The growing cost and dangers of cybercrime

If you run any kind of website – big, small, personal or commercial – chances are, at some point you’ll have fallen victim to some form of malicious attack. Cybercrime is a real and present danger for all websites and web applications – so much so that the majority of business owners now cite the threat of hacking as their greatest fear.

The financial implications of cybercrime

In 2021, the cost of cybercrime globally is predicted to total $6 trillion globally. By comparison, the revenue generated by online criminality is enough to make it the world’s third-largest economy, behind the USA and China.

Cybercrime affects the many, not the few

While many business owners consider their firm to be too small, insignificant or too low-revenue to be the subject of an attack, actually the opposite is true, and online criminals have increasingly come to view small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as an easy target – mostly through a lack of sufficient security provision plus the relative complacency on the part of the owners. After all, larger businesses invest considerable money in online security to keep their networks safe, where it’s sadly very common for smaller firms to take a relatively lax view when it comes to their web services.

Low security equals high risk and makes it considerably easier for hackers to gain unwanted access to everything from private company files to internal networks and websites.

The damage caused by hacking can go far beyond just financial hardship

While the cost of cybercrime is indeed mindboggling, should your business get hacked, you stand to lose much, much more than just money. Aside from the reputational damage it can do to your firm by losing data or potentially having your website go down, if you also hold your clients’ details on file, you could endanger them significantly.

Most experts suggest data is now the most valuable commodity on earth – worth far more than traditionally valued items like gold or oil. Data drives the economy – drives business – drives customer relationships. Should you inadvertently let that information pass into the wrong hands, you can do untold damage to both your own business and, potentially, the businesses of your clients. It’s no exaggeration to say you need to do everything in your power to protect your firm’s data.

The dangers of SQL injection attacks

One of the most common ways hackers can infiltrate your site or online databases is through a technique called SQL injection (also sometimes referred to as simply SQLi). In an SQL attack, the hacker gains access to the back-end of your website or web app through security vulnerabilities that give them free rein to access, extract, scour through or delete the precious information contained within your databases.

Perhaps worse of all, cybercriminals have become so wise to these security problems that they now don’t even have to manually coordinate an attack – much of the work involved in an SQLi can be automated – putting you at even greater risk.

If you’re in any doubt about the security of your online systems (whether that be your website, storage or applications), you should enlist the help and advice of an expert security provider who will perform a full audit of your platforms to identify, isolate and repair any potential problems. As with most areas of life, prevention is by far the best cure and online security isn’t the realm of amateurs so don’t take any chances – look into seeking help immediately.

Published by Kidal Delonix (1122 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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