In this article, we will look at WordPress security threats and vulnerabilities, followed by tips and tricks for securing your WordPress website.
With more businesses relying on modern technology to reach customers, gain valuable insights, and grow their business brand, cyber security is becoming a greater threat to business owners.
Each day, there are 2244 cyber-attacks worldwide, with an estimated 30,000 websites being hacked.
WordPress is one of the most widely used content management systems on the internet today.
Over 445 million websites currently use it.
With WordPress powering over 40% of websites on the internet, it’s only natural for hackers to take advantage of its popularity.
WordPress security is a critical issue for all website owners.
Why you need WordPress Security
Every successful website requires security. This applies to companies of all sizes, reputations, and industries.
Hackers from all over the world are always looking for new ways to breach a website’s security system.
The following are the reasons why WordPress security is important and why you need it.
1). It protects your information and reputation
A hacked WordPress website can seriously harm your company. If a hacker obtains personal information about you or your website visitors, there is no telling what they will do with it. Security flaws expose you to public data leaks, identity theft, ransomware, server crashes, and the list goes on.
As you can imagine, any of these events would be detrimental to your company’s reputation, not to mention a waste of time and money.
Companies that protect their websites from hackers can avoid additional financial costs associated with restoring the functionality of their websites following breaches.
2). Website security is essential for SEO
Because website security is a core component of Google’s confirmed page experience ranking system, and security optimizations can have a holistic impact on your SEO performance, security is important for SEO and search rankings.
Websites that have been compromised may face long-term SEO penalties from top search engines such as Google. This is because these search engines want to protect their users from cybercrime. Furthermore, malware-infected websites may be blacklisted by search engines.
3). Website security denotes trust and competency
Because your visitors entrust you with their money, credit card information, and other sensitive information, they expect your website to be secure.
If you are unable to provide this basic service from the start, you will undermine your customer’s trust in you. By gaining this trust, you can ensure that your visitors have a positive experience and will return to your business.
To prevent customers from leaving your website because they are concerned about the security of their data, you must maintain the highest level of security.
WordPress Security issues
Some common WordPress issues include
01). Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) Is a web security flaw that allows an attacker to trick users into performing actions they do not intend to perform. It enables an attacker to partially bypass the same origin policy, which is intended to prevent different websites from interfering with one another.
02). Brute force login attempts
A brute force attack is a type of cyber attack in which the criminal attempts to break into user accounts by guessing ID and password combinations using mathematical methods, or other techniques, bombarding the account with login attempts until a match is found.
03). SQL Injection
This is a type of cyberattack in which malicious SQL code is injected into an application, allowing the attacker to view or modify data in a database.
A backdoor is a file that contains code that allows an attacker to bypass the standard WordPress login, eventually allowing them to access your site at any time.
Backdoors are frequently hidden among other WordPress source files, making them difficult to detect by inexperienced users. Even after it is removed, attackers can create variants of this backdoor and use them to bypass your login.
05). Denial of service (DoS) attacks
A denial of service (DoS) attack is a method of overloading a machine or network to render it inoperable.
Attackers accomplish this by sending more traffic than the target can handle, causing it to fail and rendering it unable to serve its normal users.
Email, online banking, websites, and any other service that relies on a targeted network or computer are examples of targets.
How to secure a WordPress website
#1. Install SSL Certificate
An SSL Certificate is a program that encrypts specific private information stored on a website or transferred from one site to another.
This encryption safeguards personal information against loss, theft, or alteration. Potentially sensitive data includes names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other financial information.
Obtaining an SSL Certificate should be one of the first steps in securing your website. It can be purchased but most hosting providers provide them for free.
How SSL Certificate work
SSL encrypts data sent between users and websites, or between two systems, making it unreadable.
It uses encryption algorithms to scramble data in transit, making it impossible for hackers to read it as it travels across the network.
#2. WordPress security plugin
A WordPress security plugin guards against malware, brute force attacks, and hacking attempts. Security plugins are intended to protect your WordPress site from attacks and to provide comprehensive security reports.
Although WordPress security extends far beyond plugins, they remain an important tool for keeping your website secure.
Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress security plugins and how they can aid in the protection of your WordPress website.
Sucuri is the WordPress security industry leader. It is one of the most effective WordPress security plugins available. They provide a free basic Sucuri security plugin that assists you in hardening WordPress security and scanning your website for common threats.
