Take Security Of Your WordPress Website Seriously!
Your first and main obligation with your WordPress website is to deliver to your customers the best possible experience in order to generate repeat sales and cultivate customer loyalty. The most critical element to providing a superior customer service on your website is cybersecurity.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the planet. That is why it is, in part, also the most hacked. Research indicates that more than 90,000 attacks are launched by hackers against WordPress websites every day. In fact, greater than 2,800 attacks per second target WordPress, according to Wordfence as reported in 2020.
Your foremost goal with your WordPress site is to keep your customers’ information safe and secure. If your brand has an online presence, then you must prioritize website security for the sake of your business and your customers.
The good news is that the vast majority of cyberattacks by hackers can be prevented. That will be the subject of our next blog article.
But in this blog space, we will address the most common security vulnerabilities with WordPress sites and the problems and chaos that cyberattacks can cause. These attacks can render a WordPress website unusable while compromising the integrity of your valuable information and data.
How Secure is WordPress?
There is no simple answer to this question. WordPress is in fact secure, however, that is only the case if users like you take security very seriously and adhere to best practices to make your website better protected from sinister hackers.
You must realize the potential for cyberattacks and understand that a poorly maintained WordPress website makes you much more vulnerable to devastating attacks. Here is a startling stat: A recent study by cyber security provider Sucuri showed that out of every 10 CMS-powered websites successfully hacked in 2018, nine targeted WordPress websites.
The primary reason for the degree of vulnerability with WordPress is that it is open-source software and any individual with the knowledge and expertise can with minimal effort modify and distribute the source code. It is worth noting that WordPress can easily be customized and optimized. There are also myriad plugins and themes available. It is because of this extensive user-flexibility that WordPress is so widely used.
That is why it is imperative that you keep up with the maintenance and updates for your WordPress website. You ignore your WordPress website at your own peril.
WordPress Security Issues
Here are some of the most typical types of cyberattacks that WordPress websites usually are up against and some of the reasons that WordPress, in particular, is so susceptible to hackers infiltrating its websites:
Often referred to as SQL injection, database injections happens when attackers inject a series of infected code to a targeted website through some type of user input, which is most often a contact form. After the harmful code is stored on the database, it runs on the website and confidential information stored in the database is able to be extracted and misused.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
This very common cyberattack happens when the attackers inject malicious code into the backend of the website that they want to target. Their objective is to extract important information and generate chaos on the site’s functionality. This infectious code might be injected in the backend, or could be submitted as an input in a user form.
WordPress plugins and themes are to blame here. If an attacker finds an outdated or poorly-maintained plugin on your site, they can exploit it and gain access to files that dictate your website’s front end. The same is true for WordPress themes.
With phishing, cyber attackers contact their target by pretending to be a legitimate company. These attackers act as a potential client and convince their target to relinquish personal information, download a malicious file, or visit an infected site. Once hackers access your WordPress account, they might be able to execute phishing attacks on your customer base while posing as your identity.
WordPress sites become susceptible to phishing attempts through outdated plugins, themes, software, or lack of security checks for submission and comment forms.
Brute-Force Login Attempts
Brute-Force login occurs when hackers employ the use of automation to enter as many username-password combinations as they can instantaneously, gradually guessing the right combination to gain access to the website.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks
Cyber attackers will execute DoS attacks by overloading a server that has high website traffic and cause a crash. These types of attacks limit authorized users from gaining access to their own account. What’s more, if the attacks are done through multiple machines simultaneously, then the effects are more severe.
As with other websites, those powered by WordPress need hosting. DoS attacks target hosting servers, namely those with limited security in place.
Attackers leverage backdoors to bypass the standard WordPress login and access their targeted website. Backdoor is a file that contains code that is typically placed in between other WordPress source files, which makes it problematic for an inexperienced user to trace and locate it.
Hotlinking occurs when another website distributes embedded content that has been hosted on your website without your approval. Although this qualifies more as a theft than an attack, hotlinking is nonetheless illegal and presents the victim with disastrous issues to contend with. Every time when content, most often an image, is retrieved from their site and posted on another site, they should pay for it.
As the owner of your WordPress website, you want to share your high-quality content with site visitors. Unfortunately, WordPress sites are vulnerable to hotlinking because people take advantage of this.
All a perpetrator has to do is copy and paste a link to an image or digital file from another site onto their site without giving credit. Many WordPress site owners might not have the time to take preventative actions against hotlinking — or even think to do so.
Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF)
Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF) is a vulnerability that enables attackers to influence users to take actions they do not want to take. For example, using CSRF, attackers are able to persuade users to change their email addresses, change passwords, transfer funds, or take other measures. Based on the action the user takes, the attacker could gain control of the user account and create mayhem. If the user is an admin, then the cyber attacker could take over complete control of the WordPress website.
Outdated WordPress Versions
WordPress makes available new version updates on a regular basis to resolve various security vulnerabilities. After new updates with the fixes are released, the problems and vulnerabilities associated with the previous version become widely known. Hackers can use this information to their advantage by going after the bugs and issues, targeting the older versions of WordPress that are online.
Most WordPress security breaches that online consumers run into are associated with third-party plugins. Plugins are one of the most preferred gateways for hackers because they are created by third-party developers and have the power to gain access to your site’s backend with no problem.
The Login Page
All of the WordPress website’s backend login page by default is the site’s main URL with “/wp-admin” or /wp-login.php” added to the end. Hackers are able to effortlessly locate this page and attempt a brute force entry into the account.
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