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WordPress Security Issues: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

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WordPress has grown so popular that it currently powers 25% of the whole World Wide Web. This is also why WordPress has been the target of lots of hackers. If your site is powered by WordPress, there are a lot of things you should take into account to ensure your site’s total security.

Even if you’re using very expensive plugins which claim that they could secure your WP site down to the last bit, you could still be vulnerable to hacking anytime. You can’t control those people who have access to basic and advanced tech tools and techniques to harm your site and eventually deplete your hard-earned revenue.

WordPress is equal to an open book. It is very easy to hack and even those rookie hackers can potentially strike a glitch. To fully grasp the means to secure your very own WordPress site, you have to understand the crux of the matter; that is, the existence of WordPress security vulnerabilities. A vulnerability is a programming mistake that must be secured no matter what. Hackers take advantage of a website’s vulnerabilities to succeed in their crooked hacking process.

There are nearly 4,000 common WordPress security vulnerabilities. According to WPScan.org, 52% of these are from WordPress plugins, 37% from core WordPress, and 11% from WordPress themes.

Other identified attack vectors include:

  • 11% — Upload exploitation
  • 5% — Database Injections (SQLI)
  • 7% — Cross-Site Request Forgery or CSRF (forces logged-in users to execute actions they didn’t intend to do.)
  • 3% — Local File Inclusion or LFI
  • 6% — Simultaneous attacks from multiple attack vectors
  • 2% — Authentication Bypass
  • 2% — Remote File Inclusion or RFI
  • 2% — Full Path Disclosure or FPD
  • <1% — Server Side Request Forgery or SSRF
  • <1% — Denial of Service (commonly known as DDOS)
  • <1% —XML External Entity Attack which intercepts XML and
    reformats before submission)
  • <1% — Redirect
  • 6% — Unknown

There is also the so-called “file inclusion vulnerability”. It enables an attacker to add in a file, typically through a web server’s script. This can lead to mild harms such as outputting the contents of the file or serious repercussions such as code execution on your web server. Anything could happen. Or perhaps someone could force a server to load their own files on the server using this method.

Another very common form of cyber-attack is the exploits. Exploits can be generally considered the number 1 means that hackers use to infringe various WP sites. Exploits are a piece of software, a sequence of commands, or a chunk of data that take advantages of site vulnerabilities or bugs to control your system.

Because of these vulnerabilities, hackers and even terrorists can pursue their terrible intentions to cause harm to your site. All your hard work in making your website as flourishing as possible can be put to waste if you don’t pay serious attention to your site’s security.

When a WP site is compromised, there’s a high chance that the site will be used for spamming. Other usual effects include distribution of malware by the website itself to visitors. Once this happens, Google’s usual practice is to block the website. On the other hand, if the site is used for spamming, usually the hosting company will suspend the site.

WP security

So, what you can do to avoid cyber-attacks?

1. Remove Weak Logins

You need to set off strong passwords and make use of two-factor authentication. This can help enforce a better login security.

2. Prevent Malware

Install anti-malware/ virus software to work this out. Choose a strong software product that can do the job well.

3. Secure Vulnerable Servers

Without having a secure web and database servers, hackers can easily acquire complete access to your site, so make sure that even your servers are protected.

4. Set Proper Permissions

You should also ensure a proper arrangement of the user roles to avoid unnecessary vulnerabilities. File and folder permissions must be set up on WordPress securely.

5. Setup WordPress Correctly

There are WordPress configuration tricks that can keep the hackers away. Follow a thorough guide in setting up a WordPress account to keep everything safe and sound.

6. Update All The Things!

Keep updating your core WordPress, plugins and themes each time you see an update notification in your WP dashboard. If you stick to the old versions, they may have depreciated their functions that can lead to unwanted vulnerability.

7. Do Not Keep Multiple WordPress Websites on the Same Server

It’s risky to run multiple sites on one server. If you have multiple sites, there’s a chance that you can’t update and maintain each one of them with your uniform level of effort. If one of the sites you have set on the same server experiences heavy vulnerabilities due to poor updates, it will be very easy for hackers to penetrate it. And if a hacker has successfully intruded one of the websites of your single server, the rest of the websites on the same server can readily be prone to easier cyber-attack. Yes, it may cost you a lot to buy separate hosting for each site, but this is the safest resort. If you don’t like the sound of it, then you have to make sure that every single website on the same server is in good security condition.

8. Install Reliable and Popular Plugins

We have mentioned above that even the most expensive plugin can’t guarantee full security. However, choosing a really good one can save you big time as well. It enhances the functionality of your WordPress site. Just avoid purchasing weak plug-ins since they may cause more harm than good. There are actually free plugins from wordpress.org repository, but if you know of a trusted source, it will be ideal to go the extra mile.

How to buy the right plug-in:

  • Check the ratings of your prospect plug-in.
  • Take the time to read reviews from WordPress experts about your prospect plugin. Make sure that your sources are reliable and high-authority.
  • Install only the useful plugins. Uninstall the rest of the plugins that can be useless.
  • Check the plugin’s popularity among other blogs and web-masters.

Experts say that it’s nearly impossible to protect your WordPress site if you don’t invest in the right plugin. If your security issues are critical, it might be best to uninstall WP and move to an Enterprise Content Management System (CMS).

There are a lot of risks that can harm your WP site, but there are also a lot of things that you can do to prevent such risks from coming off in your website. Just stay updated with the latest cyber-attack trends, so you can enforce any corresponding fallbacks before the actual event.

eQTM admin

Quality | Timely | Marketing

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