Online threats have become more common than Internet users would like. Hacking incidents and security breaches lead to major setbacks including the loss of revenue, the release of sensitive data, and a crashing website.
These are issues that no business owner wants to face. But anything that exists online becomes vulnerable at some point in time. So it’s your responsibility to protect your online assets to avoid these costly issues.
If you’ve built your site using WordPress, you face unique vulnerabilities that should be avoided at all costs.
The Strength of WordPress May Be Its Weakness
WordPress is the leading content management system (CMS) platform used today. The majority of today’s websites are built on the WordPress platform.
This has made it one of the most popular and visible software tools on the market. But this visibility makes it vulnerable to security attacks.
WordPress is a tool that can be used by business owners who lack the development skills that were previously required to build a website.
It’s easy for webmasters to make changes to their site’s content, navigation, and layout when using WordPress. As a result, they must also take the responsibility for keeping their sites secure against attacks.
Fighting the Good Fight
The development team at WordPress has a review process that helps protect users from vulnerabilities. But webmasters still face the risk of malware and other threats.
Some of the causes of WordPress vulnerabilities include outdated plugins and themes as well as a lack of expertise related to security issues. The following are some other common factors that lead to these vulnerabilities:
- Use of infected plugins and scripts
- Lack of system administration
- Use of a “soup kitchen server” (one that has multiple websites, excess files, outdated software, folders, and emails living on a web server’s hard drive)
- Lack of credential management (WP Admin, CPanel, FTP, etc.)
Although these issues can all be corrected with the right strategies and tools, the biggest threats occur when webmasters and business owners fail to understand the risk of cross-contamination that occurs through the use of shared servers.
Recently, a vulnerability affecting the default TwentyFifteen WordPress theme and JetPack plugin was discovered, which had the potential to allow hackers to gain control of a WordPress website.
Popular hosts such as WPEngine and GoDaddy were able to correct the issue. But the incident highlights the fact that these threats still exist for unsuspecting business owners.
WordPress has become a very powerful tool that provides extensive features and versatility for today’s online marketplace. The use of third-party plugins lets you customize the function of your website to meet the needs of your business.
But security issues arise from the interaction between WordPress and these plugins. In the worst cases, poor coding done by third parties results in an inferior plugin that lead to issues such as SQL injections and buffer overflows.
The best way to protect your business website is to stay current with the updates it uses. There are some tools available that allow you to automate your plugin updates such as Plugin Vulnerabilities and WPScan.
These identify any existing issues with your plugins and help prevent unwanted security threats.
Having an experienced and skilled team to support your website’s infrastructure is the best way to avoid WordPress vulnerabilities. The investment you make in keeping your site safe prevents the loss of revenue or worse.
It can be difficult to know where to begin when securing your WordPress website. Let us know if you’re facing any WordPress vulnerabilities or would like to know how to strengthen your site’s security in the comments section below.