Are you concerned about the security threats of building your website using WordPress? Are you worried that WordPress pages are more vulnerable to hacking?
Your worry, we understand. WordPress, after all, accounts for 90 percent of all website threats. They will use that to run all manner of nefarious operations until a hacker gets into your website. They may, among a long list of other items, spam your clients, view unwanted content, and deface your website.
When Google or your WordPress host discovers the breach, problems get worse when they default to blacklisting your website automatically and suspending your account.
But you don’t have to think about WordPress and you don’t need to be stopped from using it. By far, it is one of the most stable systems on which to create your website and is the world’s most commonly used CMS (Content Management System).
Its success makes hackers a lucrative target. But don’t panic, because we’ll help you understand why WordPress pages are targeted in this post. We’ll also teach you how to protect your website from hackers and deter attacks. You can read our post on common WordPress hacking attacks.
WordPress is a reliable website development tool, but there are other factors at play that contribute to security risks. You need stable protection & firewall plugins, such as MalCare, to keep your website secure. It would guarantee that hackers from the get-go are stopped. You can be informed of malicious activities if they find a way in, and you will use MalCare to clean up the site immediately before any harm is done.
WordPress Is Secure – Here’s Why
With over 1.3 billion active websites, WordPress is the most common CMS in the world. Naturally, such popularity attracts hackers’ interest. The more priorities there are, the more they must earn.
But the alternative isn’t simply to go for a less common CMS. This is because nothing is 100 percent safe in the modern world. But it’s fair to assume that no CMS is fully stable out there and WordPress is not either.
In the past, WordPress encountered security problems that lead to the hacking of several pages on its website. The last big attack encountered by WordPress was back in 2017, when a flaw resulted in the defacing of 1.5 million WordPress websites. Nevertheless, the WordPress team of engineers quickly jumped into action and patched the flaw immediately.
WordPress hasn’t seen a challenge since then. So to answer the question,’ Is it healthy for WordPress? Yeah, it’s fair to assume there is a stable forum. This is the reason why:
- Any of the world’s best developers make up this WordPress core team.
- They work hard to upgrade the programme and develop the WordPress technology.
- More specifically, by checking their applications and repairing any bugs automatically, they guarantee it’s a stable platform.
- New security mechanisms that keep WordPress airtight against hackers continue to be built by the team.
- Moreover, to ensure the security of its website, WordPress costs millions of dollars per year.
We should believe that, to ensure the protection of all websites on their network, WordPress takes security very seriously.
But WordPress pages are still attacked and compromised, despite having such rock-solid protections! How would this be? Next, we will discuss this conundrum.
Why Are WordPress Sites Hacked?
There are third parties who come into play with WordPress sites while building a WordPress site:
- Themes and Plugins
- Users (Website owner, authors, and developers, etc.)
In maintaining a WordPress website safe from malware, these third parties have a major role to play. There are lapses on their part often that hackers take advantage of. You can also learn that WordPress gets compromised by hackers.
Security of Themes and Plugins
WordPress is favoured by many because, without requiring technological expertise, it encourages just about everyone to create a website. But its proliferation of themes and plugins that allow website customization to make it look professional is what made WordPress so famous.
Third parties, and not the WordPress staff, create these themes and plugins. Many architects are proud of their projects and take the utmost consideration of protection and consistency. To keep up with the new technologies of WordPress, they are actively designing and upgrading their theme and plugin.
That said, we’ve seen plugins and themes grow vulnerabilities from time to time when working with WordPress for over a decade. In reality, bugs in plugins and themes are the main reason why WordPress pages get hacked.
But there are a lot of aspects that come into play. We need to discuss why developers make plugins and themes in order to explain why plugins and themes are the number one reason why WordPress pages get hacked. We also suggest reviewing our post on why nullified WordPress themes and plugins should be avoided.
Under various conditions and with various intentions, developers build plugins and themes. We split them into two categories:
One who works hard at creating and sustaining their software is the first form of developer. For their plugins and colours, they charge a fee. It encourages them to cover the expenditures involved with this initiative and makes it worth their time.
Security is a priority in these situations, because their reputation and organisation are at stake. In their jobs, they take pride.
However, often vulnerability bugs occur when improving and creating their designs. This is mostly because there’s a competition to keep on top. Often, security tests can be ignored when attempting to implement new features and functions quickly.
However, they typically repair it immediately and issue a patch in the form of an upgrade when they find security faults in their plugin or theme.
These developers then notify their customers on the wp-admin dashboard via emails or push notifications that an updated version of their plugin or theme is accessible. They prompt their customers as soon as possible to upgrade the app.
The second type of developer is the one who, as a hobby or to test their coding abilities, creates plugins and themes. The bulk of these plugins and themes are delivered free of charge.
