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Cybersecurity

The Dangers of Hacking and What a Hacker Can Do to Your Website

Small business owners who are just starting with their web application might think, “My business is too small for any hacker to be interested in my website.

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Cyber Security and its Impact on the Global Supply Chain

Small business owners who are just starting with their web application might think, “My business is too small for any hacker to be interested in my website. There’s bigger fish in the sea.”

However, that is exactly where small enterprises fall into the malicious hacker’s trap. Unfortunately, hackers tend to target small websites and businesses specifically because of their lack of security. We all know the kind of destruction that they can wreak once they are in.

If you are one such small business owner who never really paid much attention to your website’s security, then this post is for you. Let’s explore some of the terrible things a hacker can do to your website and why cybersecurity is important.

1. Steal Your Sensitive Information

The biggest risk to your website with a hacker is causing a breach in your data and information. You might own a small website, but your website still collects dozens of private information from users. Personal information, bank details, payment records, credit card credentials are all things your website would have collected over the days. All of this information is a literal gold mine for hackers. They can sell it on the dark market and rake in money.

2. Leak Your Intellectual Property

No matter how irrelevant you think your website is, your website would ultimately hold several intellectual property items. Websites usually possess confidential company data and information, leads on sales, and information on customers and vendors. Hackers can cause a breach in your intellectual property, which could eventually lead to a loss in business and even financial ruin.

Secure Websites From The Sneakiest Cyber Attacks

Not only will your customers be exposed, but your reputation will be damaged, and you will lose the competitive edge that you once had. To top it all off, a breach in security for intellectual property on your website might even lead to hefty fines. At worst, it can even leave you tangled up in lawsuits for years to come.

3. Hold Your Website Ransom

If you think that you do not have any sensitive information or intellectual property on your website, which is why you might not be a likely target for hackers, then you might want to think again. Hackers are probably some of the cleverest people on this planet. They know every possible way in which they can make money off of your website.

If they can’t steal your data or intellectual property, then they might resort to stealing all of your content and holding it for a ransom. And without your content, where would you be? You would eventually make a huge dent in your finances by just buying everything on your website back from your hacker.

4. Add Dangerous Items To Your Website

Hackers can lay waste to your website by adding dangerous items, with you being none the wiser. For instance, hackers might add links to their website to increase traffic, and they might do so by linking your content to their website or adding in some popups for your customers. This might not be so dangerous, you might think, but having a website compromised in this manner is even more foreboding.

This is because a hacker can also use your website as a host to start a malware campaign by adding in crypto mining or ransomware on your website. Your web server will then become the source from which other organizations will be hacked. The hacker can add malware to hack into the various devices used to visit your website. This way, pretty much everyone and everything involved with your website is at risk.

5. Generate Spam And Send Messages

Once hacked into your website, all of your client data is now open to your hackers. They can then use all of this information to generate spam messages and emails that go out to all of your clients. Some hackers might even use your website to send other kinds of messages. It is not unique for a hacker to send across a political statement through a hacked website.

Cybersecurity Important For Enterprises

6. To Conduct Phishing Attacks

Vulnerable website applications are the prime targets of hackers who wish to implement phishing attacks. All they need to do is insert a code into your application to redirect your visitors to malicious pages and phishing sites. After this, you are extracting bank details, and payment information is a piece of cake. The most critical part of all of this is that even if you are found to be innocent in this phishing scam, you might still be legally held responsible for the damage caused to your customers.

7. Conduct Illegal Distribution Of Content

Last but not least, hackers might be using your website to distribute illegal content on the internet. Unfortunately, this might leave you to face grave legal consequences if the authorities ever catch your website. What’s more, website hackers also try to abuse your bandwidth while distributing their content on the web.

8. Wrapping up

When it comes to website security, nothing holds truer than the old saying – “better safe than sorry!” Never think that you or your website are safe from hackers. Treat anything and everything you own on the internet with suspicion, and establish security protocols to protect yourself and your website visitors.

We are an Instructor's, Modern Full Stack Web Application Developers, Freelancers, Tech Bloggers, and Technical SEO Experts. We deliver a rich set of software applications for your business needs.

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Cybersecurity

How To Protect Sensitive Data When You Outsourcing

Companies of any scale have been leveraging this practice, trying to cut development costs and access the rich talent pool. However, despite offering significant benefits, IT outsourcing often causes serious data security concerns.

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Why Should You Outsource the IT Department in Your Company

According to Statista, by the end of 2021, the total value of IT outsourcing services will exceed $413.72 billion compared to $395.57 billion in 2019.

