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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Online Security - You Can’t Risk It

Have you ever played the game of “Risk”? Maybe you’ve begrudgingly joined in once or twice at a rowdy family reunion, or maybe you’re a dedicated and tactical professional. Either way, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with this timeless time-passer. 

Protecting Your Territory is Imperative

The essence of “Risk” is strategy, right? Out-strategizing the other players is essential for victory, and protecting your territory is imperative if you want to come out on top. You see, the same goes for your website. Staying ahead of the game when it comes to online strategy, will put you miles ahead – on and offline.

Incredulously, the game of Risk draws increasing parallels to online security. In fact, Alan Kessler, CEO of Vormetric, put it perfectly when he stated, "Your territory determines your risks. Some locations are easier to defend or attack, just like industries such as financial or healthcare" (Zensar).

Handling Sensitive Information

Mr. Kessler is certainly on to something. We see this a lot in the rising era of technology, as websites that handle sensitive information like credit social security numbers, card information, bank account numbers – or even something as “mundane” personally identifying information like name, address and phone number, run a greater risk of being hacked or compromised. Of course, that doesn’t mean that websites who don’t handle sensitive information don’t run this risk, but the risk tends to correlate with the amount of sensitive information that is handled on your site. 

So…What Does an SSL Certificate Have to Do with This??

Great Question. Essentially, an SSL Certificate is the difference between an HTTP site and an HTTPS site. The S stands for “secure.” So, if you’re browsing the web and come across a site with a URL that begins with HTTP, that site has not gained an SSL Certificate. This means that your data will not be encrypted when sent across the server to, say, a bank, or another 3rd party. This can be incredibly dangerous when the server is handling sensitive information, because it greatly increases the chances of that information being stolen by hackers – even if it’s not stolen on your personal website or server! It can be compromised on the journey between your website and the destination, as the servers which it travels through may not be protected. This is precisely what makes encryption so important. 

What Does “Encryption” Actually Mean?

Encryption is the process of converting data into a code, specifically to prevent unauthorized access to the information. This code travels safely across the internet, and acts as a lock and key that prevents data intruders or hackers from breaking in. 

How Do I Attain an SSL Certificate?  

The good news is, it’s easy! Our team can purchase an SSL Certificate and get your website all set up with WebSecure, a security package consisting of a one-time set up and small annual reneal fee. This certificate is fully recognized by Google and other search engines, so obtaining one even contributes to boosting your ranking on search because it’s seen as an added trust mark! This means your website will have the “HTTPS” included in the URL, which will boost credibility for your site while protecting your most important asset – your customers!

Any Questions?

While we love getting our hands dirty with technology (#TechNerds), but we know it’s not for everyone! Please feel free and reach out to our team with any questions; we’d love to speak with you! As we stated before, there’s no room for “Risk” when it comes to protecting your assets, invest in protection BEFORE it causes major consequences. Until next time, keep up all of your great work! We believe in you, and we’re here for you! 

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