As the internet, websites and cloud services play an ever increasingly important role in our day to day lives and more transactions are completed online, hacking and cyber attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent. WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) that makes website creation and management seamless and as such is being adopted by millions of business owners worldwide. WordPress powers 43% of all websites on the internet and stands as the leading CMS globally. However, its popularity also makes it vulnerable to cyber threats and is routinely targeted by bots and hackers. As cyber attacks become increasingly problematic, staying on top of your WordPress updates, routine maintenance and website security is becoming even more important to maintain your online presence.
Understanding WordPress Security and Its Importance
Understanding the importance of WordPress security is crucial, for anyone who owns or manages a website on this commonly used platform. WordPress security involves implementing measures and practices to protect your website from attacks, unauthorised access and data breaches. Since WordPress is an open source CMS, it often becomes a target for cybercriminals and hackers looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. The consequences of a security breach can be quite severe ranging from compromised user data, downtime and damage to your brand’s reputation. Focusing on WordPress security should not just be a precaution, but as a commitment, towards ensuring trust, safety and the long term success of your website and brand.
Here are some of the most common causes of WordPress security breaches:
- Outdated software: WordPress core, plugins, and themes are regularly updated with security patches. Neglecting to update WordPress core, themes, and plugins can leave your website susceptible to known vulnerabilities.
- Weak passwords: Using weak passwords is one of the easiest ways to get hacked. Make sure to use strong passwords that are unique to your WordPress site.
- Malware: Malware can be installed on your WordPress site through a variety of ways, such as infected plugins or themes, malicious code in comments or contact forms, or even through a brute force attack.
- SQL injection: SQL injection is a type of attack that can be used to steal data from your WordPress database. It can be exploited through vulnerabilities in plugins, themes, or even the WordPress core.
- Cross-site scripting (XSS): XSS is a type of attack that can be used to inject malicious code into your website. This code can then be executed by visitors to your site, which could steal their data or take control of their accounts.
- Brute force attacks: Brute force attacks are attempts to guess your login credentials by repeatedly trying different combinations of usernames and passwords. These attacks can be automated, so it’s important to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to protect your account.
- Phishing: Phishing is a type of attack where hackers send emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as your bank or credit card company. These emails or text messages often contain links that, when clicked, will take you to a fake website that looks like the real website. Once you enter your login credentials on the fake website, the hackers can steal them.
Here are some of the best practices for improving WordPress security:
- Keep WordPress up to date. WordPress core, plugins, and themes are regularly updated with security patches. It’s important to keep all of your software up to date to the latest version.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Strong passwords are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password.
- Backup your site regularly. Regular backups can help you recover from a security breach.
- Be careful what plugins and themes you install. Only install plugins and themes from trusted sources.
- Scan your site for malware regularly. There are a number of security plugins available that can scan your site for malware.
- Use a firewall. A firewall can help protect your site from malicious traffic.
- Restrict file editing and PHP execution. This can help prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities in your WordPress files.
- Limit login attempts. This can help prevent brute force attacks.
- Use a security plugin. There are a number of security plugins available that can help protect your site from attacks.
- Educate yourself about WordPress security. The more you know about WordPress security, the better equipped you will be to protect your site.
Routine maintenance and updates and its impact on WordPress security is an ongoing commitment to protecting your website rather than a one-time activity. Taking a proactive approach to ongoing and routine maintenance is essential since cyber threats are growing increasingly sophisticated. You may greatly lower your risk of becoming a victim of cyberattacks by adhering to the best practices including regular upgrades, strong authentication, careful plugin selection, and rigorous monitoring. Keep in mind that a secure website not only keeps your data safe but also maintains the users’ and visitors’ trust. Keep an eye out for online threats and strengthen your digital fortress.
If you are looking to improve your WordPress website security, we can assist you with enhancing the security of your WordPress website. Our team of WordPress specialists will make sure that the WordPress version, themes, and plugins on your website are up to date and are also available to assist with adhoc Website Support tasks.
If your business is located in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), Victoria (VIC), Western Australia (WA), South Australia (SA), Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Tasmania (TAS), Northern Territory (NT) and need assistance with WordPress Security give the team at CircleBC a call, the initial consultation is complementary and obligation free 1300 978 073.