Running a secure website is a priority for all website owners and companies. It helps protect user data, build market goodwill, and avoid SEO-related penalties. However, not all Content Management Systems (CMSs) offer the same security and data protection measures. While WordPress is a secure CMS, one must design its security measures. This article is a complete walkthrough of WordPress security, its weaknesses, and how developers can use it to secure websites.
What is WordPress Security?
WordPress is a free and open-source Content Management Platform that helps developers create websites quickly. It uses PHP and works using MySQL at the backend. Because of its easy-to-use interface and developmental features, it is used for blogging and content-based websites. WordPress is an incredibly flexible and versatile CMS, offering countless plugins to extend its capabilities - creating a comprehensive platform for your website. According to the W3Techs report, 43 percent of all websites on the internet are currently using WordPress. This percentage includes those without a Content Management System (CMS).
While WordPress is a secure CMS, not all website owners and admins maintain appropriate WordPress security.
Are WordPress websites secure?
It is a common question many website developers, users, and business owners ask. The short answer is "Yes." Around half of the websites over the internet were developed on the WordPress framework. But not all website owners and businesses maintain WordPress security, which makes it challenging for users to trust.
However, if business owners prefer to run their websites on WordPress, backing them up with WordPress security is a good practice. In addition, web managers can maintain WordPress security by updating its patches regularly.
WordPress security challenges
These are seven of the biggest WordPress security challenges website owners have faced in the past few years.
Expert attackers steal credentials or break accounts through brute force, keylogging, or phishing.
Attackers can use password-guessing techniques on WordPress's admin panel if the administrator or web manager uses a weak password.
Weak or repeatable passwords are susceptible to brute forcing and credential-stuffing attacks.
Often, WordPress security gets compromised because of
outdated plugins, themes, and add-on software used for website development.
Another prominent issue that enterprises face is DDoS attacks. When attackers try to flood the server by manipulating the traffic through zombie systems and botnets, it leads to the website crashing or lagging.
SQL Injection is another widely-known website vulnerability that distorts WordPress security. Through SQL injection attacks, cybercriminals employ malicious SQL code to communicate with the MySQL database and reveal all the database’s data.
Tips for maintaining WordPress security
Although WordPress is prone to miscellaneous attacks, there are best practices that can help maintain WordPress security.
Maintain traffic encryption through an SSL certificate: It is a good practice to enable an SSL certificate for your WordPress website. It will help visitors securely connect and browse the website. It also shows that website owners or companies take user data security seriously. SSL also adds significant value in terms of SEO.
Keep things up to date: Keeping all plugins and themes associated with your website and WordPress up to date is an excellent practice. It will protect your WordPress website from security vulnerabilities and emerging threats.
Leverage a reputable security plugin: Web managers and owners must incorporate and configure a reputable security plugin to monitor any suspicious activity on the website. Wordfence or iThemes Security are two well-known security plugins that provide an extra security layer.
Limit login attempts: Web developers associated with WordPress website development must secure user accounts by limiting the number of login attempts. It will eliminate brute force attacks, credential stuffing, and other password-based attacks.
Keep regular backups of websites and their user data: Another tip that security researchers recommend for WordPress security is to keep a point-in-time backup of all the data, content, structure, and configurations associated with the website in an isolated system.
WordPress is a secure CMS, but leveraging best practices can make WordPress security even more robust. If you are looking for third-party companies to help you secure your WordPress website with a comprehensive web application security penetration test, contact Packetlabs.