More and more aspects of our lives are ending up online and our technology is becoming increasingly interconnected. This has caused cybersecurity to grow into one of the biggest issues facing us today.
Hacking can take place on a large-scale, but it can affect any website owner too. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to prepare and protect yourself against the possibility of a hacker attack.
How Hackers Do It
A hacker, as the word is commonly used today, is someone who exploits a vulnerability in a computer system or network.
Brand new hacks, also called zero-day hacks, are attacks that have never been seen before. They require a lot of technical skill to execute and are usually used for exploits that will have a big financial return. They’re difficult to defend against because nothing is known about them until they happen. Since these attacks are usually saved for the big guys, smaller targets don’t usually have to worry about them.
Other cyber attacks are executed using code that someone else has written. They’re usually performed by inexperienced hackers and aimed at smaller targets. They’re also much easier to defend against because their contents are already known.
Oftentimes, hackers forgo codes entirely and just steal or trick people into giving away login information. This is probably the easiest and most common form of hacking.
What the Hackers Are Looking For
Hackers may try to infiltrate a computer system for a number of reasons.
For some people, it’s their job, and they do it ethically. These people, called ‘white hat’ hackers, are paid to test the security of computer systems.
‘Black hat’ hackers are the ones white hats are trying to protect against. They may do it for financial gain, either on a small scale or a large one. Often, they look for credit card information, social security numbers or other sensitive, finance-related information.
Some are ‘hacktivists’ and use hacking to protest, spread their ideas or expose corruption. Various governments have also been known to use hacking for national security or other reasons.
How to Protect Yourself
One of the most important things you can do to keep your website secure is to make sure that all your software is up to date, especially if those updates are related to security. Another simple way to boost security is to use passwords that are difficult to guess and update them frequently.
Someone who has more than website often makes the mistake of hosting them all on one server. This may seem easier to manage but also gives hackers more ways into your site and makes the clean up after an attack much more difficult.
Installing security features such as firewalls, which are available through businesses like IBM cloud services, can upgrade your security significantly. Scanners and programs that test for vulnerabilities by running a fake hacker attack can also be useful.
You should also ensure you’re using a secure protocol like HTTPS to authenticate your website and make sure information communicated between the site and a user can’t be intercepted or faked by a hacker.
Cybersecurity is an important issue in today’s world that affects everyone from small business owners to the federal government. Hackers can cause a lot of harm to businesses and individuals, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. It’s important to take advantage of the security measures that are available so that you don’t end up becoming a victim of a hacker attack.