At any point in time, anywhere from 500,000 to one million websites are blacklisted. Eight million websites were hacked in just this summer. How do you make sure that you’re not hacked, or blacklisted?
“It’s no longer a game of getting the big guys,” said Marc Gaffan, co-founder of Incapsula. “Everyone’s a target. Those that are hacked are only hacked because it was so easy to do it.”
Incapsula is a cloud-based web security service that primarily works with small and mid-sized businesses. Incapsula’s service works by providing the enterprise-grade security without any changes to software, hardware, or website hosting provider. Traffic is sorted through Incapsula’s cloud-based servers, where the spammers and the bots are separated from the legitimate traffic. On top of that, these servers also cache all of your content, boosting the loading times of your website. By making a simple DNS, or domain name server, change, website traffic is seamlessly routed through Incapsula’s global network of high-powered servers, and this not only blocks security threats, but it also accelerates the speed of the website by about 40 percent.
The most important thing to do is to protect the website itself from these hackers. These people target small business website because of the lack of security, while having the same valuable financial information that larger enterprises have. Hackers sometimes take this one step further by having your business website distribute malware to your visitors. This gives the hackers additional access to the information of your customers.
“It can take a few days to realize [you’ve been hacked], and then you have to clean yourself out,” Gaffan said. “Once you’re blacklisted, it can take several weeks to get relisted.”
Gaffan also said that simply installing a firewall and anti-virus software are not enough, as these things don’t prevent a hacker or spammer from getting in through the back door. If that happens, clean up can be messy. It involves understanding where in your website you were hit, how the hacker got in, and then patching up that hole.
Fortunately, Incapsula’s service is very easy to install, and can be up and running in just five minutes. A free plan is available to those who use up to 25 gigabytes of bandwidth per month. The next step up starts at $50 a month.
“The more [a small business] relies on online business, the more web security is necessary,” Gaffan said. “Small and medium-sized business sites are more prominent targets, and it doesn’t cost much [for the hackers] to go after these sites.”