It has been estimated that up to 30,000 Internet sites are subject to attacks by hackers every day. In the past, cyber criminals distributed a lot of their destructive codes through people’s email addresses. Today, hackers primarily use websites to forward these codes to businesses and site visitors. Think your site is safe? You might need to think again: many sites that fall victim to hackers are maintained by small businesses and individuals.
Cyber criminals often scour the Internet to find sites that have weak spots in their digital infrastructure. Vulnerabilities can be easy for hackers to exploit, and sites run by small businesses and individuals can be attractive targets because they lack the information technology support of larger businesses, which may be able to rely on an experienced cybersecurity team to quickly fix any problems. To a hacker, the slower the likely response time, the more compelling a target becomes.
Three popular targets of hackers are:
- Blog sites
- Small businesses
- News sites
Many blog sites are hosted on popular platform services, such as Wordpress or Wix. These platforms generally have reasonable security protocols however, if a hacker can identify one weakness in the platform, it can provide a way into all of the other sites that rely on the same platform. Blog sites are often managed by a single author or proprietor, who may lack security expertise. And news sites are a popular choice to hack because they can generate a flurry of traffic, which can provide a hacker with cover -- it is difficult to spot unusual activity on a site that features a multitude of ever-changing article links and heavy site traffic.
Here are some tips to help ensure your website is up to date on cybersecurity:
- Make sure your website uses good coding principles.
- Check your web server software to make sure it is the latest version (which often has updated
- security measures.)
- Perform routine scans of your website to check for any unusual activity or posted content.
- Use an SSL tool to check in on your web traffic.
- Hire a professional to test the site with a penetration tester. This will allow them to find any
- flaws in the site before the hackers do.
- Back up your work. Hackers can cause damage to your site and its contents: having a backup allows you to quickly re-post the material on your site after a cyberattack.