No e-commerce, no sensitive information, no reason to target my small business. Why should I care about cyber attacks, I am brick an mortar operation? Who wants to disrupt or hack my web site? Answer... everyone, why? Because it's easy to do and helps disrupt the American economy. The next war is being fought on your business door steps. Software, not people, exploit most of the vulnerabilities online. So in the time it takes to read this your computer and 1000's of web sites can be hacked and data lost. If you leave a window open, a door unlocked or a key under the mat, an intruder has an advantage. Large, cheap shared hosting companies have no liability for your information, like Go Daddy, Blue Host, Hostway and many others.
Below is very good technical explaination/discussion of why shared hosting can not be secured even by the best companies.
We do offer a shared-like environment to our most frugal customers, but there are less than 10 sites per server, they are all our clients and we do not allow FTP or telnet or any file access. This allows us to compete with less expensive shared hosting but not expose our clients to the obvious dangers.
Virtual Private Servers will not eliminate the threat, but will greatly reduce it by eliminating points of failure. On a common shared platform you could be sharing the operating system with 100's or 1000's of other web sites, each of which represent a potential threat to your security and information. In comparison on a VPS, you and your admin represent 2 points of failure. Other points include outdated software, large corporation Cyber Moles (no joke they exist), poor system security and monitoring. Much of large companies infrastructure is outsourced, background checks on employees do not exist, look what the US government was able to do in Iran. Would you hire someone without knowing anything about them? When you use these services that's exactly what you are doing, trusting your business image, it's online reputation and security to strangers.
Most attacks are either brute force, guessing password, or eaves dropping on unencrypted FTP sessions. Just like your online banking system, communications must be protected and secure, if you are on a shared host you are unprotected. Why would anyone use an inferior service if the price is the same? Unless they didn't know the difference, why wait till your house burns down before you install smoke detectors? This what the vast majority of small business is doing right now.
If you lost your web site or it was flagged as unsafe by Google, what effect would this have on your business?
Recently China has admitted that they pay hackers to hack into foreign companies computer systems and then give the information to their companies to leap frog the research phase of developing new technologies. While your small dry cleaning business may not be developing the next WMD, it does represent the largest single business class in the US economy. If a foreign government wanted to weaken or stall our economic recovery, what better target than vulnerable unsuspecting small business.
We'll move your site to a VPS get it working as it was before and for the same price you pay today.