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Oxygen – creating secure websites and handling malware

Secure websites – are they really that secure?

Malware – short for malicious software − can play havoc with your site. It can come in the form of viruses, worms, trojan horses and rootkits, with hackers seeking to create ‘backdoors’ that enable them to break back into your site to sabotage it time after time. They can change the content to add spam. Or even worse, add pages that try to trick users into parting with credit card information making you an unwilling party to a criminal operation. If you’re running an e-commerce site that will destroy your customers’ trust, perhaps irreparably, and spell disaster. Some hackers will even try to take complete control of your site.

Malware attacks can happen to even the biggest names

Just recently the NBC Television site in the US – one of the three biggest broadcasters in the country − was hacked by cybercriminals who installed a cascade of programmes designed to gain digital information of value from anybody viewing it. This was effectively a ‘drive-by download’ − where software is installed and executed without going through any of the checks and authorisations that would normally prompt the user to what’s going on. Sadly, this type of crimeware is relatively easily available to buy or rent, meaning that cybercriminals don’t actually have to be that tech-savvy to use it against surfers.

How to protect against malware

At Oxygen, we understand that your website is your shop window around the world. This is increasingly true even for traditional retailers, as existing customers will often check and order online rather than travel to a store. You can’t afford for it to be down or to be hacked by criminals. We work with a California based security company called Sucuri who are the gold standard in anti-malware solutions, to help protect our clients. Sucuri are constantly upgrading and developing the latest technology to keep ahead of cybercriminals and their goal is be at the cutting edge of the fight against web-based malware.

What to do if your site is attacked by malware

Sucuri can boast that 70% of all attacks are resolved within four hours of being reported. We use them to back our guarantee that we’ll sort out your website when it’s been hit by malware within 24 hours or less. They do use some automation, but they prefer to have a trained and experienced malware analyst work on your problem so that they can be absolutely sure it’s properly fixed. That’s because hackers can be tricky and are constantly upgrading the strategies they use to gain control of a site.

How Oxygen protects your site against malware

We use anti-malware software programs to monitor your site automatically. These will intelligently crawl and identify infections, sending alerts so that you know when you’re being attacked. They’re set to identify all types of malware, SPAM injections, website errors, disabled sites, database connection issues and any code anomalies that require special attention. When a threat is detected and reported we alert Sucuri, and they go straight to work to clean up your site. Sometimes the problem is so bad that it’s caused irreversible damage to your website. But that isn’t a problem for our clients, because we back your site up on our server automatically. (You’d be surprised how many businesses ‘forget’ to do this, themselves.) That means we can restore it quickly and without fuss.
Malware attacks can happen to anyone. Don’t let them destroy your website and undermine your business. Talk to Oxygen about our website maintenance and support packages on 0845 2606 255. We’ll keep your website safe.

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.