Written on August 17, 2015
This is a question I get asked a lot. Having just forked out for a website build, many feel a maintenance package is an unnecessary extra cost, however there are some very good reasons to consider them.
Your website is like a car; there may be no obvious break-in routes once it’s locked down, but thieves work long and hard to find ways past current security systems. Hackers work in the same way – they spend their time hunting for the little gaps in existing software which they will then exploit once they find them. They then begin to tear at the seams, and this damage will not only affect the usability of your website but can also leave it vulnerable to further attacks.
Do you remember the Sentinels in the Matrix? They were huge machines that looked a little like Robocop’s ED-209 (the badass machine) learned to fly. When the Sentinels spot a hovercraft, they swoop in and begin chipping away at defences; tearing out chunks to get to the heart of the ship. Just like hackers.
That little gap in your website suddenly feels like a chasm, with an open invite to all who would choose to use it. Malware attacks, Trojans, and hackers are just a few of the security threats posed to you and your website.
Sadly, we can’t follow the Matrix’s example with an EMP device to zap the bad guys, but we can repair the problem with a security patch which is a piece of code designed to fit perfectly where the gaps in the programming are discovered. Thus ensuring you, your website and your visitors remain safe.
With new software updates and threats appearing all the time, the challenge for any website owner is how to stay on top of the risk. This is what your website developer is there for – they will already be watching for changes within the industry to ensure you get the most out of your website, prolonging its life, whilst reducing the level of risk. With a maintenance package, they will take the burden off you which will save you a lot of time, as well as ensuring you’re safe.
Most web developers will offer maintenance packages that ensure you are covered for the duration of your contract. For a small fee, they will regularly check for any potential security issues and evaluate what needs to be done to remedy them. They will also automatically install updated patches when they’re released, and run tests such as the Magento Shoplift Bug Tester v1.0 which was released in February 2015 to address a security issue detected that meant attackers could control your store and extract your customer’s information.
There are confidentiality and data protection laws in place to protect everyone and, if you haven’t taken adequate precautions to securely store it, you are legally liable if a security breach results in that data being stolen or misused.
The best way to avoid legal action against you, amongst other concerns, is to remember that ‘prevention is far better than a cure’. Keeping a website regularly updated will save you more time than having to go back and fix a problem once your website has been hacked, emails hijacked, and spam links added to all your posts. Not to mention the embarrassment of having to notify your customers.
Whilst maintenance packages are not mandatory, it is certainly something worth considering if you don’t have the time to keep updating your website yourself. I offer different packages to suit various budgets, such as critical-only security updates, fixes and enhancements, as well as packages that include additional hours to allow for website amends.
If you have any questions about this blog post, or want to know how I can help you, you’re welcome to comment or send an email.