Protect Your WordPress Website From Security Vulnerabilities. Running an Unmanaged WordPress site is not as simple as it is advertised, however with great knowledge and the right tools it can be done. You are required to foster hosting tasks such as picking a host and ensuring that your site loads seamlessly. Next, using plugins and themes you need to design the sites in such a way that it offers a positive user experience.
Also Read: Host a Website in a Few Simple Steps
You might be aware of the fact that WordPress is a powerful CMS that powers 35% of websites around the globe. However, like most of the online systems and websites, WordPress is vulnerable to attacks. While WordPress brings in several features and capabilities, it doesn’t come with built-in security features. You require to install plugins, integrate with security tools, and monitor continuously.
Hence, in this article, you will understand what security vulnerabilities are, and how attackers utilize these to hack into WordPress sites. Additionally, you will also know what top WordPress security vulnerabilities are, and how to secure your site against them.
Suggested For Further Reading
What are Security Vulnerabilities and Why You Should Take Measures Against It
Security vulnerabilities are weaknesses discovered on your site or site host that attackers can expose to steal, misuse your site’s data. These security vulnerabilities often exist because of insecure plugins that you may add to your site, failure in regularly updating plugins or lack of control over visitor interactions.
At some point in time, you may think why attackers would have an interest in your site. However, you must know that attacks regularly occur regardless of the type of site, size, or traffic. In fact, researchers at Wordfence have discovered that every minute over 90,000 attacks are initiated against WordPress sites.
Attackers always look for the site’s data and access to visitors. For instance, an attacker can implant a malicious script on your website. Next, when users visit your site, that script executes and allow attackers to steal user passwords or obtain access to webcams.
Top WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and How to Overcome Them
To safeguard your site and visitors, it helps in understanding what kind of vulnerabilities you may be exploited to. Below are general security vulnerabilities that website owners encounter and a few suggestions on how to mitigate or manage those risks.
Using weak passwords for WordPress logins
An attacker mostly targets WordPress login as it offers access to your site dashboard. Once they get access to login credentials, they will have complete control across your site. An unsafe or weak administrative password offers simple access for attackers.
Weak passwords are those passwords that can be effortlessly guessed or revealed via brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are attacks that keep on trying different password and username combinations until access is obtained. These attacks are possible as WordPress doesn’t restrict the number of login trials an attacker can make.
To limit these attacks, it’s crucial to:
- Utilize a secure and strong password and change it regularly. Secure passwords are usually those passwords that are:
- eight or more than eight characters long and
- a combination of both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, as well as special characters
The most simple method to assure you have a secure password is to utilize a password generator like the one given in Google Chrome browsers.
- Enable two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication needs you to precisely enter your username and password. On precisely entering the password, a code will be sent to your email or a personal device, such as a mobile phone. Once you give this code you are permitted to log in into your account. Two-factor authentication can help guarantee that even if an attacker steals your login information, they will not be able to access your account.
Outdated themes and plugins
Any application, theme, or plugin that you add to your website may create security vulnerabilities. If attackers find out such vulnerabilities, then they can exploit these weak spots to obtain access to your site and users.
Once the themes, plugins, and applications are launched, developers usually continue working on these components. For instance, adding the latest features, fixing bugs, or patching security problems. If you do not keep your various components up-to-date, you will miss out on these enhancements and may leave vulnerabilities exposed.
To prevent this, it is crucial that you:
- Keep a record of current versions of your components and that you are aware when vulnerabilities have been reported. To stay updated, you must regularly check for new versions or patches. If possible, you should enable automatic updates. 10GB Hosting’s Managed WordPress Hosting offers automatic WordPress updates, that makes it simpler to stay up-to-date.
If automatic updates are not available, then you need to utilize a separate method of alerting yourself to potential threats. One method is to observe a vulnerable database. Vulnerable databases are listings of recognized security vulnerabilities and incorporate information regarding what components are affected and how to fix the vulnerability. These databases can help you assure that you are aware of any known security vulnerabilities no matter whether an update is presently available.
Incorrect WordPress permissions
When you build your WordPress site, you make or create an administrator account, and you may additionally create user accounts. For instance, if you have a team of people who are operating on your site or if you have a subscription service. Every account has a set of permissions assigned to them that defines what a user can do on your site.
While setting these permissions it is crucial that you solely permit users as much ability as they required. For instance, you don’t need your subscribers to be able to edit posts or your editors to be able to change site settings.
Roles in WordPress are as belows, sorted from most to least permissions:
- Administrator—can completely control your site.
- Editor—can modify, edit, and publish site posts.
- Author— can modify, edit, and publish their own posts.
- Contributor—can create drafts of posts.
- Subscribers—can just modify or edit their profiles.
To assure that you are assigning permissions accurately, make sure that you set the users in the lowest possible role you can. You can always change their role later on. However, it is hard to revert the damage done by users with high-level permissions.
Running on your website on HTTPS
Hypertext Transport Protocol(HTTP) is the method utilized to connect to your site to your user’s browser. This connection is accessible to any user and does not need any sort of authentication to use.
As HTTP connections are not secure in any case, attackers can intercept requests made by users visiting your site. For restricting such attackers from misusing or manipulating user or server requests:
- Enable HTTPS: HTTPS is a modification of HTTP that incorporates security features for encrypting or masking the data that is being transmitted in a request. This encryption restricts attackers from reading or modifying data and assures only your web server and the browser making the request have access.
I hope this article might have helped you in understanding the security vulnerabilities and how to overcome them. Additionally, you can choose SSL Certificates to secure your website.