When any of these developers leave the programme when they are unable to spend their time or it becomes too difficult to manage, the problem emerges. This leaves the programme vulnerable to bugs that can never be repaired.
We can reasonably conclude it’s been discontinued if a plugin hasn’t had any updates for a long time.
Plus, consumers can never be told that they are no longer maintaining the plugin or theme. On their own, they will have to work things out. Users will need to find an option to substitute this same plugin or theme if they do so. Yet their WordPress websites are being left open to hacking in the meantime. Here’s a list of WordPress plugins that are vulnerable.
Let’s see how users and the team play a part in the protection of the website, now that you know why plugins and themes can become insecure.
Security of Website Admins and Users
WordPress engineers are responsible for the bulk of the responsibility for keeping the app secure. There is, however, still a pressure on the WordPress customer. There are certain security precautions when setting up a WordPress domain that website owners need to take on their own to discourage hackers from hacking into the website.
Many WordPress sites feel that they are not common enough to be a target for hackers, mostly small ones. They are under the assumption that hackers are of little benefit to their website, or that hackers only attack huge businesses.
This is far away from reality. Hackers, when it comes to the scale and success of pages, are not biassed. For them, a website is of importance because they can use the tools of the site to conduct harmful activities. In addition, since they are well aware that these sites appear to be relaxed with security controls, they like to target small sites. It makes hacking easier for them.
Here are the key vulnerability flaws contributing to compromised WordPress sites:
- Weak WordPress Login Credentials
- Deferring WordPress Updates
- Assigning Incorrect User Roles
- Not Installing SSL
- Using Pirated Themes and Plugins
Weak Login Credentials
A user has to create a username and password when setting up a WordPress account. Any time they want to enter the admin screen, these credentials are required.
The default username ‘admin’ appears to be used by most users. They also adhere to passwords that, including password 123, are easy to recall.
Hackers realise this and build a large archive of login credentials that are regularly used. Next, to enter the login tab, they programme bots and try variants and iterations of this list. This is called an assault by brute force which can have a destructive effect.
In this way, hackers are able to crack several passwords and break into WordPress pages by using common WordPress credentials.
Deferring WordPress Updates
Along with its themes and extensions, applications such as WordPress is never fine. In order to keep up with technical advances, WordPress developers continually upgrade their applications. They add new functionality and repair any bugs, errors, and faults they discover as well.
They release a new version of their applications as they do this. WordPress 5.0, for instance, featured the Gutenberg editor that revolutionised the manner in which WordPress produced web pages. Bug patches are provided in WordPress 5.0.1.
What is most important here, though, is that often these fixes bear security patches. They repair it and release the security patch if developers discover bugs or security problems.
Many WordPress domain operators, though, appear to postpone their site updating. This exists for many reasons, including:
- There are too many updates
- The updates come to frequently
- They don’t think it’s important or beneficial
This spells trouble as site owners postpone an upgrade that contains a security fix. With an example, let’s understand why. Let’s assume a module called Plugin X (version 1) is being used on a website:
- Plugin X creators will find that version 1 has a security bug. They repair it promptly and issue a patch in version 2 form. They will have to announce the upgrade information as they do this, which would show that a security flaw was present in version 1.
- Hackers are now aware that it is open to version 1. They also realise that not all web owners can automatically upgrade their pages.
- In search of WordPress pages using Plugin X, Hackers software scanners to scour the internet (version 1). It won’t take long for them to produce a list of these individual sites.
- The hacker can now exploit the flaw and get into the web.
A hacker’s work gets even simpler by not upgrading the web!
Assigning Incorrect User Roles
Rarely are WordPress pages run single-handedly. They are normally managed by many people, but not all of them require maximum access to the web.
WordPress provides a function for this reason that allows the administrator of the web to delegate various responsibilities and permissions for – consumer. Six default WordPress user roles are available: Superadmin, Moderator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber.
Each status dictates which consumer has what powers and what duties. The Administrator has direct power of the website, for instance. When we go down the hierarchy, the permissions decline with the subscriber holding the least power.
In the security of the platform, these positions play a crucial function. It could be tragic to give admin powers to anyone.
This is because hackers are attacked for any user account on a WordPress platform. If a hacker can get into an admin account, the site would be entirely managed by them. Next, private information may be compromised, rogue plugins and themes installed, unauthorised files and directories stored, among other items.
Yet they won’t be able to do anything if they break into a subscriber’s account. This is why it’s a vital aspect of website protection to delegate user positions.
Not Installing SSL
A WordPress website also passes data from browsers and web servers and receives it. This data often involves personal information, such as user credentials and payment information.
The data is transmitted in plain text while a website uses HTTP (Hypertext transmission protocol). Hackers aim to get this information intercepted. They would be able to take advantage of it if it is in plain text.
