Understanding and Protecting Yourself From Cyber Attacks

Keeping your business afloat online can be a difficult task. You have to be able to manage your connections with your customers while also juggling sales. There is a hidden threat however, and that is the threat of cyber attacks sabotaging your business. 

Cyber Attacks Today and Your Business

In a 2019 report by Verizon, 43% of cyber attack targets are small business owners. What’s worse is that 73% of all cyber attacks today are motivated by greed and financial gain. This doesn’t bode well for many small businesses since many rely on their online storefronts to stay afloat. Listed below are just some of the ways an attacker might go about sabotaging your online business.

Negative SEO

Boosting internet popularity with SEO is a great way to increase the growth of your business. However, some business owners have no problem using underhanded tactics to get the upper hand on the online market. These underhanded techniques take the form of Negative SEO.

Negative SEO is a collection of sabotage techniques that are used to ruin a competitor’s website to increase your own rankings. Many of these techniques don’t even need specialized tools to conduct sabotage with this cyber attack. This makes it incredibly dangerous to businesses big or small, as anyone with the right set of skills can launch this type of cyber attack. Some of the techniques under the umbrella of negative SEO include:

Spamming

In this technique, the attacker will create hundreds of backlinks to your website coming from other spammy websites. Your site will eventually get a massive amount of traffic that you never had in the past. This will  trigger Google’s anti-spam countermeasures and get your site flagged and have your ranking lowered. 

Invalid Reporting

This technique involves an attacker reporting your site for a number of mundane or ridiculous reasons. This can include anything from copyright claims to reporting a site for guideline violations. Simply getting reported can put you under Google’s microscope and your visibility on the internet getting reduced.

DDoS Attacks

This technique uses various strategies to flood a website with traffic to the point that it can no longer function. Recently in 2018, GitHub was the target of a massive DDoS attack that stopped their service for a total of 20 minutes. That might not sound like much, but the attackers managed to flood their site with over 500 million gigabytes in the span of 20 minutes with a DDoS protection service keeping watch. A smaller website or business would crumble from this much data being flooded into their site and would make recovery incredibly difficult. 

Identity Theft

This is a very dangerous form of cyber attack that aims to steal the personal information of your website’s customers. Information like addresses and credit card numbers are just some of the things taken by hackers. What’s worse is that there is even an underground market in the dark web. There are more than 24 million stolen credit card numbers being sold under the nose of law enforcement and more than 60% of those are American. This type of cyber attack can be very subtle and a company might not even know that their databases have been broken into, unlike the next cyber attack. 

Viruses and Ransomware

Viruses and ransomware is a very common cyber attack that either hampers or completely locks down a website. Viruses can do anything from showing unsavory ads or images that can turn away potential customers to turning your website into a botnet to be used as an extra pawn in DDoS attacks. Ransomware is just as dangerous however, as this type of virus will completely lock your website. They hold your site and information hostage and the only way you’ll get your site and information back is by paying a ransom before an aforementioned time. 

There are many ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks but sometimes tackling them on your own isn’t enough.A far better alternative is having a cyber security company like Echelon Technologies help safeguard your information from an attack. We’ll make those disasters just a blip on your radar!

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