WordPress is a popular open source platform for building websites. To date, over 17 million websites have been built on this platform, mainly because of its user-friendly content management system. While wordpress hosted sites offer high quality protection, there are certain actions that can still pose a security threat. In order to ensure that your wordpress site remains as secure as possible, it’s important for you to manage it carefully and regularly. Setting up a difficult login password, making sure that the site is always up to date with the latest version of wordpress, making sure that all plugins and themes are from trusted sources and are updated regularly, and running scheduled scans for malware are the most basic ways to protect your site from hackers.
As important as it is to understand how to protect your website, it’s equally important to understand the different ways in which it can be compromised. Here are three common issues affecting wordpress security:
1. Brute Force Attacks
Brute force attacks are when hackers go to your website’s login page and try to figure out the login details. They do this by entering a combination of username and passwords until the right one is identified. This is usually done by bots. When the right username and password is found, the hackers gain full access to your site’s front-end. The threat doesn’t stop there, however. Even if a hacker is unable to figure out the right login combination, the brute force attack causes your site’s hosting provider to flag the account.
Brute force attacks overload the servers, and when this happens, the hosting company often suspends the account that is under attack, which then takes the website offline altogether. Changing the wordpress default settings and limiting the login attempts is the best way to prevent this issue.
2. SQL Injections
WordPress websites run on SQL databases. The database runs PHP and URL commands, it contains all of the website’s data, and it makes the website function properly. If hackers gain access to the SQL database, they can change the URL and PHP commands, causing your site to behave in a different way and go to different links.
Additionally, by having access to the SQL database, hackers are also able to create new user accounts with full administrative privileges. This method gives them access to both the front-end and the back-end. SQL injections can be prevented by inserting rules in the .htaccess file to block the rendering of url hacks.
Malware is malicious code that is placed into your site’s files. It is used by hackers to secretly gain access to websites. Once the malware has been installed, they are free to gather any sensitive information that they want. This is especially harmful if your website is used to process confidential information, including billing details.
If your site is infected with malware, the code must be identified and immediately removed in order to make the site secure again. Another option is to restore the site to a safe, backed up version. A last resort is to reinstall the wordpress platform altogether. Running scheduled malware scans will help you identify malware and remove it before it causes irreversible damage.