In business, nothing makes you sweat more — or angers customers or clients in the process — than when your website is down or experiencing issues beyond your control.
For example, a malware attack on your website can do just that by stealing customers’ personal or credit card information or taking control of the whole website.
However, there’s no need to panic. Recognizing the signs of a malware attack on your website, what you can do about it, and how you can prevent it from happening again will provide confidence that your website will be protected from hackers and identity thieves.
Consider the following tips to save your reputation and bottom line:
If you don’t have an automatic website malware scanner, recognizing when malware symptoms occur is rather important, as the action you take — or not take — could be the difference between more problems or no problems.
An obvious sign that there may be a malware attack on your website is some type of visible sign, a defacement of sorts. This can be a message or image covering actual website content.
However, your website could look perfectly fine, but there may be malware lurking. Other signs of malware to look out for include:
- Modifications to account login information that wasn’t authorized by you
- Missing or modified website files
- Pages that freeze, disappear, or crash
- A great amount of decrease in site traffic
- Search engine results for your website that produce blacklisted or harmful content warnings.
Steps to Take Against a Malware Attack
To manually scan your website’s files for malware, and in lieu of a website security scanner, will require time and in-depth knowledge of your files, especially the configuration files. Having backup copies of your website files in a different location will help replace infected files.
While examining your website files for any defects, look for:
- Mismatched coding styles
- Deliberately disguised codes, like a long string of meaningless letters and numbers
- Unusual URLs
You can compare these suspicious files with the backup files to notice any differences. If the files are comparably different, replace the suspicious file with the backup file.
How to Protect from Future Malware Invasions
There are many ways to ensure the safety of your website from hackers and identity thieves. Investing time, energy, and money into each of these steps below will, in the long run, be beneficial to your reputation and income.
- Back up your website in a location different from the server of your original website.
- Know your web server configuration files; this helps you configure website security directives.
- Change your configuration management system (CMS) default settings. User visibility and permissions can be adjusted.
- Use a secure web host.
- Choose a secure and smart password.
- Keep software and plugins up to date. Potential bots and hackers constantly scan outdated sites to attack since they’re easy to compromise.
- Employ a cloud-based web application firewall (WAF) to block hacker attempts.
- Tighten your network security.
- Employ a URL malware scanner to spot problems and limit website downtime immediately.
Be Proactive in Protecting Your Company’s and Customers’ Data
Now that you’re up to speed about how you can be proactive to avoid cyber threats and attacks, you can rest assured knowing your business website will be safe from hackers, scammers, and identity thieves. Not only that, but your customers will continue to be confident in using your website and making purchases.