Every application or system connected to the Internet is a potential target. The Internet is being scanned by hackers and bots 24/7 to find vulnerable systems and applications. A brief overview of ways in which your application/system can be abused:
- Data Harvesting – a direct attack to steal valuable customer and company information. For example: credit card numbers, login credentials, email addresses and social security numbers.
- Spam – sending out millions of unsolicited emails. Spammers can cause severe damage, use all your bandwidth, cause a bad reputation for your organization or disrupt your complete email traffic by becoming blacklisted.
- Storage – illegal software, music, video and images take costly bandwidth, but could also result in having your system being taken offline by the authorities for further investigation.
- Distribution of malware – your application will be used to infect visitors with malware. When infected, hackers have total control over the customer's computer. This can cause blacklisting by search engines like Google and harm the reputation of your organization.
- Jump point – your system will be used to hack other systems. The attack will lead back to your system, having consequences for you and your organization.
- Defacement – your website page is modified by hackers so visitors do not get to see your own website. Often hackers turn your page into a "Hacked by X" designed website.