Hacking: It's all about reducing the risk

Feb 28, 2017
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Having your website hacked is like having your office ransacked and defaced Having your website hacked is like having your office ransacked and defaced Photo: 10wallpaper.com

Let’s set the scene. You’ve just moved into your company’s modern new offices. You can’t help but notice how the porcelain tiles in the reception area are gleaming under the down lighters and the company sign is sitting just right on the on the wall.

The indoor landscaping was worth the cost, you think to yourself, as you pass your smiling receptionist behind the polished wooden desk on the way to your spacious corner office. You’ve arrived, you hear your inner voice saying . . .

But your joy is to be short-lived.

As you walk in the next morning your spirits are crushed. The front door is in pieces, hanging off its hinges. It looks like someone has taken a sledge hammer to the tiles, the sign is bent, the plants tipped over.

Computer monitors are lying cracked on the floor and obscene messages have been spray-painted across every surface imaginable.

While this kind of invasion is quite likely in the real world (owe anybody any money?), we know for a fact that it’s happening constantly in the virtual world.

It’s called hacking.

Daily, companies’ online premises and showrooms are being attacked by the nefarious activities of hacker organisations intent on defacing websites.

According to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, there were over one million web attacks launched every day in 2015.

Earlier this month, it emerged that there was a vulnerability in WordPress software which led to over 1.5 million web pages being defaced by as many as 20 hacking groups.

Most of these attacks are opportunistic, rather than targeted.

Automated bots crawl the web and infect vulnerable websites with computer code that can either insert links to unrelated "shady" websites into your site or use your domain to launch spam and phishing campaigns.

Apart from the hassle of having to take your site offline to try and repair it, if you don’t do anything about the hacking, your domain will be blacklisted which will result in repercussions for your website as well as your emails.

It’s something like never being able to move back into your office and make a phone call.

One of the main reasons websites are hacked is a failure by businesses to ensure their website software is kept up to date after the initial development is completed.

As users begin providing feedback on new software, vulnerabilities are discovered and updates and "patches" are developed to fix these loopholes.

When it comes to website security, it pays to be proactive rather than reactive. The best way to defend against ongoing attacks on your websites is to keep the software updated.

Do not assume your website is secure because you have not been hacked in the past.

Several companies and organisations, among them Google, have been pushing for more encrypted websites, which urges more websites to abandon the traditional, less secure HTTP protocol and adopt HTTPS, the “S” at the end standing for “Secure”.

Here at Select Web we believe it’s our responsibility to help our clients keep their websites up to date with the latest security software available. It’s all about minimsing the risk.

After all, would you be surprised if your laptop was stolen out of your office if you didn’t lock the door?

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