You might think that security is important but only for big companies. This article is going to change your mind.
Hacked website can affect your audience
Security is critical as long as you have any visitor on your website (actually, security is vital even if you don't have any visitor at all, you'll see!).
Either recruiters on your personal project portfolio website or customers on your online shopping platform, it doesn't matter who you are targeting on your website. Any of your website visitors can be targeted by hackers as well if you don't make your website secure.
Your website can have many vulnerabilities, and any of them would be sufficient for hackers to compromise your website to use it against your visitors. Security vulnerabilities like XSS, SQLI or File Inclusions allow hackers to take control over what your visitors see on your website. These vulnerabilities can exist on any page, or they might be in your web server's configurations or even in an outdated WordPress plugin.
Why should hackers hack my website?
Hackers take over your website to do any of below malicious tasks.
- Distributing malwares
- Stealing your customers data
- Making your web server a zombie and using it in DDOS attacks against other targets
- Mining cryptocurrencies using your web server or your visitor's CPU power
- Using your servers for running software like proxy or spammers.
You can see that even if no one visits your website, security is still essential because hackers can abuse your web server against inocent targets. Or, you might receive a costly bill from your hosting service because a hacker is using too much CPU power on your server to mine cryptocurrencies.
You run a website for a reason. It could be revenue, finding a job or being creative. A hacked website impacts your reputation. Bad reputations results in less visitors, less trust and less revenue or job interviews.
Besides, not having a secure website has negative SEO impact. Google and other search engines penalize websites without SSL Certificate. If your site has no HTTPS and your competition does, Google punishes your websites, and your competitor website come up higher on Google search results than you are. Google Chrome also displays a red "Not secure" note in address bar for sites without SSL.
Hacked website is a thread to visitors, so it's no surprise to see that Google removes hacked website from search results.
When your website gets hacked, it can be added to specific black-lists like Google Safe Browsing list. The Safe Browsing lists—also referred to as threat lists or simply lists—are Google's constantly updated lists of unsafe web resources. Many applications like browsers use these lists to prevent users from accessing a hacked website.
If your visitors get warned about security of your website, the chances are extremely low that they will buy on your website, invite you to interview or visit your site anyhow.
Prevention is better than cure
OK, you got hacked! Now you have to clean up your website, restore your backup, remove your website from black-lists and inform your users. You lost your customers and revenue untill you've rebuilt the trust and reputation. That's a enormous task to recover from a security incident, and it will cost you time and money.
In most cases recovery and fixing a hacked website is a complex task that requires experts to do it manually, and of course it will not be for free.
How vulnerable is your website?
Hackers look for low hanging fruits. They look for high risk vulnerabilities in many websites (because any website can be usefull). Read more about hacker methods on how hackers hack article.
Good news is you can be like hackers. You can find holes in your website before hackers find them.
Testing security of your website is easy. There are dozen of web security testing tools out there you can use for free. Arachni and w3af are famous open source security scanners you can use.
SmartScanner is an AI powered web security scanner aimed to be easy to use for everyone. Download and enter your website address for a free scan to find out about security of your website.
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