A significant portion of the Internet runs on WordPress. And according to a recent estimate, WordPress powers about 40% of all websites. Despite that figure’s amazing, WordPress websites can still be vulnerable to hacks if left unattended. Anything online is susceptible to hacks and security breaches. Nevertheless, you can reduce these risks by implementing proper WordPress security for your website.
Making a well-thought-out, intelligent, and modern WordPress security strategy for your website a priority is one method to reduce these dangers. Continue reading to learn why you, as a business owner, should invest in the security of your website.
Why Invest in WordPress Security for Your Website?
You must realise the value of effective WordPress security as a website owner. Your website is strengthened against potential cyberattacks whenever you invest in its security. Long-term benefits and profitability of your online business come from investing in the security of your website.
Here are some ways a cyberattack can harm your online business.
Loss of Customer’s Confidential Information
Data is the new oil and hackers continuously develop new strategies to access private customer information and crucial corporate data like employee records, trade secrets, and patents. It could lock out your company’s critical databases if a cyberattack is successful, and attackers might demand a hefty ransom to unlock them.
You could also lose a lot of time, money, and other resources in the recovery process if a malware virus brought on by the attack changes, overwrites, or erases your database.
Loss of Customer Trust
Cyberattacks result in a significant loss of shareholder trust, customer trust, brand loyalty, and general reputation. Your customers and shareholders might no longer want to do business with you.
This is due to either the losses they have suffered directly due to the attack or the potential losses they could experience if they continue engaging with your brand.
Successful data breaches may also result in confidential customer information being utilised for identity theft, fraudulent financial transactions, or other illegal acts, damaging your company’s brand.
Cyber-Attacks Are Expensive
Cyber-attacks result in significant financial losses in addition to customer and reputational damage. Ransom payments, fraudulent money transfers, a decline in sales, a loss of investor confidence, the theft of sensitive information (such as patents, trade secrets, and ongoing R&D), productivity losses, a drop in company valuation, less favourable financial projections, etc. could all result in losses.
Along with these are expenses related to incident response, recovery and repairs, post-incidence investigation, vulnerability analysis, and escalation.
Lastly, cyberattacks carry serious legal risks because they may result in significant fines for non-compliance, civil litigation, etc.
Risk of Business Continuity
Cybercrime is a brutal reality that costs a lot of money to companies of all sizes and industries, including major global internet companies like Facebook.
Small and medium-sized companies might be unable to recover from such cyberattacks and may have to shut down. Data shows over 60% of small businesses fail within six months after a successful cyberattack.
What Are the Common WordPress Security Issues?
Since WordPress is open-source, anyone with access to the Internet can alter and distribute its code, greatly enhancing its ability to be optimised and customised. Thus, it is the platform that website owners prefer the most. There are countless themes, plug-ins, and developers skilled at customising the backend code to the requirements of the website’s design.
One of WordPress’s most distinctive features, and what makes it a favourite among web developers worldwide, is the flexibility of its coding.
However, if your website is not configured or maintained properly, this flexibility could make it vulnerable to security breaches. What happens if you don’t take the necessary precautions to secure your WordPress website?
The most frequent security problems that website owners can encounter are listed below.
Anyone using the internet or running a website has probably encountered the infamous DDoS attack.
The upgraded version of Denial of Service (DoS), known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), occurs when a web server receives a considerable number of requests at once, causing it to become slow and eventually fail.
DDoS is a coordinated attack carried out utilising numerous machines all around the world. Due to this infamous web security breach, millions of dollars are lost each year.
Brute Force Attack
In layman’s terms, a brute force attack is when you guess a username or password by trying hundreds of combinations and failing each time. Strong dictionaries and algorithms are used in this process to infer the password from some sort of context.
Despite being challenging to carry out, this attack is one of the most common against WordPress websites. WordPress does not, by default, prevent users from making several unsuccessful attempts, allowing a human or automated programme to attempt thousands of combinations every second.
Injecting SQL queries into a database through any web form or input field is one of the oldest hacks in the history of the internet.
After gaining access to your WordPress admin, a hacker may manipulate the MySQL database or change the login information to cause more harm.
