11 March 2024

Better Safe Than Sorry

Six Reasons Why Website Security and Regular Maintenance are Critical for Your Digital Survival

Every other day, we read about another significant cyber-attack on a global organisation that brings its business to its knees. Just think, if cyber criminals can attack these seemingly impenetrable digital forces, how vulnerable is your website?

Keeping your organisation's digital assets safe and sound is vital, and keeping one step ahead of today's fast-paced world of cybersecurity threats requires more than crossing your fingers. Your website platform requires regular updates to protect it.

From dodging security risks to complying with data protection rules, here are our top six critical reasons why you should be running the latest version.

1. Build Your Impenetrable Digital Fortress to Avoid Security Risks
First off the rank is the importance of keeping your website platform updated to the latest version. Updates happen for a reason, and often for things you don't see. Developers and security experts are in a constant game of cat and mouse. Hackers highlight vulnerabilities and security gaps, which developers use to create safety updates to combat. Regular updates keep you one step ahead of cyber attacks, making your site a tougher nut to crack.

2. Protecting Customer Data Isn't a 'Nice to Have'; It's the Law!
In today's digital world, customer data is one of the most precious commodities any business can have, and there are water-tight rules you need to follow to keep it safe. Strict regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe or HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) in the U.S. require you to take all reasonable steps to protect this data by using up-to-date systems. New Zealand legislation is covered by The Privacy Act 2020. Keeping your website platform current shows you're serious about data protection, helping you stick to the rules and steer clear of hefty fines.

3. Create Better UX by Boosting Performance and Stability
Beyond identifying and plugging security holes, updates often optimise your website, improving load times and performance resulting in a smoother and more reliable experience for the user. A stable and quick-performing website is less likely to buckle under the pressure of traffic spikes from DDoS* attacks or other nasty tricks designed to knock your site offline.

*DDOS, or a Distributed Denial of Service attack, is explicitly designed to force your website offline. It achieves this by overloading your website with multiple requests, which consumes its capacity and leaves it unable to respond to legitimate requests.

4. Future-proof your Precious Digital Assets Using the Latest Technology
The one digital constant is technology marching forward rapidly. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Technological advancements bring new security standards and web functionalities, creating safer and more enriched experiences. Keeping your website current and up-to-date gives you access to the most current tools and security-boosting methods. With better encryption standards and the latest cybersecurity tech, you are protecting your most precious digital assets.

5. Keep Your Customers Trust by Not Risking Security
When a company suffers a serious security breach, it’s newsworthy content. Not only does it directly affect customers, but it also seriously damages reputations and trust. The last thing you want to do is inform your customers that they need to notify their banks of a potential hack or to get a new passport (which happened recently in Australia with Optus). Personal information is valuable, and people expect you to handle their data with care. Your commitment to regular updates shows you're taking their security seriously and can work in your favour, setting you apart from competitors.

6. Avoid the Headache; Keep on Top of Your Website Updates.

Isn’t a minor inconvenience often better than suffering a massive overhaul? Staying on top of regular website maintenance keeps things simple, faster and less disruptive when an update is required. If you miss too many and your platform becomes outdated, you can run the risk of running into problems when you finally do, not to mention exposing yourself to the adverse effects we have just covered. If nothing else, think of all the stress you save your IT team with this forward-thinking approach.

As a business that may be responsible for keeping customer information safe, it’s your duty to keep your website up to date. By following these steps, you can mitigate security risks, keep your site running smoothly and stay on the right side of the law while maintaining the trust of your customers.