WordPress Security Vulnerabilities: WordPress has quickly become one of the most popular content management systems on the web. Its easy-to-use, simple yet powerful feature set has seen it replacing many proprietary solutions in ecommerce, blogging, and business websites.
Naturally, it’s also the backbone of many blogs and small business sites. And, as we all know, it’s vulnerable to security threats and cyberattacks.
Security vulnerabilities have become a common occurrence in today’s online world. And, while it can seem overwhelming at times, there are plenty of WordPress security vulnerabilities that every WordPress website owner should be aware of.
Here are the top WordPress security vulnerabilities you should be aware of:
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Brute Force Attack
In a Brute Force Attack, the attackers use trial-and-error to guess passwords, encryption keys, or locate a hidden web page. They apply all possible combinations using powerful algorithms and dictionaries.
Since WordPress does not block users from making several fail attempts by default, it opens doors for humans or bots to try several combinations per second.
Prevent Brute Force Attacks
Creating a strong password goes a long way in securing your site.
To do that, use upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use easy passwords such as 123456 or password. As is apparent, these types of passwords are prevalent and even a novice can guess them easily.
Also, integrate Two Factor Authentication to further beef up your site security.
SQL injection is an attack vector that makes use of malicious SQL code in an attempt to manipulate backend database and access info. This info can be sensitive company data or confidential customer details.
An SQL Injection Vulnerability occurs when user data is inserted into a SQL query that is constructed in such a way that it could result in the execution of a malicious SQL command. As a result, an attacker can execute arbitrary code on a web application and/or database server.
A successful SQL attack may result in the unauthorized viewing of confidential details, the deletion of tables, and the attacker even gaining administrative access to a database.
Prevent SQL Injection
Use a plugin such as WPScan or Sucuri SiteCheck to find out if your site has fallen victim to SQL Injection or not. You should also ensure that your WordPress and any theme or plugin are updated. You can always visit the support forums to report such cases.
There is a lot of malicious software floating around, ready to infect your website and take control. If they happen to succeed, you could be in for a shock if you aren’t aware of what can happen and how to prevent it from happening to you and your website.
Malware includes any malicious software. Malware files could be placed in legitimate site files to steal from sites and their visitors, try unauthorized login or cause general mayhem.
Malware enters WordPress sites via illicit and out-of-date themes and plugins. Security problems in plugins and themes are an open invitation for hackers. They can even reproduce existing ones or make new add-ons to place harmful code on your site.
Prevent Malware Attack
Make sure to vet all the plugins and themes you install on your WordPress site.
It would help if you also carried out security scans using plugins regularly to identify any potential malware on your website. Plugins such as Defender by WPMU DEV can scan malware and have great features to prevent many other issues.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Spam
These spammy hacks target website SEO. These hacks will find out your top-ranking pages and fill them with spammy keywords and pop-up ads. They then use your work to sell items or fake merchandise.
These hacks are not easy to detect. Though the hackers often gain access, they wait for the right time to make alterations as they don’t want to raise immediate suspicion.
Since they place the spammy keyword on your high-ranking pages, you won’t find them when carrying out a site-wide review. They will just add a keyword here and there within relevant pages. Your code will stay relatively intact.
SEO crawlers can easily notice your SEO Spam as they index a website with spammy keywords and users that search for the spammy keyword.
Prevent Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Spam
To prevent SEO spam, update your website, themes, and plugins on time and define user roles. It is also recommended to use a WordPress security plugin that conducts malware scans.
You should also keep a close eye on your analytics data and note any abrupt changes in SERP positions or increased site traffic for no apparent reason.
You may also get notifications from an internet browser if it notices that your website is featuring in search results for things that aren’t related to your site.
Or, for those with coding skills, you can filter through your high-ranking pages that appear to be affected and find out the spammy keywords.
You can also take the help of a WordPress development company for your mission-critical projects, such as SEO optimization.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) happens when a malicious code is placed into the backend code of your website. XSS mainly targets web page functionality. If hackers get access to your front-end display, they might harm visitors by showing a fake contact form to steal their info and so on.
Outdated or poorly maintained plugins are the main cause of XSS.
Prevent Cross-Site Scripting
Keep your WordPress Core, plugins, and theme updated always. Be extra cautious while implementing any third-party software on your site.
Installing a web application firewall (WAF) can also help prevent XSS as it scrutinizes traffic and deters unapproved visitors from entering your system.
That’s a Wrap!
WordPress, the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in use today, powers most blog sites and even regular websites today. This leads to more and more WordPress website owners turning to the platform for their online needs.
While this is great news for WordPress, it also leads to an influx of new users, many of who may not fully understand the security implications involved with running a website.
The sheer number of sites running WordPress means it is also targeted by malicious hackers more than any other system.
That’s why it’s essential to be aware of security vulnerabilities so that you can take sufficient precautions beforehand.