There’s Never A Bad Time To Check Your Site And Network Security

In the wake of the Wannacry ransomware attack, WordPress announced a major security release update yesterday (unrelated to Wannacry) and the timing should be enough for you to take a step back to make sure you’re running the most recent versions of your web platform and network OS.

For many groups, all of this is handled by a third-party provider and if you fall into that group, it’s worth sending them a quick email to inquire if all is good.

Adaptistration People 049But for groups that manage their own networks or use a bargain basement priced web host, you are probably on your own when it comes to making sure you’re running these latest updates.

For example, if you use WordPress and your site is hosted on an entry level account at Bluehost, HostGator, 1&1, InMotion, or GoDaddy automatic security updates are not likely included with your service. In addition to core WordPress, you’ll also need to check all your plugins and themes.

Speaking of plugins, if you’re using an ultra-low cost hosting provider, you probably have a site that cobbles together several dozen plugins to provide all of your functionality and each one of those may need updating as well.

Ignoring these security related updates is certainly an option but if you decide to go down that path, I hope you have a data breach policy in place. You just may need it.

If all of this stuff sounds like one huge headache, you might reconsider the return on investment of using a hosted, managed web provider service (#ShamelessPlug). Same goes for your third-party box office and customer relationship database services.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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