Cybercrime has been growing like never before. Instagram users were recently hit by a smoothie hack; millions of other websites went down when GoDaddy was hacked. The reports show that online businesses are largely vulnerable to cyber threats and should consider remediation strategies.
Though you may not have a famous website, it’s still important that you know what to do if it becomes a victim. Knowing the instant measures to take when your website is hacked will allow you to reduce the extent of the damage and possibly prevent your revenue from taking a dip.
What to do when your website is hacked
1. Contact your hosting provider and developer
The instant you come under attack, contact your hosting provider. They have in-house security experts who may be able to identify the problem.
You can also contact your website developer because he/she may also be able to identify the code that led to the hack. While a developer may not be a security expert, the input can really matter at the end of the day.
2. Rehabilitate reputation management
The backbone of online businesses is the reputation that they carry online. A hacker attack can be damaging to how the public views your business. One recent example is that of a NASDAQ (stock exchange) forum which was hacked. Such attacks lead to widespread public mistrust; fair or not, people are likely retreat from your site.
Rehabilitation can be done by a reliable reputation management company. Brand.com reviews testify that online reputation management is a great tool for handling the negative press that spreads when a website gets hacked.
3. Going offline
When your site gets hacked, the most important stakeholders are the customers. Such attacks can easily affect the site’s ranking in search engines. Going offline for a temporary period is also effective.
A 503 service for maintenance flag can be added to the site, while you take the hack offline. A good idea is to post discount packages for clients/customers when the site comes back online.
4. Change passwords instantly
After you become aware of the hack attack, it’s important to change your passwords quickly. Hackers are pretty smart and can figure out passwords of your other web properties related to your website once they’re able to get access. Changing passwords instantly is going to prevent the damage.
If your online business has a sign up service, encourage your clients to change the passwords as well. In the case of the NASDAQ forum attack, passwords of members were also hacked. You can also review user accounts consistently to tackle any relative vulnerability.
5. Revisit your security strategy
For most online businesses, the website is the main playing field for earning money. Revisit your business plan and see how much allocation you have made for security management. Refinance with a strong focus on the server and the security of your site.
You can also calculate ROI with a stronger focus on security. A hack attack is a major financial burden which would have been saved by spending more money on the security in the first place.
While these measures don’t guarantee securing all your data or completely preventing the damage, they will certainly limit the damage and educate you on the importance of website security.