In light of the recent breaches against mega companies like Home Depot and Target, the need for top-notch Web security has never been more evident. Many individuals and small companies do not fully understand the importance of security. Because of this, some have inadequate protection. The truth is that all companies, regardless of size or industry, need the right type and level of Web security.
One of the challenges for business owners is not understanding the language, which makes it difficult to know exactly what is needed and why. Knowing who all is at risk is also essential. Even a small personal website can be targeted for an attack, which is why more people need to be educated about monitoring and protecting information.
Although larger companies are obvious targets, personal and small business websites are actually at greatest risk from hackers. The information contained on those sites may not be as proprietary or in large volume, but these sites also do not have qualified security experts who constantly run checks and analyze possible risks.
With larger corporations, the main attraction to hackers is that if they can bypass website security, there is a lot of money to be made. However, this type of criminal activity is also high risk and comes with stiff penalties if caught. The other option that hackers have is to target personal sites and smaller business websites. Using automated methods, hackers can gain access to these sites very easily. There are two reasons these types of sites are targeted:
- In both scenarios, the owners have little, if any, knowledge of website security.
- For a company that manages multiple sites, the amount of traffic per site may be relatively insignificant, but combined, all of the sites generate significant traffic. Based on low-volume traffic, most owners are not concerned about being hacked. However, for a hacker, organizing a network of smaller sites makes monetizing easy.
Breaching large corporations is just one of many ways that hackers make money. These criminals are highly sophisticated and innovative. Some of the additional methods used for monetary gain include the following:
- Capture credit card information
- Capture personal information on current and prospective customers
- Redirect a site’s traffic to a porn or auto loan site
- Use pharmaceutical listings to overload search engine rankings
Regardless of which option hackers choose, they are driving traffic that the owner worked incredibly hard to build.
Personal and small business websites who do not accept debit or credit cards as online payment may feel a false sense of security. When surveyed, most site owners strongly believed that as long as nothing was being purchased, any risk of being hacked was nonexistent. Again, the size of the site is completely irrelevant, making security vital to all websites.
Any cyberattack is horrific, but those against personal and small business sites tend to be more devastating. For these site owners, recouping losses is much harder than for a larger corporation that is far more financially sound. If a small business website with little traffic is hacked, it will take an extremely long time to recover.
In addition to monetary loss, there is a psychological aspect to a cyberattack on a personal or small business website. For these site owners, the attack feels personal. Most often, there is a more intimate connection with customers and site visitors, so when something happens, the site owner feels responsible and worries about a loss of credibility.
The bottom line is that all personal and small business websites need the best website security possible. For optimal protection, using layers makes it more difficult for a hacker to penetrate. Site owners need to be aware of potential problems as well as learn about the symptoms of various cyberattacks, since there are distinct differences. In addition, implementing the right Web security is always a worthwhile investment.