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How does getting hacked affect your website?

September 14, 2021
Author: Hamster, www.hostens.com

For you, as a website owner, ensuring the security of your website has to be one of your top daily priorities.

Some believe that only large online businesses and corporation websites are at risk of being hacked and/or infected. Unfortunately, the truth is that the number of cyberattacks that target small businesses is only intensifying. The number of victims is growing largely because many small business website owners do not understand the importance of securing their websites. This is why they take minimal to no action to secure their websites against hackers.

This kind of insufficiently secured websites are more vulnerable for hackers looking to hack and/or infect websites. In this article you are going to learn what kind of methods hackers may use to attack websites and how you can protect your site(s).

How do hackers attack websites?

These are the most frequent hacking methods:

1. Brute force attack
One of the most popular hacking methods used against websites. When employing this method, the attacker usually uses hacking software or malicious scripts to repeatedly guess your website’s access codes until the hacker can figure them out and gain access to the site.

2. XSS attack
This attack is otherwise known as Cross Site Scripting. A hacker injects a malicious script into your website after you click an infected link or download an infected attachment. This way the hacker gains the ability to add the malicious script to every page on your website and redirect traffic to another site.

3. SQL injection
When carrying out this type of attack, hackers try to bring in a malicious character into an unsecured form to exploit your site’s database. This way they gain access that enables them to retrieve passwords and all information that can be saved in databases. For example, if it is an online shopping site, hackers may steal credit/debit card numbers and client’s personal information.

4. Virus and malicious code
Professional hackers can easily sneak into the site’s database and/or files and infect it with a malicious code or virus. Various malicious software and viruses are available on the market and hackers can use them to damage your website and your online reputation.

5. Cookie theft
A cookie is a crucial part of any site because hackers can also use cookies for damaging purposes. An attacker steals website cookies using malicious software or a virus, which may incur a lot of damage to the website’s owner, since these cookies contain many essential details, including browsing history or even personal account information. This information can be used to steal money by getting credit card details from accounts. Besides, hackers can destroy the entire website’s online identity.

6. DDoS/DoS attack
DDoS attacks are pretty well known – the acronym stands for Distributed Denial of Service. Hackers sometimes attack a specific server to make it unavailable for the users and customers. Attackers crack the server by sending countless amounts of requests until the server finally crashes.
This technique is well-known and frequently used, as it is not time-consuming.

Consequences of hacked website

There are many consequences that you will have to endure if your site is hacked. Below you will find the list of the most frequent ones:

Web host most likely will suspend your account

Usually, when websites are hacked, web hosting providers receive a complaint. Then they inform their clients and suspend the account. In Hostens, we do the same – we open the relevant complaint ticket and suspend the account. If the client reacts within three days, the account is unsuspended to solve an issue. However, if there is no answer from the client, the package is terminated.

Your website’s speed slows down

If website files or databases are infected, hackers will upload malicious or even illegal files, such as illegal information or pirated movies and music, and then run those files on the server where your sites are being hosted.
Those files will slow down the website’s speed, and this way you will lose out on the already short attention spans of your website visitors. Moreover, your SEO ranking will inevitably take a plunge.

Hostens offers the tool known as ImunifyAV that allows scanning your website files and finding infected files. Once it’s done, you will be able to consult with website developers and ask them to help remove those infected files from your site.

Identity theft

If your website is hacked, you and , in most cases, your customers as well may become victims of identity theft. This happens when your personal and financial information is stolen.
Generally, personal and financial information is among the top reasons for hackers to attempt breaking in and gaining access to websites. Usually hackers later try to sell that information rather than use it themselves or asking for ransom.

Your reputation is badly hurt

When the site is hacked, it is very likely that your reputation is going to suffer from being hacked. If your customer’s financial data gets stolen and used in identity theft, you can be held legally liable for the data loss. This is sure to affect your reputation not in a good way and your customers will not feel comfortable working with you.

Steps you can take to protect your website

Now you know about the most popular hacking methods and are aware of the consequences you may suffer if your site gets hacked. Probably you also realize the importance of protecting your website. Of course, every site is programmed differently and requires different protection, however, there are a number of
universal steps that can be taken to start securing your website(s). Check them out down below.

Firstly, you can start by tightening your network security. You can do that by setting strong passwords and changing them regularly, enabling two-factor authentication to log in and scanning every device plugged into your network for malware before they are allowed access.

Secondly, you can configure a firewall to monitor your website and detect malware and other malicious attacks.

Furthermore, you should set up an SSL certificate. With an SSL certificate, website data will be transmitted between your server and the user’s browser, so it will be more secure and hackers will not be able to intercept them easily.

We hope that this article will encourage you to take action to secure your website and protect it from various attacks.

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