Why would hackers target your website?
Usually when major banks or retailers are hacked it makes headlines. Its a big misconception that only large companies, banks and governments are targetted. Any website no matter how small can help them in their efforts to steal information, infect PC's or other malicious activities. These individuals or groups scan 24/7 to find vulnerable systems regardless of the size of the business. Here are some examples what hacked systemѕ can be used for:
Spam - sending of millions of unsollicited emails. Possible effects: Bandwidth (costs), bad reputation because your server is sending spam also you could get blacklisted this results in your email not accepted by other servers.
Storage - illegal storage of software, music, videos or images. Possible effects: Bandwidth (costs), server taken offline by government or other institutions for further investigation.
Malware distribution - they will use your site to distribute malware. Possible effects: Bandwidth (costs), blacklisted in search engines like Google, severe reputation damage.
Jump point - your system will be used to stage new attacks on other servers. Succesful attacks which are investigated point back to your server/site. Possible effects: criminal investigation. Lawsuits.
Data theft - stealing information - ex. creditcard data from webstore, company information, login details. Possible effects: Reputation damage.