Companies of any scale have been leveraging this practice, trying to cut development costs and access the rich talent pool. However, despite offering significant benefits, IT outsourcing often causes serious data security concerns. According to the statistics, about 65% of companies that have used this solution have faced an information breach.

But how to keep data secure while taking full advantage of outsourcing services? This article has gathered guidelines that will let you protect company data and enjoy collaboration with an outsourcing software development company.

1. Ensure In-House Security

When it comes to outsourcing custom software services, first, make sure that you have a robust in-house data security policy. Here are some important tips to follow:

  • Distinguish between sensitive and common data using data classification.
  • Use different ways to protect digital content, such as encryption, digital rights management (DRM), tokenization, etc.
  • Establish strict access control using passwords, PINs, etc.
  • Educate your employees not only to use strong credentials but also to change them regularly.
  • Guide your employees on how to handle and protect the company’s sensitive data.
  • Build a strict Internet usage policy. Internet access in the company should be restricted to business needs only since personal web usage significantly increases the risks of malicious access to valuable information.

2. Choose the Right Outsourcing Vendor

Following the establishment of an internal security policy, the next step is selecting the outsourcing company to meet your security requirements. When choosing among various vendors, opt for the one that:

  • Provides strict security policy.
  • Has a good reputation in keeping customers’ sensitive data protected.
  • Educates its employees about the importance of sensitive data protection and signs non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with them.
  • Considers customer data protection as a core company value.

To understand if vendors meet the following criteria, investigate their data protection measures. It’s reasonable to ask outsourcing companies to define their strategies to store and process valuable information, data and database protection approaches, and practices implemented for vulnerabilities management. What is more, ensure that your potential vendor employs optimal cybersecurity technologies to provide an added level of data protection.

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A trustworthy outsourcing company guarantees data security on three basic levels:

  • The physical level ensures that a third-party vendor can protect your data from physical actions and events such as natural disasters, fires, thefts, etc.
  • The technological level includes various hardware and software tools used to protect data from cyber threats. These solutions encompass email filters, antiviral software, DLP software, etc.
  • The administrative level provides a smooth and efficient security policy. It handles PoLP, Internet use, data protection, NDA agreements, and other issues to prevent sensitive data breaches.

3. Use Principle of the Least Privilege (PoLP)

The principle of the least privilege implies that a user, an application, a program, or a process should have only the minimum of the rights necessary to fulfil their functions. Not only does it reduce the risks of a cyberattack, but it also prevents the spread of malware since it’s impossible to elevate privileges to increase access to a company’s critical systems and sensitive data.

PoLP has to be an integral component of the IT outsourcing policy. When granting privileges to your outsourcing vendor, make sure they have only the necessary amount of access to the company’s valuable assets and continuously review the given rights.

4. Conduct Regular Security Audits

Make sure your company conducts regular application, database, and network security monitoring. This way, you will reduce potential security issues, identify and address vulnerabilities as soon as possible. Moreover, it’s a valuable practice to determine whether your outsourcing vendor still maintains data security controls and follows the established outsourcing rules and regulations.

5. Keep Reviewing Your Data Security Measures With Vendors

When cooperating with a third-party vendor, you should never lose control. Even if you have long-term and productive relationships, it’s important to check if your outsourcing partner continues to meet security standards. Here are some aspects to pay attention to:

  • Make sure that the vendor deactivates unused user accounts. Otherwise, such accounts can be compromised and used with malicious intentions.
  • Find out if your outsourcing partner monitors outbound internet traffic and emails for potential data breaches.
  • Ensure the vendor’s user accounts meet necessary security requirements (strong credentials, adequate privileges, etc.)

6. Ensure a Legal Backup

Although the contract doesn’t ensure complete data protection, it can serve as a legal backup. Sign an agreement with the outsourcing vendor, defining essential security requirements. For example, in this document, you can specify that it’s prohibited to transfer your company’s sensitive data to complex media, or that the data transmitted online should be encrypted, etc.

Final Thoughts

Outsourcing has gained widespread popularity, providing companies with a vast number of operational and financial benefits. Although there are some potential risks related to data security, they should not become an obstacle to experience outsourcing.

By building a robust in-house data security policy, selecting the vendor that follows high-security standards as well, and conducting regular privacy and security audits, you will be able to achieve a win-win situation, enjoying the advantages of outsourcing and keeping your sensitive data safe.

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