happens when all that crashes because of a security breach because a proper security audit wasn’t done in time? It equates to going to the dentist once, using your teeth every day to do what they’re meant to do (you know, chew food), and then never going back to the dentist again. Even if you do everything right for your teeth, if you don’t go in for regular check-ins, you’ll probably end up with some issues, and by then it becomes an even bigger problem.

It’s the same for your website. When it’s freshly built (assuming it’s built and hosted properly), it’s nice and secure, all safe and ready for your customers to browse and possibly shop. But that security on a website doesn’t last because, as with all things related to the Internet, it is constantly changing, and with that comes constantly changing abilities of hackers and needs for new security measures. But how do you know when it’s time for a security audit for your site so you know you’re not wasting time and money but not risking valuable customer information, data breaches, and more giant issues that can come with website security issues?

What Are the Benefits of a Website Security Audit?

The hacking of businesses increases every single year as technology improves and hackers become more and more skilled. How many times have you been emailed or seen a news story about a huge company being hacked and all their customers’ data being stolen? These are the extreme cases at billion-dollar levels, but in less extreme cases, you can risk your own business information getting stolen, losing everything you’ve built on your site, and even losing all the data in any CMS you may be using. They could also be using your site to install viruses onto other people’s computers to steal their information too.

Obviously the goal is to prevent a hack from ever happening in the first place. Prevention is always, always better than an emergency situation where you are trying to recover everything back from a hacker. Always.

In order to stay ahead of those with malicious intent, you’ll have to stay on top of your security pretty much all the time. The good news is, any good web development company is doing security audits with your monthly maintenance plan, but this isn’t the case with hosts and DIY websites or web development contractors who tend to be more one-and-done.

Regular manual audits are important to make sure any automated security audits that may be set up are doing their job correctly so you’re not left with a surprise and a lot of compromised data at 3am one night while you’re asleep. More regular security audits are even more important if you have an ecommerce site. Almost 90% of online shoppers are concerned about the security of their credit card information when shopping online and typically will not use a website that isn’t verifiably secure.

Routine Security Audits

Routine security audits, as outlined above, should be done at least annually, if not more often. This is on top of any automated security audits that should be running at least monthly. If you do have an ecommerce site, more frequent manual checks are even more important because you are processing a large amount of very sensitive data, and any breaches you may have could break your business and prevent future customers from ever shopping with you again.

Security Audits After Major Event

In the website security world, a major event would be either a security breach or a major update. Either of these scenarios can shift a lot on the website and leave it vulnerable and easier to enter and exploit. That’s why, even if you are performing regular manual and automated security audits on your site, if either of these major events happens, it is important that you address them immediately in a full-scale manual and automated audit.

If there has been a data breach, the audit will be done very specifically to determine what went wrong, how a breach occurred, and to fix any additional holes in the security that might allow it to happen again. This should be done quickly once the hack has been detected and addressed to make sure it doesn’t happen again immediately. This will also determine what exactly the hacker accessed, if any customers need to be notified, and if anything was lost. This can be quite a process, as hackers often make it incredibly difficult to get back into the website at all.

In the case of a major update or data migration, the entire environment of the website’s front and backend changes significantly, so a security audit in this situation ensures protection from vulnerabilities in the future that may have been opened up with any new additions or changes to plugins, themes, or other tools.

So, When Should You Do a Security Audit on Your Website?

Well, if you are like many website owners and haven’t touched your website to check the security since it was built, it is definitely time to do an audit and set up regular checks as well. A web developer can handle these audits for you, as well as creating and managing any automated audits that can keep your website secure as well. You spent good money on your website; don’t risk losing it all, potentially including your brand and reputation, just because  you didn’t do your due diligence on website security audits.

If you have had a significant event on your website, such as recently doing an update or a recent data breach, it is time for you to take the proper security measures as well. It is recommended to never do an update on your website without properly checking the functionality and security of every single updated piece directly after the update is performed. That’s why it’s beneficial to have a web development team handle regular updates, because they can do these audits for you simultaneously without you taking any risks.

Lastly, if you have customers shopping on your website in any capacity, just having an SSL is not enough to protect their valuable and incredibly confidential information. You absolutely must stay on top of security checks to avoid risking everything they’ve given you and having to send out that dreaded, “We’re doing everything we can to help; here’s a link to identity theft checks” email that you will have to send if a hacker steals their information.

All in all, it’s probably time for a security audit for your website. If you’re looking for help with your website security audits or building a more secure website, contact us at Ignitro Studios to see how we can help ensure your brand, website, and reputation are secure.

About Ignitro Studios

Since 2013, Ignitro Studios has been working to blend marketing and technology in support of agencies and other marketers. By understanding both sides of web development, we have a unique perspective and advantage within the industry. We provide design, development, project management, QA, and strategy, driving the bus so our clients don’t have to. We will work with our clients to get results while also empowering them to do their job better. Learn more about Ignitro Studios.  

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