As more and more people move online to search for information purchases, businesses are also moving more of their operations online. However, most of them do not understand the risks posed by fraudsters and cybercriminals. Studies show that at least 68% of business leaders feel there has been an increase in cyber security risks for their business. A data breach can lead to a severe loss of trust, government authorities’ penalties, and lawsuits. It is found that the global average cost of a data breach could be around US$ 3.9 million.
Organizations must spruce up their cyber security policies and procedures to thwart any attempts of a data breach. SSL security is one of the best cybersecurity nowadays. You can check multiple SSL certificates in the market and choose according to your requirement. For example, if you have several business lines with multiple domains and sub-domains, you must install Multi-Domain SSL certificates. It will help you to stave off any unauthorized access to your website. However, there are several businesses – both small and big, that still do not have an SSL certificate. In this article, we will discuss some of the disadvantages of not using one.
Role of web browsers
With a continuous surge in users using the internet to search for information, web browsers must ensure that they provide a safe browsing environment for users. As web browsers resolve to make the internet more reliable, they have struck against insecure websites. In one of its Chrome updates in July 2018, Google made it mandatory for sites to shift to the HTTPS protocol. It became necessary for websites to install an SSL certificate. Non-HTTPS websites are marked as “Not Secure” with an absence of the address bar’s padlock.
As an immediate fallout of this action, all insecure websites saw a drastic fall in the number of visitors. Visitors were quick to find out whether the website was safe and abandoned it if it was a non-HTTPS site. The conversion to an HTTPS website continues till today.
Non-encrypted communication is risky
Websites that use the HTTPS protocol encrypt the communication between the organization’s web server and the web browser of the visitor. As a result, no third-party can understand the interaction without having the private key. Only the desired recipient of the information will be able to comprehend that makes it an essential means to prevent any data breach. The communication with insecure websites is not encrypted which makes it easier for hackers to hack into the websites and gather information through unauthorized access. No business would like the idea of having sensitive information hacked from their servers. The information gained by hackers through illegal means can be used in several ways that can bring disrepute to the organization.
Financial transactions cannot be done
Websites that undertake financial transactions must adhere to a specific set of guidelines laid down by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). Users must be ensured with a safe online environment before they can trust a website and undertake a financial transaction with them. It is also crucial for businesses to provide a safe environment for its users to carry out a business transaction, as it is also convenient to transact online.
The PCI-DSS guidelines provide a stringent set of actions that businesses must take to carry out a transaction through their website. One such requirement is to install an SSL certificate that encrypts the communication held with the visitor.
Hackers have always been on the lookout for vulnerabilities. When you have a secured website, it will be authenticated by a third-party certification authority, and no one else can use your website. However, if you are still on an unsecured site, it can be used by hackers for various nefarious activities. One such risk is that they will use a replica of your website and drive visitors to the duplicate website and make some money from them. As a result, your website will bear the brunt of angry users, and it may get blacklisted in return. Secured websites, on the other hand, are validated by authorized agencies and internet users can vouch for safety in entering transactions with them.
It affects your SEO activities
There has been a debate about whether a non-HTTPS website affects search rankings. Way back in 2014, Google had acknowledged HTTPS to be a significant factor while ranking sites for keyword searches. Search engines have preferred websites that give out a signal of trust to users. It is because of an increased belief among search engines to make the internet a safer place for users. Visitors have shown a liking for secure websites that have led to an improvement in their search ranking. However, only installing an SSL certificate does not help. You must ensure that there is no mixed content, else it could affect your search rankings too.
Cannot prevent cyberattacks
The internet is a maze of servers with several users using it at the same time. You would not know whether any user had any malicious intention. HTTP websites run the risk of cyberattacks and have witnessed several man-in-the-middle attacks. Hackers can indulge in altering data and discretely relaying data on the site and can manipulate the data at the back end. The data in an HTTP website is unencrypted and is susceptible to attacks. Having an SSL certificate ensures ser data integrity and increases trustworthiness as an official authority has already verified the website.
The number of data breaches is not relenting, and the cost for such data breaches has been proving to be expensive for businesses. It is the reason that industry behemoths buy Multi-Domain SSL certificates to prevent any data breaches. A data breach can also lead to lawsuits against the company with customer information being compromised. Such an incident could lead to the downfall of your business. Besides, non-HTTPS websites are known to be insecure and are being flagged by web browsers. The absence of the padlock on Google Chrome makes users understand that the site is unsafe. It can also lead to a drop in search engine rankings. We have discussed some of the disadvantages of still using an HTTP website. We sincerely hope that companies will choose an HTTPS website and make the internet safer for users.