Thousands of websites get hacked every day. It may not have happened to you, but there is no reason for cybercriminals not to try.
People often think it won’t happen to their website because there is nothing to gain for an attacker. You may not be running a webshop, you’re not storing any confidential or valuable data on your website, and you are not even bothered about losing your website because you’re hardly getting any visitors. No one would care when it’s gone.
This is where you might be surprised to learn; no matter what kind of website you are running, it’s valuable to cybercriminals. Here are the reasons why:
Cybercriminals are always looking for website hosting that can’t be traced back to them. The easiest way is using someone else’s web hosting. This has nothing to do with what kind of website you are running. The fact that it’s there makes it a valuable target for hackers. If hackers get administrative access to your website, they can use it to:
- Host malware files to be downloaded by other victims
- Serve web forms for a phishing campaign
- Send spam
- SEO manipulation
- Ad fraud
- DDOS attacks on other websites
- Cryptocurrency mining
- Function as a Command and control system for their malware
Your website doesn’t have to have any real monetary value to anyone to be an attractive target. If it’s valuable to you (even if it only has emotional value), it’s valuable to a cybercriminal. You probably pay to host your website. Would you pay to get your website or the data & images back if you lost access to it? If so, a hacker could prevent you from accessing your website and demand a ransom from you to get it back (ransomware).
If your website has other users that log in, it’s an attractive target for harvesting usernames & passwords. Many people still use the same username & password combinations on multiple websites. A hacker could secretly log all usernames & passwords and try those combinations on other websites and cloud services. This is called credential stuffing.
Suppose you run a webshop or a website that stores personal information about visitors. In that case, cybercriminals can steal sensitive user data, such as personal information, email addresses, passwords, credit card details, and more. This stolen data can be sold on the dark web or used for identity theft, financial fraud, or phishing attacks.
Ultimately, it all comes back to one thing: Cybercriminals want to make money! You may not think so, but your website is valuable. It may not be valuable for you or your users, but it certainly is for cybercriminals. So, what can you do to prevent your website from being hacked?
- Keep your WordPress version and all Plugins and themes up-to-date
- Use strong & unique passwords
- Use 2-factor authentication
- Install a security plugin like Really Simple SSL