In a phishing attack, the attacker contacts the target using the appearance of a trustworthy service or business. In these situations, the attacker usually tries to persuade the target to download malicious software, divulge personal information, or go to a potentially dangerous website.
A hacker who gains access to your WordPress website may even assume your identity and plan phishing attacks on your site’s users.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
An outdated plugin, script, or theme might introduce malicious code into WordPress. Due to its subtle nature, this code can insert malicious content and extract data from your website.
If malware is not removed on time, it may cause minor to major damage. When the core has been impacted, sometimes the entire WordPress site needs to be reinstalled. Due to the substantial volume of data that is moved or hosted on your site, this may also raise the cost of your hosting.
Outdated WordPress & PHP Versions
WordPress’s outdated versions are more likely to be affected by a security threat. Over time, hackers discover ways to attack its core and eventually take over websites still utilising older versions.
The WordPress team distributes patches and newer versions with upgraded security features for the same purpose. Running outdated PHP versions may result in compatibility problems. WordPress depends on PHP to function. Hence an updated version is needed.
42.6% of WordPress users are still using one of the earlier versions, according to the company’s official data. Statistics also show that only 2.3% of WordPress websites use the most recent PHP 7.2.php version.
How to Secure Your WordPress Website?
The problem with online security is that it is never 100% guaranteed. In other words, you cannot be completely safe online. You can concentrate on website security and take precautions to secure it by remaining vigilant and aware of the typical flaws in website design that hackers exploit.
There is good news, though! By ensuring you adhere to sound web design principles backed by web design professionals, you can prevent falling prey to hacker attacks. The following is a list of practices that can help you improve the security of your WordPress website.
Install SSL Certificate
For websites, SSL certificates act as locks. They safeguard user data, confirm the website’s ownership, stop hackers from building a false site version, and convey trust to users. In other words, they contribute to the security of your website.
SSL certificates are, in a nutshell, a type of protection that guards your website. Please be aware that if you are hosting externally, your certificate must be part of your hosting plan.
Update to the Latest Version of WordPress
Update the plug-ins, themes, and core regularly to increase security. Using the older plug-in and theme versions, your website is more open to cyberattacks.
Use a staging site to test the features before adding them to your site if you’re concerned about how an upgrade will impact it.
Create a Backup Plan
Always have a backup strategy in place, especially for your website. It assists in the event of a cyberattack and considerably lowers downtime. Additionally, you can host your website on a server with facilities for a fully automatic backup system.
Alternatively, you can use a plug-in to create regular backups to save on your cloud and any other device you choose.
Right here in Australia, you can find safe and trustworthy hosting services. There are hosting options available that will meet your demands based on your website’s size, number of visitors, and functionality.
Install the Latest PHP Version
Your website’s PHP engine is what drives it, so it’s crucial to maintain it updated to ensure a seamless user experience. When going live, make sure that your PHP version is constantly updated. Installing your website’s most recent PHP version will enable you to achieve this.
Every release is usually supported for two years, so any critical vulnerabilities or bug fixes will be taken care of.
Limit Log-In Attempts
The WordPress log-in page is the most likely target of a brute-force assault. The simplest way to secure your WordPress website is to use a security plug-in that caps the number of login tries and blocks a specific IP if it exceeds the set attempts.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Combining the limited log-in policy with two-factor authentication, or 2FA will increase the security of your WordPress website. A plug-in that can confirm a user’s identity on two different platforms before permitting successful login is required to enable 2FA, which is a straightforward process. The Google Authenticator plug-in is one of the most popular.
Secure Your Website with Digital Rescue Today!
The security of your WordPress website is a top priority in this digital age. A secure website attests to the reliability of your brand and greatly aids in its expansion. As a business owner, you must discuss the best website security procedures with your web designer.
On the other hand, you may rely on our experts at Digital Rescue to secure your WordPress website and fix its flaws.
We successfully combine our 20+ years of experience as a web design agency with industry-leading SEO and digital strategy know-how, which other agencies struggle to do. With the help of our sister company, TopRankings, the leading SEO agency in Melbourne, we can provide you with a great-looking and secure website built for lead generation. Contact us now to book a free chemistry call.