The mother of the three little pigs did not say “beware of the wolf” before she sent her darlings out to seek their fortunes, but she did tell them that whatever each may do, do it the best that you can.
Each little pig did encounter the big bad wolf and as the story goes, those piggies that tried the quick and cheap route with the houses of straw and sticks got eaten.
As much as he huffed and puffed, the wolf could not blow in the well constructed house of bricks. Even when the wolf tried to get in through the chimney, he fell down into the little pig’s kettle.
In the house made of brick, this little pig invited his mother over for supper that evening.
The web has its share of wolves huffing and puffing blowing down websites left and right. SPAM, identity theft, credit card scams, data hostage-taking occur regularly because websites are poorly built.
A website needs to stand up to high volume and to hackers. Just like a physical building must be structurally sound, the same rules apply to systems architecture on the web: quality of materials, integrity of the contractor, and the skills of the designer and engineer all count if a structure is to remain solid.
This article was inspired by a client who came to us after their website was hacked. They had an online tracking system that worked great and had even won an award. Even better, the website was put behind an encrypted security layer and password-protected. All appeared well, but the house was poorly designed. The systems architecture was faulty: the security layer, albeit comforting, could be (excuse me-was) circumvented because the same password could be used for secured and non-secured areas and you did not even need a password if you had the skill set of typical 15 year-old hacker.
This is one of many examples of poor systems architecture. You do not even need to have a website with a database to run into trouble, online mail forms get scribbled and hacked all the time.
The story of the Three Little Pigs teaches us important lessons that can be applied to the web. Like the house of straw, most people build their first website based solely on the lowest price offered–quick and cheap.
When disaster strikes, the next website is built in panic mode. Choices made in this state usually fail as well.
Also, it is important to note, the wolf did not go after the biggest house, he went after ALL the houses. On the web, hackers do not care how big or little your website may be, only that if they can take the house down they will.<
To keep your virtual house and business standing, you may have to pay a little more and take a bit more time getting started. As our mothers’ have always told us, in the end you will be rewarded for doing it the best that you can.