Why does my site need an SSL certificate? I don’t sell anything?
This is a common question we get from clients who have designed or are in the in the process of a DIY website. First, hold on, hold on before you unclick the option for the low to no cost SSL Certificate your hosting company offers you, you need it. Your site visitors need reassurance they will be protected from cyber hijacking and their privacy is secured. Your business absolutely wants to avoid recovering from a cyber attack; it’s costly, could close your business, and will have a negative ripple effect lasting for an expansive amount of time.
The 2016 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, sponsored by IBM Security, breaksdown the costs of cyberattacks. In review of the report, what stands out is the US is has the highest costs for data breaches, and the trend is growing. Between 2014 to 2016, average total costs for US breaches were over 7.01 million per year. Shut the front door, literally, SSL is important. What caught my attention, the probability of data breach involving 10,000 or more records by country, averages a 25% chance of happening, a percentage probability better than winning lotto but without the jackpot, except of course for of the criminals who steal the data.
Still on the fence if you need SSL, the most basic, simple way to provide some protection to your customers and your business? In Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Report, Symantec’s response to SSL sums it up, for personal users, people just like you and I, internet surfers, shoppers, researchers, downloaders, and gamers: Look for the padlock and check the SSL certificate on any sites where you enter sensitive data.
On the other end, if you business is present online, you need to have an SSL Certificate on your site at minimum, in addition to software to help prevent and detect intrusions, understanding what is at risk online, how to monitor it (location and access), and being prepared with a incident response.
Symantec further supplied some great advice in their 2016 report, including, “Best Practice Guidelines For Website Owners” and the take away is this: “Implement always-on SSL. Implement SSL/TLS on every page of your website so that every interaction a visitor has with your site is encrypted. Switching to ‘HTTPS everywhere’, as it’s also called, with OV or EV SSL/TLS certificates demonstrates your credibility and can also improve your search rankings and paves the way for an upgrade to HTTP/2, delivering better performance.”
Understanding cybercrime is critical for all businesses with an online presence. In summary, and in our short blog on the subject of online security, you hopefully can see why your website needs an SSL certificate. In summary the customer is looking for a secure website, you business is in danger, your customer (employees too) can be at risk, and your SEO can be diminished without it. As a business owner, you can look at SSL as one of many security guards needed to protect your business.