Your website is the face of your business. It showcases what you offer, represents your company values, and highlights your goals. When developing a site, there are many things you need to take into account. You need to be aware of the best practices, be forward-thinking, and be prepared for setbacks. To build a website that fulfills your expectations and those of your customers, you need to have a risk management plan.
Risk management is the practice of identifying potential threats to a project, analyzing them, and formulating a strategy to remove or minimize their effects. Through risk management, you can recognize the risks that will hinder you from attaining your objectives. With such a plan, you will also be in a position to make better decisions, identify threats early, minimize threats, recognize and manage opportunities, improve operational efficiency, and create a risk culture.
Thanks to technology, owning and running a website today is easier than it was some years ago. However, the process is also more complicated than before. There are many internal and external factors that you need to address when developing and launching your site. If not taken into account, they can morph into serious problems that can threaten the future of your online business, Here are some risks that website owners face.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)is a law that requires businesses to make accommodations for people who have disabilities. This includes digital spaces. As a website owner, you should check whether your business is subject to the ADA. This law applies to organizations that have at least 15 full-time workers that operate for 20 or more weeks a year. Companies that also offer public accommodations, such as banks and hotels, are also required to comply.
It’s essential that your organization follows the ADA guidelines regardless of your type of the nature of your business. The ADA requires a company’s website to provide information in a way that is perceivable, have an interface that is operable and navigable, contain content that is understandable. The content should also be robust enough, meaning it should be easily accessible using different technologies.
To aid individuals living with a disability, your site needs to have text transcripts for videos and audios, alt tags for images and videos, ample instructions, an intact layout, clearly labeled sections, and be navigable from a keyboard, Failure to comply with this act can expose you to expensive lawsuits, extra website redesign costs, a tarnished brand reputation, and missing out on huge opportunities by ignoring customers who have a disability.
Customers need to feel safe when accessing your website. Whether they are just scrolling through, inputting some information, or making a transaction. If a site visitor feels your website doesn’t offer adequate protection, you risk losing business. There are multiple compliance standards and many federal and state laws that cover data security and privacy. Some of the notable ones include HIPAA, PCI DSS, and CCPA. These laws are meant to protect consumers' information.
Before establishing your website, you need to study the various laws, regulations, and compliance requirements regarding data security, and implement the necessary measures. Abiding by all the requirements is not always easy. However, a risk management plan for your website will help you to quickly identify instances of non-compliance, and enable you to maintain a compliant website.
The digital age has brought about an increase in cyber attacks. If your website isn’t created using the right techniques, it can easily be breached by cybercriminals. Hackers may find vulnerabilities, which they may use to take over your website and steal confidential information on your business and clients. A website hack can interrupt your business operations, make you lose clients, and land you in legal trouble when customers sue you.
The first step you should take as a website owner is to list all the risks that your website might be exposed to. This includes compliance risks, cyber threats, and software errors. Your next process is to evaluate and quantify the impact of each threat. Ranking risks by their seriousness will allow you to concentrate your efforts on the major threats. When rating them, assess the probability of a scenario occurring, and the damage it would cause it happens.
To protect your website from any form of threat, a risk management plan is instrumental. It will help you prepare ways to respond to any risk scenario. Some of the measures include proper testing, monitoring, and maintenance of the site, performing constant upgrades in design, utilizing firewalls and antimalware, enforcing strong password policy, using a secure host, implementing access controls to limit the number of employees who can modify the site, and adopting compliance management tools to keep track of regulatory changes.
There are many rules, standards, and regulations we need to abide by when setting up a website. These rules are meant to protect us from a variety of internal and external factors. To make sure you are playing by the rules, and to secure your digital space, utilize risk management when building your site.