So, recently I was reading an article in the Atlantic called “The Inevitability Of Being Hacked“. It’s a great piece in which the journalist sets up a fake internet-connected device and waits to see if anyone tries to hack it. It wasn’t up for 41 minutes before the first attempt. Then another. And another…
All told, over 300 attempts were made on the server he set up.
I was understandably shaken. We all pay our bills by putting things on the internet and if those things truly are that vulnerable, so is my job. I got to work that morning and checked my email and I had one waiting for me from Twitter.
“Did you sign in from this device?” Twitter asked.
“No”, I responded (audibly for some reason).
Someone with a Russian IP address tried to access my Twitter account. I spent the rest of the morning changing passwords and setting up two-factor authentication on everything I have.
The Cost of Connection
Everything is connected and that’s good in theory, but when the security of ONE application is compromised the rest fall like dominoes. People acquiring access to your email account can request password resets for everything from social media to financial applications.
I worked for years in DC on websites for Congressmen and Congressional Committees. We had hacking attempts we’ve had to deal with, but it was never anything like I’ve dealt with in the private sector last year. I’ve spent hours “un-hacking” sites and getting them back online, restoring stolen user accounts, and patching security holes in web applications and sites.
Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets. Security is just staying one step ahead of those working to exploit you. We offer standard, monthly updates to all of our clients to ensure the code on their sites is as secure as possible and while there are password managers and other security-monitoring apps that really help, educating yourself is the best way to protect yourself.
But I’ll go one step further to help our clients:
Coconut Radio is now including SSL certificates for free with ALL websites.
Usually Site Security Layer (SSL) certificates are an option that companies charge extra for (in fact, we were charging $15/mo), but the internet is only getting more hostile and security is no longer an option. Our goal is to have every website hosted by Coconut Radio be a secure connection (HTTPS) for both the site’s visitors and managers.
Google is again leading the charge by penalizing sites that don’t offer secure connections to their users. So by making security a standard, Coconut Radio is ensuring that our users continue to find their audience.
It doesn’t matter how a site looks or functions if it isn’t secure. A beautiful car without breaks is worse than no car at all.