Small Business Websites: What Risks Do They Face?

Your website is an important asset for your business, and is a tempting target for cyber-criminals. Their attacks can compromise information on the site, can cause it to infect the systems of site visitors, and can cause it to be inaccessible, even to you. Knowing what risks small business websites face can help you make sure your asset is protected.

Just like site developers, hackers and cyber-criminals are constantly improving their methods. You can’t afford to let your guard down, even for an instant.

There are two broad types of threat faced by your website: access threats and software vulnerabilities. You should take either type of threat very seriously.

Read more: Access threats

Access threatskeyhole

These threats are either someone trying to gain access to your site, in the case of a brute force attack, or someone trying to deny access to your site (and likely email services) in the case of a denial of service attack (DOS or DDOS).

The brute force method attempts to find an access password by trying likely passwords, common passwords, passwords created from keywords on your site, and so on. Such hackers are very patient.

A DOS attack uses multiple computers to make so many requests of a site that it cannot keep up and crashes, making it inaccessible to even authorized users.

Read more: Software vulnerabilities

Software vulnerabilities

Your website is a very complex piece of software. All those neat little menus, slide shows, embedded videos, and other features of your site add up to a lot of code. And code can be exploited.

Via a technique called SQL injection (SQLi), hackers can compromise the heart of your site: the database. This trove of critical data has things like usernames, passwords, and, for sites that have credit card transactions, possibly customer card numbers.

Hackers can also hijack the systems of visitors to your site by using Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), exploiting another software weakness.

These are only some examples of the most recent and significant vulnerabilities. More are being discovered and exploited every day.

Read more: Protecting your site

Protecting your site

To protect both your site and your site visitors, make sure you use strong passwords that are regularly changed, back up the site regularly, install all updates. Frankly, it is a lot of work.

Some services your site host may be able to provide. For clients with websites built on the WordPress platform, we recommend WP-Scrub™ from Bent Oak and the WP-Scrub Consortium. This exclusive package of services ensures that your site is protected 24/7/365, backed up, and kept up-to-date.


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