What can a hacked website cost your business?

Apr
05

A hacker attack is something many website owners consider to be a frightful disaster, but keep on naively believing will happen to someone else, not to them. If you also think that you have nothing to worry about because your small business will be off the radar of hackers who only target large bank systems and NASA secret files, then you are wrong. In fact, most hackers don’t choose which website to hack, instead they scan the Internet to find web pages with vulnerabilities.

Recovering your hacked website is one time when your website can cause big unplanned expenses. Financial expenses related to different issues, including the harm to your reputation and the loss of a customer’s trust, are hard to calculate. So let’s consider in detail what a hacked website can cost you.
What is the cost of a hacked website?

What is the cost of a hacked website?

Costs for the hacked website recovery itself

To get your website working again, you may either hire a web development team (like the one our company offers) or engage your internal developers, if you have them. Whatever you choose — outsource or in-house development team — you will have to pay developers. Instead of investing money on building a new functionality or providing some new security improvements to your website, you’ll have to spend money on just returning to where you were and restoring what was damaged when your site was hacked.

Beside obvious costs like paying developers for fixing a problem, there are many implied costs that arise from a hacker attack, which are listed below.

Lost revenue because of a website downtime

If an international eCommerce website is down for just a couple of days during a hot sale season, it will lose a lot of revenue. So the bigger your website is and the more traffic it gets, the more conversions you will lose. This means that a hacked website will also cost you the money that you will fail to earn while your web resource is unavailable.

Lost data

Your website certainly contains important data vital for your company. If it has lots of private user data, you should especially take care not to become a victim to ransomware. A hacked website can get your data lost, damaged or compromised, which can make your business unable to operate again.

In order to be able to recover your data completely, keep your data stored in several places. Use more than one hosting provider and public clouds, which offer everyday backups and disaster recovery services.

Lost traffic and credibility due to Google’s blacklist

Google is always striving to make the Internet a safe place for everyone. When search bots find some malicious code while indexing your site, they label your web resource as hacked or harmful to prevent ordinary users from visiting dangerous pages.

Probably a blacklist cleanup is the most painful cost. For sure, it’s a nightmare when Internet users, including your loyal clients, partners and jealous competitors see a warning “This site may be hacked” or “This site may harm your computer,” right below your company name on a Google search result page.

warning “This site may be hacked”

A tricky thing about this is that Google needs time to update its indexing, and time is money. After your site is recovered you have to wait for a week or two until Google stops labeling your website as hacked and removes you from a blacklist. All during this precious time users will avoid your clean website. So add the losses from this decreased traffic to the cost of a hacked website.

Lost customer loyalty

Getting hacked once causes your reputation to suffer. Even having your site leave Google’s blacklist doesn’t mean people will forget. If your site contains user accounts or has a payment systems integration, customers will hesitate to entrust you with their private data in the future. So a stain on your reputation is also one of the costs of a hacked website.

Lost marketing campaigns

If you have prepared some marketing campaigns for certain period, but during that time your website is hacked, or even if you managed to recover it by the planned date but have to wait to get off the search engine blacklist, then your plans are ruined.

You will have to postpone your campaigns or even cancel them if they depend on a calendar, like Black Friday or some holiday sales, because they will lose their relevance. So the cost of a hacked website will include both the lost opportunity to make more revenue from the campaign and expenses for preparations made in vain for an unrealized campaign.

Conclusion

So, as you see, the cost of a hacked website includes much more than just your website recovery itself. Hacker attack can result in lost revenue, data, and loyalty, and in  considerable damage to your reputation and business in general.

To reduce the risk of this unpleasant situation protect your website from hackers by constantly improving your website security. The malware industry is rapidly developing, constantly finding new ways to hack websites. Fortunately, the security industry is also not standing still, and new technologies for detecting and fighting malicious software are continually being invented.

If your security system is outdated, it leaves holes and vulnerabilities that are easy to detect for sophisticated hackers. Remember that it’s better to invest in security than meet the cost of a hacked website. Our Drupal support on demand company is ready to help you secure your website so that you won’t suffer from cost of a hacked website.

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