If you think that your website is not a worthy target of hackers, you’re absolutely wrong. If you think that your website can be quickly and easily fixed after being hacked and nobody will ever know or remember, you’re double wrong. Many people think that if a website is not used for e-commerce or banking that hackers won’t bother with it, but the truth is that any website that receive traffic, like your website, is a virtual gold mine. Imagine that within your corporate local network, you store valuable data of some sort. Maybe sensitive information about your clients or financial records for instance. The first thing a hacker will do is use your website to gain access to your servers and network to mine and extract data they can use. Hackers will profile employees who may have access to sensitive data and use social media sites or email to lure them into a malware laden site that will infect their computer. They may ask something in a message that is directly related to the business and within will be a hyperlink to your own website, but will trigger an exploit and compromise the victim’s machine. Once a computer is unwittingly compromised, the hacker will install a backdoor and will then extract all the data they need over time. Did you train all your employees about website and data security? Have you blocked access to suspicious and phishing sites? What about blacklisting your own website? Recently, there was a case is Central Europe that affected a large legal company. None of the employees could access any external website except the corporate one and hackers were uploading all stolen data to their own website and then downloading afterward. Mistakenly, nobody at the company cared about their own website security. Once a website is compromised, hackers can access your websites source codes. Does your CMS send notifications and emails? Well, now the hacker can send similar looking notifications and emails embedded with phishing lures, malware and more. Would you trust an email from Mastercard? Probably not, but what about one that came directly from your bank? You’d at least think about opening it. Another thing that hackers do once they gain access into your site is to upload a mail script and send spam that bypasses any and all spam and phishing filters. Eventually, email providers will notice SPAM coming from your server and their abuse on your server will end up blacklisting all emails coming from your server. Can you do business if your emails are not being delivered to the intended recipients? Your customers may get an email from your company asking them to do a test transaction to a to a “test account” in order to validate that a new payment system works as intended, promising to reimburse the amount within 24 hours. The test amount will be small and unassuming, but later, nobody will be able to cancel the test payment, leaving your customers without money at the end of the day. The most sophisticated hackers will host malware in your website and databases to compromise all the visitors of your website and backdoor them. Once they have access to your customers’ computers and mobile devices they can do whatever they want including syphoning sensitive data or emptying bank accounts with a sophisticated banking Trojan. The fallout from such a breach will be that you will lose the confidence of your customers, they will jump ship and your business reputation will be seriously tarnished. Lawsuits may ensue and the media will make your business the story of the week. The worst part is that you can never know the extent of the damage that your customer and business will endure. One hacking team may sell or exchange your customers’ data for another good on the Black Market. The cost of a compromised website is endless and could mean targeted attacks against your customers without mercy to no end. Lastly, are you ready to waste your digital marketing budget? Because once your website is infected with malware, the search engines and browsers will blacklist your website, displaying warnings about your site and directing potential visitors and customers away from your website. In the mean time, you’re still paying for clicks, advertising and marketing campaigns. If after you read this, you’ve decided that you don’t want to be another media story about a data breach, then secure your site now. Get daily malware scanning. Get a firewall. Have a security expert do periodic vulnerability and penetration testing to ensure that your site is a virtual vault.