Today Interiors secures its website

Based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Today Interiors has been established for over 40 years and has gained a reputation for supplying beautiful and innovative Designer Wallpaper and Designer Fabric collections.

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web2market previously designed and constructed the Today Interiors (TI) website, using the Magento platform.  Using open source platforms such as Magento and WordPress does provide incredible value for money, but does require that the software is “maintained”.  As a reminder of that, an email from web2market’s support team alerted TI to the possibility that its website could, without some additional updating and patching, be susceptible to recent vulnerabilities.  TI asked web2market to secure the website on an ongoing basis.

Read on to discover how this was achieved and how a website application support contract is a good investment.

Website application vulnerabilities

We are increasingly aware that websites utilising a content management system are the target of malicious attack.  The type of “attack” varies and may include:

Malware – the insertion of code to infect the computer of visitors to your website.  The code may have a variety of purposes such as extortion or a distributed attack on another server;

Spam – the insertion/creation of hundreds of pages on your website that are not immediately obvious, you don’t see them because you don’t know they are there and they are not in your website menus.  These pages can advertise dubious products and cause your site to be banned from Google;

Website defacement – the insertion of text or images aimed at defacing the owner’s website.

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In answer to Today Interior’s question ‘What can be done to keep the bad guys out?’

The need for software updates

Often there is little that can be done to set things right after an attack. For example, it is very hard to remove all of the malicious code and be confident that none is left.   One approach is to restore the website from backup, but if the malicious code has been in place for some time and gone unnoticed the backups may also contain the problem.  Often the only safe approach is to re-create the website from scratch.  Hosting companies are very aware of this and often their solution is to switch the website off until the malicious code has been removed.  That is very bad for business!

We explained to TI that prevention is always preferable than trying to cure a problem and that pro-active website application patching would be our recommendation.  Any updates or patching required could be covered by the existence of an annual Support Contract, whereby we would instigate a programme of ongoing software patching to minimise the opportunity for attack and would automatically update any vulnerable software as soon as issues were identified by the manufacturer.

Safeguarding your business

Whilst this obviously involved some additional expense Today Interiors were of the opinion that a small outlay now, (around £30 per month for many sites), was infinitely preferable to one of their key business tools, i.e. their website, becoming inoperable or risking the compromise of their customer information.  We therefore applied all the released security patches to their Magento website application and will continue to do so as and when required.

Today Interiors are now confident that their website is secure and are free to conduct their business knowing that customer details are safe and the website asset will remain intact.

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How vulnerable is your business website? If this has raised a question in your mind please do get in touch for an informal chat.  As each website is different there may be no action required or a need for further investigation. You can call me on 01480 878510 or email me at [email protected]

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Nigel White
My career has given me insights into large and small businesses across many sectors. Academically, I have a MA (Strategic Marketing) and use this understanding to provide consultancy and advice to all clients I work with. Very high on my agenda: needs analysis, service, and quality.