Ghost in the Machine: 3 Ways to Find Hackers Hidden in Your Server"

To broaden your client base, you decide to get a company website. The website shares your organization's missions and values, gives a brief bio of the staff and highlights your small business' offerings. It's polished, clean and user-friendly. You're proud of the way it looks and users have so far had positive things to say.

Months later when you try to log-in to make an update, you're locked out. A hacker has infiltrated your server and shut you out of the system!

Through a cybersecurity analysis, it's learned that the company's server has been home to a hacker for the last several months. How did no one spot this?!

There are risks that go along with owning a small business, and cybercrime is a big one. 43 percent of cyberattacks are implemented against small businesses. To keep your small business running smoothly, here are three ways to send a prowling cybercriminal home packing. And above all, remember this: cyber risk insurance will cover you when you need it the most.

1. Run an antivirus software check. If you have not yet done so, run an antivirus software check on your system. Anti-malware and antivirus software are designed to detect abnormal or malicious code. Antivirus software protects your system against the following:

  • Spam emails
  • Computer viruses
  • Spyware
  • Identity theft

The software will find and eliminate any viruses you might have on your system and will alert you to bizarre file activity. To maintain the integrity of the software, you will need to make routine updates and give it permission to run as an active detection software.

2. Check website's access logs. As well-designed as antivirus software is, it us unable to detect between "5 and 10 percent of all known malware." This means you cannot rely on your antivirus software alone.

To be sure that a hacker has not hunkered down on your system's server, it's recommended that you manually search through your access logs to spot shady log entries. A cybercriminal will slightly modify the coding on the site files and create what is known as a backdoor script. A backdoor script allows the hacker to bypass your system's cybersecurity system and go unnoticed. This leads to point number three.

3. Check your website files for abnormalities. If you have any cause to believe that someone has been rooting around in your system, check your files. Who Is Hosting This suggests assessing your file codes for any changes or corruption. The hacker's favorite files to attack and alter include:

  • Media files
  • htaccess files
  • .php files

Cybercriminals use these files to deploy malware and other viruses to infect your network. If a user uses your network or clicks on your website, then they too become infected, and so on so forth. This act of cybercrime births the botnet.

If you're not proactive about your network's cybersecurity, a cybercriminal will infiltrate your system and labor to bring the workings your small business to a grinding halt. Don't let shoddy cybersecurity practices ruin your small business. Click here to find a cyber insurance policy that will work for you.

And don't forget to pair your cyber insurance with a small business owners' insurance policy!

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