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The Confident SMB

Shopping for Threats? Anti-Malware Scans Keep Your Online Customers from Surfing with the Sharks

Created: 21 Oct 2011 • Updated: 21 Oct 2011
Bernard Laroche's picture
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Can I trust this website? That question nags most website visitors today as the web’s changing tides create a sea of increasingly insidious fake websites and data-stealing malware that can hide even on legitimate sites. Website owners, especially smaller operations, which want to stay in business must inspire customer confidence that their sites are malware free and safe places to visit and shop.

This question of trust is one of the defining IT issues of recent years. The Online Trust Alliance worries that unless organizations take proper security precautions, escalating cyber crime could cause a trust meltdown and destruction of consumer confidence. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and this year’s theme of “Our Shared Responsibility” underscores how all organizations should proactively contribute to mitigate threats to online trust.

To help reduce malware risks and encourage online trust, GeoTrust on October 20 introduced the GeoTrust Website Anti-Malware Scan, a cost effective cloud service that helps ensure website owners and visitors alike are exposed to hidden malware for as brief a time as possible. The scan automatically checks up to 50 customer web pages daily for both well-known and brand new malware strains. The service provides immediate, detailed alerts that clearly pinpoint malware infections and enable website owners to eliminate them quickly and easily.

The benefits of this new service are especially useful for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which often lack name recognition and deep pockets. SMBs can have a hard time establishing a trusted reputation and can ill afford the increasing costs of lost data, regulatory compliance penalties, fines, lawsuits and lost business spawning from malware infections on their websites.

A 2010 Symantec survey found that 73 percent of SMBs had suffered cyber attacks (including malware) at an average cost of over $188,000. With attacks so prevalent and costly, malware scans and a seal alerting customers to them therefore can play an essential role in preserving customer trust and the bottom line.

Website owners can also present the GeoTrust Website Anti-Malware Seal on their sites to further assure visitors that their transactions and data are secure. This trust mark assures customers that GeoTrust has confirmed the site to be malware free.

To help customers navigate the sometimes-murky waters of the web, website owners need to help foster customer trust online by offering immediate, demonstrable proof that visitors can trust their website. Such proof offers tangible benefits: Trusted sites get more traffic, close more business and don’t have to worry about search engines blacklisting them for hosting malware.

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