What’s Security Got to Do With It? Understanding Site Security & WordPress

If you use WordPress for your website, you need to take security seriously. WordPress’ popularity as a content management system (CMS) makes it a popular target for hackers. In fact, one recent year saw WordPress accounting for 90% of all CMS hacks, according to ZDNet.

Keep in mind that website security is any action you take to ensure that information on your website is not exposed to cybercriminals. Security measures can protect your website and your visitors.

Understanding Security for Your Site

Many people wonder if WordPress is secure. The truth is, WordPress is secure–as long as you follow best practices to safeguard your site. WordPress has a team dedicated to finding and fixing security vulnerabilities in the WordPress core code. When security issues arise, WordPress pushes out fixes to address them. However, site owners must update to the latest version of WordPress to secure their websites.

Nevertheless, you need to be aware themes and plugins introduce risk to your site. Because third-parties develop themes and plugins, WordPress can’t guarantee their quality or security–and some are very vulnerable.

For example, one theme plugin installed on over 200,000 websites contained a flaw that could let remote attackers gain admin access or wipe the sites. But the fix was simple: All site owners needed to do was update to the latest version.

Positives of WordPress and Site Security

The good news about WordPress is that you can keep it secure with routine, monthly updates. Even most basic WordPress maintenance plans feature updates to WordPress core code and plugins. These preventative steps can protect your site and sensitive data from malicious actors.

With regular site maintenance, you can also gain a security firewall that halts attacks before they reach your site. You can also benefit from 24/7 security monitoring to prevent and clean up any malware intrusions that could compromise your site or customer data.

Risks of WordPress

What are some of the biggest threats to WordPress sites? Here are five you should know:

  • Brute Force Attack: This attack approach has a simple premise: entering multiple usernames and passwords until there’s a match. Since WordPress doesn’t limit login attempts, bots can use this method to attack your admin page.
  • File Inclusion Exploits: This approach exploits vulnerabilities in the PHP code that runs your site or plugins. Hackers can then load remote files to gain access to your website.
  • SQL Injections: An SQL injection occurs when an attacker breaks into your WordPress database and gains access to your data. When that happens, hackers may be able to create admin accounts or insert data into your database to create malicious or spam sites.
  • Cross-Site Scripting: Cross-site scripting involves getting a visitor to load a webpage with insecure javascript scripts. These scripts can then steal information from visitor’s browsers.
  • Malware: Malware is code that gains access to your site to collect sensitive data. While there are thousands of types of Malware, WordPress is not vulnerable to all of them.

Keeping Your WordPress Site Safe and Secure

There are a few things–like choosing uncommon user names–that you can do on your own to protect your WordPress site. You can also make sure you choose only reputable themes and plugins. And you should select proven, high-quality hosting.

But many site owners fall out of the routine of updating the WordPress core, plugins, and themes. Unfortunately, that can open your site up to damaging cyber attacks. That’s why regular professional WordPress maintenance is a must.

At Curious Minds, we offer several maintenance plans to support organizations of every scale. Whatever level you choose, you can rest assured that your site is in the hands of true WordPress security experts.

 

About Curious Minds
We are a web development firm in New York and Chicago, providing development resources and consulting for websites and mobile apps since 2004.