Furthermore, the Sucuri website firewall prevents malicious traffic from reaching your server. They also make use of their CDN. Aside from security, their DNS level firewall with CDN significantly improves performance and speeds up your website.
ii). Anti-malware security
Eli Scheetz created the anti-malware security plugin. The plugin provides basic security features such as malware scanning, cleanups, firewall protection, and more.
To access the latest definitions and premium features such as brute force prevention, you must first create a free account on the plugin’s website. The plugin also searches developer websites for updated definitions.
iii). All-in-One WP Security
All-in-one WordPress security is a robust security auditing, monitoring, and firewall plugin for WordPress. It makes it simple to implement basic WordPress security best practices on your website.
It includes features such as login lockdown to prevent brute force attacks, IP filtering, file integrity monitoring, user account monitoring, and scanning for suspicious patterns of database injection.
It also comes with a basic website-level firewall that can detect and block common patterns.
This is a free WordPress security plugin with great features that will keep hackers out of your website.
A paid version with additional security features is also available.
The plugin will automatically scan your website for common threats, but you can also run a full scan anytime. If there are any indicators of a security breach, you will be notified and given instructions on how to resolve them.
Wordfence also comes with a WordPress firewall.
This firewall, however, is activated on your server just before WordPress is loaded. As a result, it performs less well than a DNS-level firewall, such as Sucuri.
v). iThemes security
iThemes Security is a tool that is among the most trusted and popular among WordPress users. It has a nice clean user interface with a lot of options.
It includes file integrity checks, security hardening, login attempt limits, strong password enforcement, 404 detections, brute force protection, and other features.
#3. Use secure WordPress themes.
Choosing a secure WordPress theme for your site is one of the most difficult and critical decisions you will have to make.
Even if you find a beautiful theme with all the features you desire, you should always ensure that it is “safe” for your website.
WordPress themes just like apps are managed and monitored by various developers.
While some theme developers continue to provide regular updates, others don’t give a damn.
Some WordPress themes have numerous security flaws. Malicious code, such as malware and spam links could be inserted.
Furthermore, these themes could serve as backdoors to other exploits that can compromise your WordPress site.
To avoid becoming a hacker target, we recommend using a WordPress theme from a reputable developer.
#4. Use secure WordPress hosting.
There are many factors to consider when selecting the service that will host your website, but security should be the most important.
When looking for a hosting company, you want one that is fast, dependable, secure, and provides excellent customer service. That means, they should have adequate, powerful resources, a minimum uptime of 99.5%, and employ server-level security measures.
#5. Update the WordPress version regularly
WordPress regularly releases software updates to improve performance and security. These updates also protect your website from cyber threats.
Every WordPress update comes with release notes outlining what has been fixed and changed. Hackers read the release notes and look for websites that have not yet been updated. If you’re using an older WordPress version, your website is vulnerable.
#6. Enforce login procedures
Another straightforward way to secure your WordPress website is to use and enforce strong passwords for all logins. It may be tempting to use familiar or easy-to-remember passwords but doing so endangers your website and users.
Improving the strength and security of your passwords reduces your chances of being hacked. The more secure your password, the less likely you are to be hacked.
You can also enable two-factor authentication. This is one of the simplest basic yet effective tools for securing your login. It necessitates that users confirm their sign-on with a second device.
Furthermore, avoid making any account username “admin”, as this is likely to be the first username attackers will enter during a brute force login attempt.
#7. Remove unused WordPress plugins and themes
Having unused plugins and themes on your website can be risky, especially if they haven’t been updated. Hackers can gain access to your website by using outdated plugins and themes, increasing the risk of cyberattacks.
#8. Install a firewall
A firewall is a system or system that helps to prevent unauthorized access to internal information resources.
The firewall enforces the access control policy between two networks.
They work to keep malicious activity at bay by removing direct connections between your network and other networks.
#9. Run frequent Backups
Another way to safeguard your WordPress website is to keep an up-to-date backup of your website and important files.
You don’t want something to go wrong with your website and be without a backup.
#10. Regularly scan WordPress for security flaws
Your WordPress website may contain a vulnerability that you were unaware of.
As a result, it is critical to conduct routine site inspections. Aim for once a month at the very least.
The best part is that you don’t have to do it yourself; WordPress scanner plugins can do it for you.
WordPress is widely regarded as a secure content management system. Due to its popularity, however, it has become a target for cyber attacks.
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving and finding ways to exploit companies’ online presence. As a result, you must take all precautions and follow up on the tips outlined above to reduce the likelihood of your website being compromised.