You see it in the news with more frequency, another major retailer, health care site, or insurance site has reported that they’ve been hacked. Over the last few years hackers have commonly attacked these consumer sites to obtain sensitive information like credit cards or key personal data. In the end, these hacks cost companies millions and even worse, the loss of consumer confidence.
So you have a B2B industrial site that is informational, with no sensitive or personal data. You’re site is safe, right? Think again, here are just a few reasons why hackers want a piece of your site too:
- Malware Attacks: Hackers need a site, any site, small or large to hide malicious software. In fact smaller sites are often easier targets because they tend to be less secure. Once the malicious software is hidden in your site, the computers of the site’s visitors (including your internal company users) can become infected, which can lead to identity theft or use of your computer as a proxy server.
- Improved Search Performance: If you know anything about SEO you should know by now that backlinks are part of search algorithms. These hackers enter your site though vulnerabilities and add pages with spammy content that provide links back to their site. Just like that, they increase the number of back links, thus increasing search engine signals and possibly new traffic to their site.
In the past, many site owners were unaware that they have been hacked. That’s no longer the case with Google’s watchful search bots. Sites that are hacked usually will get an e-mail notification from Google and are usually flagged in search results with warnings like “This site may be hacked.” Search users aren’t likely to click on a link in Google that says “This site may be hacked,” so, it’s important to take these notifications from Google seriously and fix any problems right away.
So what should you do to avoid hacks? First make sure you are working with a web host that is taking steps to prevent their servers from being a target. Second, keep your website up-to-date with the latest versions of the CMS or plug-ins that have been installed. We suggest a quarterly check as a good rule of thumb.
Minimize your risk and keep your website secure. Preventative measures may cost a bit up front, but sure can save you headaches in the long run.