Site owners need to add an SSL certificate to prevent this from occurring (Secure Socket Layer). Instead of HTTP, the website will continue to use HTTPS. It would encrypt the data being transmitted. And they won’t be able to decode the details even if hackers have their hands on it.
Using Pirated Themes and Plugins
To build a unique platform, several WordPress plugins and themes provide impressive functionality and functions. But all of these plugins and themes are items that are premium. The creator issues a licence to use it when you order the software.
WordPress has, however, made creating a website fast and cheap. But there’s a mentality of trying absolutely nothing to build a web. This has prompted many owners of the site to give in to the lure of using extensions and pirated themes.
A pirated version is a theme or plugin that is cracked or null where the copyright has been broken. Without paying for it, everyone is free to use it.
These pirated plugins and themes are, however, almost always loaded with malware. The malware infects the site as it is installed on a website. This makes it easier for hackers to take over the web and wreak havoc.
You will also see how third parties play such a crucial role in the protection of a WordPress website. There are also best practises to follow and WordPress hardening steps to be enforced when setting up and maintaining a WordPress platform in order to keep it secure. This would restrict passwords to the site from being accessed by hackers. Let’s take a look at how the WordPress site can be kept secure.
WordPress Security Best Practices
Know, hackers prefer targeting easy-to-hack sites. You find it difficult for them to hack by applying appropriate safety precautions. They could make a couple of attempts and move away from your web.
In order to make your site’s protection stable, we’ll bring you the most critical WordPress security steps to introduce!
- Install A Security & Firewall Plugin
- Keep Your Site Updated
- Install An SSL Certificate
- Use Strong Login Credentials
- Assign Correct User Roles
- Implement WordPress Hardening
- Use Trusted Themes and Plugins
Install A Security & Firewall Plugin
Your first line of protection against hackers is a safe and firewall plugin.
We consider using MalCare, one of the best security plugins out there, as our plugin. It will periodically search for viruses on your website. Often, the web server firewall can detect and block connections to the site from malicious traffic. It will discourage hackers from accessing your site, let alone trying to access it.
It also provides you access to several other security features that will still keep the website safe.
Keep Your Site Updated
Earlier, we reported that fixes bear security patches. This makes downloading updates when and when they are available very necessary.
Install an SSL Certificate
SSL is such a crucial component of encryption as it holds secure all information transmitted from and to your site. Your website will display a green lock in the address bar after downloading an SSL certificate to indicate that your site is secure.
Your web hosting company or any SSL provider will buy an SSL certificate. A basic SSL certificate can also be downloaded from LetsEncrypt for free.
Use Strong Login Credentials
The login page is the key to the admin panel of your website. Your lock and key act as the username and password.
Ensure that you use certificates that are impossible for anyone to infer. We suggest that a username that is specific be used for this. Avoid using ‘admin’ or any name on your website that can easily be searched.
For passwords, in conjunction with numbers and icons, such as ThecatintheHat1234$, we consider using a passphrase. When you set your password, WordPress will say whether it is weak or solid.
Assign Correct User Roles
Only trusted users and others who actually require these approvals will be given admin access. Grant restricted rights to all other apps by allocating user functions.
Through viewing your WordPress dashboard, you can do this. Go to the Users section, and here you will delegate tasks to each user.
Implement WordPress Hardening
WordPress advises such security mechanisms to harden the website so that it can be much harder for hackers to break in.
Hardening WordPress, though, is a topic that requires even more comprehensive attention. To grasp WordPress Hardening, we suggest this guide.
You will need to take the following steps to give you a concise rundown of what WordPress hardening involves:
- Disable plugin installations
- Disable plugin and theme editors
- Limit login attempts
- Implement 2 Factor Authentication
- Change WordPress salts and keys
- Block PHP execution in untrusted folders
If you want to bypass the hassle and quickly enforce hardening for WordPress, you can use a plugin to do so. By rendering things as easy as a few taps, plugins like MalCare ease the process.
Use Trusted Themes and Plugins
In reputable locations such as the WordPress repository, plugins and themes that are available must follow certain security criteria and benchmarks to be included. And you can have faith that they’re safe to use.
You may rely on trustworthy markets such as CodeCanyon and ThemeForest, too.
Never use plugins and themes that are pirated and untrusted. They just aren’t worth the chance.
Your WordPress account will be safeguarded from malware with these precautions in place. You can be assured that your website and the forum for WordPress are stable.
Both websites on the internet, regardless of which CMS they used to create their platform, are targets for hackers. One of the most safe sites, though, is WordPress.
That said, WordPress pages are not immune from attacks and security breaches. To ensure your platform is safe, you need to take precautions on your own.
We suggest that you always keep a security & firewall plugin active on your WordPress account, such as MalCare. This would mean that hackers from the get-go are stopped. You can be informed of malicious activities if they find a way in, and you will use MalCare to clean up the site immediately before any harm is done.