Many businesses believe their website isn’t important enough to require website security for the following reasons:
- My company is too small
- My website doesn’t store sensitive client information
- My website is not that important to their business
Hackers don’t discriminate by business size, may or may not target your client information directly, and will damage your brand reputation. Here are reasons why hackers hack websites:
1. Vandalism and activism
By switching out your home page with messages supporting questionable organizations such as hacker or terrorist groups, hackers are able to spread their message on your website.
2. To host illegal or objectionable content
Media such as photos, video, or audio are stored on your website providing hackers with free illegal storage.
3. Improve search engine rankings
Hackers hide links and keywords hidden inside HTML that can only be seen in the code or website scan to boost visibility and rankings of other websites in search engines.
4. Send mass spam emails
Most websites have the ability to send email. Hackers leverage servers to send mass emails for fraudulent or illicit offers.
5. Steal customer information
The type of attack most people think of when they hear hacking. This is the theft of customer data from a website ranging from names and email addresses to more sensitive data.
6. Run scams
When a website is hacked to sell fake goods such as video game codes, software, pharmaceuticals, etc. by replacing webpages on your website and sending purchasers to your website to enter credit card info.
7. Attack other websites
Code is stored on your web server and used to attack on other websites ranging from spam to denial of service (DDOS) attacks.
8. Spread malware and viruses
Your website is infected with malware or viruses that are passed on to website visitors. This can range from spying programs to adware.
Hackers often employ botnets, an army of servers that search the internet for websites and servers with specific weaknesses it can exploit. Unless an attack is personal or specific, the majority of attacks are performed by robots to carry out a hackers wishes. These botnets attack websites of all sizes and don’t discriminate.
Once a website is hacked it can be very difficult to restore it to its original state. Websites without backup can be hacked without repair. While a denial of service attack can make it hard to even get your website to load as it is constantly flooded with traffic, and websites that have been hacked or are sending out malicious traffic can be blocked and even banned from Google.