company overview Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises is dedicated to providing ‘Cape Cod’s Finest Whale Watching!’ Established in 1989, the company brings more than thirty years of experience to whale watching, with an impressive sighting rate of 99 percent. As the company’s popularity grew, its website was forced to expand from an initial online brochure to a comprehensive resource including whale watching information, trip scheduling and online ticket purchasing. These changes also greatly increased customer reach both nationally and internationally.
In addition to online trip scheduling and ticket purchasing, the Whales.net website provides an abundance of additional tourist information to its site visitors. This includes directions to the harbor, a trip planner, photos and videos of whale watching excursions, as well as details about the boat, captains, and crew. There’s also information about the various whales and other sea creatures that passengers may see while on their cruise. As you can imagine, Whales.net is incredibly important to the ongoing growth and success of the business. In fact, many of the Whale Watcher’s passengers are international travelers, and the majority of ticketing is completed online.
challenges As the website manager for Whales.net, Melissa Marchand is responsible for website content and functionality. In March of 2016, Marchand and the Whales.net business owners were shocked to learn that their website was the victim of a cyberattack. It began with a notification from their hosting provider, who had been forced to block their website due to a malware infection. As a result, visitors and potential customers searching for Whales.net using Google were being redirected to pornographic sites.
“Suddenly, our site was down and we didn’t know what had happened. Our hosting provider found malware on the website and took it offline. Not only that, but the site was blacklisted by Google, so if people searched ‘whale watcher,’ they received the Google Blacklist warning, ‘this site may be hacked,’ it was a scary and overwhelming experience.’” – Melissa Marchand, Website Manager for whales.net.
Marchand contacted their hosting provider who recommended SiteLock to remove the malware and restore their website. Now in crisis-mode, Marchand immediately reached out to SiteLock for help. Feeling desperate, Marchand explained the situation to the SiteLock Security Consultants. “SiteLock leapt into action to identify and resolve the issue, and get Whales.net back in business quickly,” Marchand recounts. Marchand was thankful SiteLock had a team of security experts available 24/7 that not only answered the phone, but were able to provide help immediately. The SiteLock team performed a thorough website evaluation, diagnosed the issue, recommended an appropriate solution based on unique website features and functionality, and offered a resolution timeline.
Marchand explained, “The approach taken by the SiteLock Support team made all the difference – their explanations were clear without being too technical. The SiteLock team really cared about my situation and helped to lower my panic level by assuring me that they could fix this. I felt confident they would get us up and running again quickly.”