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5 Signs You've Suffered An Online Hack
Are you unknowingly leaving your company's system vulnerable to external attacks?
From a low of 18% in 2011, the number of online hacks targeting small businesses has risen to 43% in 2016. And this figure is expected to rise in the next couple of years.
It's safe to say, therefore, that no business or industry is invincible when it comes to these malicious attacks.
Figuring out if you've been a victim of an online hack or not is not so straightforward.
But there are a couple of tell-tale signs which you can rely on when having doubts about the security status of your system.
Let's dive right in.
1. A drop in website performance
If keeping tabs on your website's technical performance is not part of the routine checks you carry out, it's about time you made it a priority.
This is a proven way of picking up on slow or broken processes which could point to an online hack.
For example, It should take an average of 4 seconds or less for a client to checkout of an e-commerce website.
If it's taking longer than usual, this could point to a system breach.
It's advisable to get a free vulnerability assessment just to be sure this is not a hacking attempt.
2. Does your antivirus appear disabled?
If you notice your system's antivirus has been disabled without your knowledge or consent, this is a sign of a much bigger problem.
When hackers infiltrate your system, you'll be unable to re-enable the antivirus.
Disabling the antivirus is a common tactic used by hackers to maintain control and access to your system.
3. Server log activities you can't explain point to an online hack
Have you noticed suspicious activity in your server and website logs lately?
Keeping track of your server logs is an advanced way of detecting hackers trying to gain access to your system.
Keep an eye out for these two common warning signs in your server logs:
4. Getting redirected online searches is a bad sign
Some hackers get paid if they can maliciously redirect internet searches to a different website without the user's knowledge.
You'll end up getting blacklisted for unknowingly sending users to malware-infested sites.
And that's not all. Users being re-directed to other sites means lost revenue for your business and damage to your reputation.
5. You can't explain the origin of new browser toolbars
The main source of unwanted toolbars on your web browser is free online software which comes attached with ''crapware''.
Simply put, crapware is a kind of software you don't need in your system and which gets installed against your will.
Crapware is common in pre-installed programs or self-starting applications which alter your search engine settings.
Pro tip: If you suspect your system has been compromised by an online hack, it's advisable to restore your system to the best-known state before proceeding with further safety measures.
The current wave of cybercrime we're witnessing is worrying, to say the least.
Security managers, therefore, need a more proactive approach to keep online hacks at bay.
And being on the lookout for these signs is a step in the right direction.
You can connect with us round the clock if you suspect your system has been hacked or is under attack. Keeping your online presence safe is our core business!
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Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP