Not too long ago, the Washington Post claimed that 2013 was the year of cybersecurity – as concerns around cybercrime reached an all-time high that prompted the top levels of our government to encourage technology giants like Microsoft, Yahoo and Google to provide the tools and know-how for web masters to arm themselves against a possible security breach.
Now in 2014, many high powered companies are taking a fresh look at cybersecurity. It used to be just the small business that was in danger of attacks due to lack of resources to purchase high cost security equipment – but the enterprise with deep IT pockets are also running into major breaches and security failures. So whether a website is e-commerce, offers a game or details about a company or product – securing the site to prevent hacking or malware is critical.
Responding to such severe attacks as Heartbleed, security breaches in major chains (Target and DSW to name a few) where credit card information has been stolen by the billions, and other malware and viruses, Google has been encouraging webmasters and websites to use https instead of http.
Google says the reason for using HTTPS is the following:
o Passive and active attackers can’t listen in
o Active Attackers can’t tamper with data
o Active attackers can’t impersonate the destination
Google also notes that HTTPS not only protects the website itself but the people searching for the site. “Using a strong HTTPS encryption by default… means that people using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically (offers) a secure connection to Google,” says Google officials.
In addition to making HTTPS a safer option for web developers, Google executives report that they are testing HTTPS “…as a (lightweight) signal in…search ranking algorithms.” Using the more secure HTTPS as a SEO ranking signal will send a strong message to webmasters and SEO companies who want their websites to show up in Google searches, to use the HTTPS. While Google officials claim that using HTTPS as a SEO ranking signal is still in the testing phase, Google has future plans to make it a stronger SEO ranking feature in the near future.
While there are skeptics, as Google has had its own share of problems with cybersecurity (e.g.: its mobile operating system Android has been infiltrated many times), Google has revamped its security features to ensure that HTTPS is stronger and less penetrable. Number one – Google has made its HTTPS harder to penetrate and number two, Google now has more features to help webmasters who find their sites compromised.