Your website has been hacked and you don’t have e-commerce. What could possibly be the reason? The answer could be as simple as hackers have attacked your site because they can. Young hackers have to begin somewhere and if you have weak coding or are running vulnerable software, you’re website is a great place to start. Another possible reason hackers attacked your site is to create botnets (a group of compromised computers used to attack other sites) or to download malware (malicious programs used to attack websites). Hackers rely on anonymity and both of these techniques provide a smokescreen so their illegal actions cannot be easily traced back to them.
If a customer’s computer is infected with a virus after visiting your site, or they are receiving spam and phishing emails, odds are they won’t be back. If you have nothing in place to monitor your website for attacks, this could be happening for quite some time without your knowledge and can be devastating to your business.
So if it has already happened, what can you do to protect your site from future attacks? It’s time to “harden” your website.
- Use strong passwords and change them often. Stay away from “obvious” or default passwords.
- Update your software and use security patches.
- Turn off components in your operating system you do not need. They provide back door access.
- Secure your coding.
- Install a firewall.
- Monitor your site. Don’t find out your site has been hacked from your customers.
- Routinely back-up your site and database.
Hardening your site is not an impossible task. There are plenty of tools as well as how-to information online to assist you, but it will require your time and energy. Business owners, especially small business owners -as well as their staff, can already be spread pretty thin. If system hardening is beyond your scope, or you do not have the manpower to assign this task to a particular employee, this is where using a professional website design company to develop and maintain your site can be invaluable.
Hacking effects your business and its reputation, which can be hard to recover. This is your livelihood. Taking the necessary steps to protect your website from future attacks, whether you do it yourself or hire an expert, is worth the investment.