WordPress has provided us with several options to tighten the security around the webpage we publish. The tools better equip your website to protect it from any external threats like unwanted attacks from anonymous hackers. However, a problem arises when you use the tools and forget about them later. Tightening of security is not something to be overlooked or taken lightly.
If you think your page is insignificant and holds no interest to a hacker, then you need to think again. Pirates are unbiased when it comes to hacking websites and stealing information off your pages. Stats have shown that there are around 90,978 security attacks every single minute of a day. No matter how big or small, your website is always at risk of being hacked.
There are weaknesses in the WordPress, and there are tools to cover them up. However, there still are weaknesses that can be breached and the hackers are well-aware of them. If you want to eliminate the risk, then you will have to think like a hacker. Analyze the weaknesses of your page, work on fortifying them and protect your sensitive information.
Who are the Usual Suspects?
You may not be on a hacker’s hit-list, but you are still at risk of being attacked by one. Hackers mostly use bots to find vulnerable prey. Once the bots get hits, the pirate jumps in and make the rest of the attack. So, any webpage with weaknesses can be picked and attacked. It is essential that you figure out the usual suspects that become the leading cause of a cyber attack.
Following are the common weaknesses in a WordPress page:
The page where you are required to enter your login details is a prime target for hackers. The first thing to keep in mind while setting passwords is to have a unique password for all your accounts. But, how many unique passwords can a person remember? The answer is not many. People are likely to use the same password over and over again across different websites that require an account for logging in.
Keeping the same passwords becomes a weakness. Your account is then at high risk of being attacked by a hacker. One breach means multiple accounts will be targeted and all the sensitive information stored on the website can be stolen.
Many websites require users to make an account to be able to post comments and make payments through it. If the e-Commerce accounts or a payment gateway is breached, sensitive information regarding credit card credentials can be stolen and taken advantage of.
Login pages are the most common WordPress pages to be attacked and the first targets for the hackers.
2. WordPress Database
WordPress stores all the files in its database with a prefix ‘wp-‘ for labeling purposes. While it has simplified the naming of files and finding the required data when needed, it also means that hackers who go through the databases also know about it. The databases leave the data vulnerable to hackers and are at high risk of attack. The full exposure must be attended to solve any trouble that may follow.
The comment section on a WordPress site is the most abused section of all. There are all kinds of irrelevant and misplaced comments that are no good. Open comment sections often result in unwanted spam that has to be dealt with. Moreover, if there is a login required, then it’s even more susceptible to an anonymous attack.
This is one reason you often see the comment section completely disabled at WordPress websites. A technique commonly used by the hackers is to place web links that might not seem malicious, but when they are clicked, the hacker finds their way in.
Good advice is to stay away from clicking any link that may seem out of place in any comment section.
4. WordPress Plugins
One of the most common security breaches in a WordPress website is through the plugins you are using on it. Almost 50% of the security attacks are accounted from WordPress plugins.
But that doesn’t mean that you stop using the plugins. They play an essential part in making your website an interactive and engaging one for the users. The audience enjoys a site like that and plugins can help you in creating it. However, what’s important is that you update the plugins on a regular basis and apply security fixes when they appear.
Often, the plugins are updated by the developer, but you forget to upgrade it on your site, and the delay leaves a gap that can be breached. You may also find many fake plugins for WordPress and adding them will weaken your security. It is vital that you pay close attention to these details when upgrading your website.
5. Web Hosting Server
Unfortunately, not all the web hosts online are as strong as each other. This means that the security measures provided are not equal either. A company with a weaker security code will make your website susceptible to attacks of there are any through the server.
To filter through the web hosts, look for the plan they are offering to you. Things like availability of SSL certificates and a server-side firewall and encryption can strengthen your security protocols.
Another risk that may arise is cross-site contamination. It is when multiple domains are sharing the same space on a server. The chances are higher as an attack on one website can be followed by another attack on yours. Thus, take extra precautions when looking for a viable server.
All our websites online contain some sensitive data that we wish not to be in the wrong hands. However, no matter the size of your site and company, there is always a risk of being attacked. Covering the components above is essential when you are creating your WordPress website and choosing a developer. No compromise should be made in security no matter what your site is about.