The days of “she’ll be right” are long gone. Today’s hackers often use highly automated attacks that are indiscriminate and will target even the smallest of websites. Most attacks are from scripts, referred to as bots, not an actual human hacker.
Currently, New Zealand businesses are trailing behind other developed countries when it comes to implementing effective cyber security strategies. In 2015, 54% of small to medium businesses, identified cyber risk as their biggest threat over the next 24 months.
Bear in mind that 97%, and a quarter of New Zealand’s GDP, are small to medium businesses. This means that the vulnerability of our small to medium businesses is a crucial factor that needs attention.
A British anti-virus software developer recently estimated that over 30 000 new websites are infected with malware every day, with 80% of those being small to medium businesses.
The main reason why small to medium businesses are so vulnerable is due to the smaller workforce, which reduces the ability to closely monitor intrusion attempts and suspicious activity.
The number of infections of all kinds are on the rise, spreading via websites, and applications. The presence of malware on the internet has risen by 159% in 2014.
Firstly any stolen information can be sold, usernames, emails, passwords can all be sold. Information stolen may also be used to attack other websites people often use the same passwords accross multiple websites.
Search Engine Optimisation with affiliate commissions are also common as a hacked website can be used to boost the SEO of other sites and make the hacker money by adding links with affiliate commissions.
Hackers that want to unleash broader attacks will can botnets, which is a large network of compromised computers that they can use to attack other sites. These botnets often get used in attacks against financial institutions and government websites.
Hosting illegal or objectionable Content can be difficult. So many hackers will attempt to use other peoples’ websites to host the their unsavory content.
Hackers may also encrypted your website, and then hold you to ransom to get it unlocked.
Sending out thousands SPAM emails from a server will quickly get that site’s address blacklisted pretty quickly, so hackers often use other people websites to use to send the SPAM emails from.
Some hackers simply want to infect other people’s computers with malware, and they need a somewhere to store those malicious files. They won’t want to use their own servers. So, they will hack a site and upload their malware to it. Then, when the hackers send out their spam, your unsuspecting customers may actually be downloading malicious files from your website. Not a good look.
Renting out access to your server without the you knowing. A hacker can sell your server on the market to other malicious users who want to perform any of the actions listed above.
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