Everybody has been up in arms about the recent breach at Equifax. And well we should be up in arms. Our “private” data has been shared with people who should not have access to it. The entire event was preventable, and for those who aren’t tech geeks, the explanation is still easy enough to understand. Somebody didn’t update their software. It’s that simple. From a recent article in Wired Magazine, the following sentences can sum it up for even the most non-technical person out there:
Capping a week of incompetence, failures, and general shady behavior in responding to its massive data breach, Equifax has confirmed that attackers entered its system in mid-May through a web-application vulnerability that had a patch available in March. In other words, the credit-reporting giant had more than two months to take precautions that would have defended the personal data of 143 million people from being exposed. It didn’t.
So, the attackers got into their system because somebody forgot to do their latest software update? It was that simple?
With that in mind, here’s a simple question for you if you’re a website owner. Are you keeping up with your updates on your website?
Well, are you?
I think at least 50% of the people reading this article might be cringing right about now……
Updates are a hassle….really?
If you’re a business owner that has an online presence, chances are you’re not keeping up with your updates. Chances are you haven’t looked at your own online presence this week. How do I know this? From direct interaction with small and medium business owners that don’t take the time to examine their digital billboards on a regular basis. Often we’ve heard from clients, “You want me to spend 1 hour per week checking out my website?” Okay, how about 1 hour a month?
1 Hour per month seems to be too much as well?
This morning I took a look at some of our non-maintenance clients. We now only offer website building and design services to companies that also opt to do ongoing maintenance with us. We used to build websites for businesses, train their staff on how to run their websites, and leave the ongoing maintenance to the business staff. We no longer offer that as an option because we’ve seen first hand what happens.
Businesses neglect and even ignore their websites. Carving out a little time every month for a self check is even too much. How can I be so certain?
Well, one client with several business locations and websites for each has a website that is down right now. We don’t do maintenance for this customer as they felt they could do it in house & their managers are supposed to be doing maintenance. But this morning while just “looking over their shoulders,” I noticed 1 website wasn’t available. Why wasn’t it available? Well, the customer failed to renew their domain name on August 5th of 2017. And apparently nobody at the business had noticed. That means the website hadn’t been looked at by any staff member for over 2 months now.
I have sent off a notice to the website owner and let them know they need to renew their domain name because their site is down! For non-maintenance clients we don’t keep watching their websites, we’re not paid to. And in their quest to save a few dollars they’ve left a website that drives business to them completely down. Equifax isn’t the only business out there that doesn’t keep up with software updates. It’s an epidemic across all businesses I promise you.
Ongoing maintenance with RLC Design
We’ve always offered ongoing maintenance packages to our web development clients. We also provide video training to our clients as well (Coupon Code RLCDESIGN_50OFF). Often times clients decide to save a little money by doing their updates and SEO work themselves. But here’s what happens. They get busy running their business. And they ignore their websites. What happens then? Well, as with this morning’s find, a website is down and has been down for months. Not our responsibility, we offered ongoing maintenance and the client decide to pass on that. Fortunately the result isn’t Equifax level, but having a website that sells your services down for 2 months probably cost them more than they will ever know.