In the age of data, with organizations creating trillions of gigabytes of new information each year, it’s easy to think of cybersecurity as a mere synonym for “data protection.” But cybersecurity is so much more. By shielding companies’ data and systems from organized criminal attacks, cybersecurity programs also protect businesses from operational interruptions, financial losses, legal penalties, and the destruction of customer trust.
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Since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have seen recommendations of social distancing, nationwide closures of schools and local businesses, and even national lockdowns of entire cities in the headlines. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we are likely to see further precautions taken to prevent spreading the virus, including major lifestyle and behavior changes. As part of this effort, we are likely to see more and more organizations transition to remote working environments in order to ensure the health and safety of their employees. However, this poses a larger question. What does this mean for the online security of those businesses?
Larger corporations, such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, all have the proper resources and security infrastructure in place to protect their valuable online assets and communications, but what about small to medium-sized businesses?
The ugly news about Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election forced the issue of cybersecurity into the political spotlight in 2016. Since this catalytic event, political leaders have grappled with cybersecurity awareness on a global stage — and not all have done so gracefully.
Bad actors, whether politically motivated or not, grow increasingly sophisticated as our world becomes more rooted in technology. However, it appears lawmakers aren’t prepared for this reality. One example: too many are in the dark about website encryption — 61% of world politicians’ websites aren’t HTTPS-secured.
As cyberattacks become increasingly automated, website owners must come to the realization that it might be time to fight fire with fire. Manual detection and removal is becoming increasingly unrealistic — even with the most highly skilled team of cybersecurity specialists at your disposal.
Implementing automated cybersecurity tools is the best way to not only prevent cybersecurity attacks but also reduce the time it takes to identify and contain successful ones — which is a major determinant of the overall cost of a cyberattack. Downtime from a cyberattack can cost small businesses as much as $427 per minute. Automated cybersecurity tools can notify you of an attack as soon as it occurs so you can spring into action.
Our most recent cybersecurity research is now available in the “Cybersecurity Trends in 2019: Protecting Websites in the Age of Stealth Attacks” report. In it, we identified the trends, threats, and innovations in cybercrime that small businesses need to know about in order to keep their websites secure. We also look to the future, taking a good hard look at what last year’s lessons will mean moving forward.
To compile this cybersecurity industry report, we analyzed 6 million individual websites using an algorithm our team developed to evaluate website vulnerability. The goal was to identify attack patterns and risk factors based on the types of vulnerabilities present in websites and the types of attacks today’s hackers deploy. The result is a comprehensive report that offers website administrators important insights into online security.
The Biggest Cybersecurity Trends of 2018
Security is one of the most important aspects of any website. This is especially true today considering the fact that cybercrime continues to be a serious threat for businesses and users. The FBI states that “Cyber intrusions are becoming more commonplace, more dangerous, and more sophisticated.” In fact, websites experience a staggering 62 attacks per day, according to SiteLock research. Now more than ever, small businesses need a cybersecurity checklist when building and maintaining their websites.
When cybercrime happens to your company website, you can lose money, credibility, and customers. Left unchecked, your website could be taken offline completely if the right hacker gets into it. With that in mind, let’s cover what you need on your cybersecurity checklist to protect yourself, your customers, and your company overall.
1. Set Your Site Up for Success with a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
If we concentrate hard enough, most of us can leave our personal biases out of our critical thinking. However, we’re not always consciously aware of the most persistent bias of them all: optimism. The optimism bias is the unfounded belief that we’re more likely to experience positive results than negative ones, even when tangible evidence suggests otherwise.
How does this relate to website cybersecurity?
It’s no secret that small to midsize businesses usually have similarly small budgets. As a result, expenses that don’t outwardly contribute to sales growth — like cybersecurity — often fall by the wayside. But small business cyberattack examples abound, defying the misconception that SMBs are safe from cyberthreats.
Misconceptions About Cybersecurity Threats for Small Businesses
SiteLock research and remediation teams have become aware of several vulnerable WordPress plugins that are affecting our customers. The symptoms most commonly associated with these vulnerabilities are malicious redirects. Essentially, visitors are being sent to another website than the one they are attempting to access. We are still gathering information on these vulnerabilities, and how they are being used. As soon as we have completed our review, we will release more information.
The affected WordPress plugins are:
Among the cryptojacking-buzz, Facebook’s data breach saga, and nation-state attacks on companies like Nissan, you likely noticed a trend of high-profile cybercrime in 2018.
However, after studying website attacks that plagued 2018, a new trend arises. Cybercriminals swept the web with secrecy, focusing on stealthy attacks to compromise websites rather than taking a more conspicuous approach.