What are the key security issues in WP sites and how to resolve them?

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System across the globe and powers more than 30% of the global websites. As a responsible organization, WordPress does have very strong security guidelines and offers additional provisions to the users to upgrade their security. However, due to lack of proper knowledge or sincerity, many users don’t take the security measures seriously and it makes their site prone to security attacks like hacking. In this blog, we are going to present the major security issues in WP sites and the best ways to keep your site protected.

Brute Force Attacks

One of the most preferred methods for the hackers is to keep on trying different ID and password combo until they crack the right pair. WordPress allows for multiple consecutive login attempts without any restrictions and it enables these hackers to continue their task without any interruptions or raising alerts.

Besides, advanced technology like smart bots relieve the hackers from manual efforts by automating the process while ensuring a higher success rate. Upon success, the hackers gain the admin control and misuse it to meet their vested interests. Also, numerous login attempts inflate system load and affect your site performance. Some hosting providers may also suspend your account to discipline the system load 

File Inclusion

 The WordPress site runs on PHP code and smart hackers employ latest techniques to discover vulnerabilities in PHP code to break into your account. Upon finding the vulnerable code the hackers use it to include the specific files that eventually facilitate them to access the key WordPress installation file- wp-config.php. This file works as the master key to help the hackers gain extended admin control over your site

SQL Injections

By gaining access to your MySQL database the hacker can easily break into the WordPress database of a website and access the entire website database. Talking in terms of power it allows the hackers to make an admin-level user account for themselves that enables them to log in, access and control your website.

Understandably, this admin privilege can be misused in so many ways to facilitate the malicious intentions of hackers. Many hackers also employ it to add harmful data to your database like links to spam or malicious websites.

XSS

 XSS is also known as Cross-site scripting vulnerability and is responsible for more than 80% of security loopholes across the internet.  Many WordPress plugins are affected by this vulnerability. Hackers employ those weak plugins to load specific JavaScript on your visitors’ browser to technically facilitate their malicious purposes like stealing and misusing the submitted data.

For instance, an infected Form plugins of your WordPress site can be used to load the malicious JavaScript on your visitors’ browser to steal their submitted information.

Malware

Malware is a specifically programmed code that is injected into your site files for facilitating the unauthorized website access and steal the crucial data.

There are diverse ways in which hackers can load malware on to your WordPress site and keep on stealing your sensitive information without alarming you.

How to get rid of WordPress security issues?

While WordPress is not free from security issues, it does have strong provisions to help you take better care of your security ecosystem and safeguard your site against latest attacks. Here are some of the best ways to fortify your WordPress site security:

Password Management

·          Weak easily crackable passwords like your pet’s name, mobile number, or business name increases the success potential of brute force attacks

·         Use strong admin passwords consisting of capital and small letters, numbers and special symbols

·         Don’t use the same password for multiple digital platforms

·         Choose random words that are not related to your public profile in any way (like your business name or pet’s name)

·         Keep on changing your password periodically, at least once in every 3 months

·          Two-factor authentications further fortify your security by sending time-sensitive code to your registered device and you would need a combo of password + time-sensitive code to access the account.

Updates

·          WordPress keeps on updating its version periodically to patch the latest security issues. An outdated version with weaker security provision can attract hackers to attack your site. 

·         Make sure that you are using the latest updated version of WordPress as well as the other software running on your site 

·         All the latest updates can easily be viewed on your WordPress dashboard and you can instantly update them 

·         It is highly advisable to ensure smooth mail communication from WordPress as WordPress instantly sends the latest updates to its users through emails

·         If you own more than one website then you can also use the powerful tools like wpCentral that facilitates multiple update management in a single dashboard

Plugins

·          Avoid using the plugins from just any random site as they might be written poorly or lack sufficient security. It is highly advisable to download plugins directly from wordpress.org. While you might be tempted to use the free substitutes of the most popular premium plugins, it can pose a huge risk to your site and in many cases, it can be the trick by hackers to modify the files and inject malicious code. So avoid downloading such free versions of premium plugins. 

Web hosting

·          Be very careful about the security ecosystem of your hosting provider especially if you are using a shared hosting plan. Many hosting providers don’t adopt the latest security guidelines or update their security software. It can allow the hackers to easily hack your website.

·           You can also use the password manager to create a strong password

·           Make sure that your password should not be less than 8 characters

Tip: To make password management easier, use a password manager such as Last Pass.

Automated security schedules

·         You can use some good security plugins that can automatically run security checks, customize the security settings to meet best security guidelines and may also activate the latest updates

Malware

·         Make sure that every server directory has the appropriate and well-defined access permissions

·          There are some reputed tools to schedule the malware scanning. By using these tools you can create a scheduled malware reporting that enable you to take quick action

Backup

·         Last but not the least you need a strong and reliable backup plan to make sure that even in the case of attacks you would have the access to the latest version of your website that helps you to bounce back without much delay. You can make use of plugins like wpCentral to backup your website.

Conclusion

WordPress is the most popular and efficient content management system for beginners as well as advanced users. However, just like any other CMS, it can also have security issues. By wisely deeply reviewing your site, and constantly updating it to meet the best safety guidelines you can get rid of many security issues and continue enjoying the best WordPress experience.