You can find lots of options for securing your wordpress website. However, we believe there is no such thing and 100% secure when building on 3rd party software. This post covers options you can consider for securing your website and the realities of loopholes.
THE WORDPRESS CMS
The content management system itself is maintained by a fairly large group of users. Its open source which is arguably the best way to make well used software secure. Open source also allows everyone to see all aspects of the solution which can be good or bad depending on your outlook
As with all software, there is always security issues to consider. When building on someone else’s software, you inherit their security issues. The alternative is to build your own which is difficult and prone to issues also. In short, no matter which route you take, there will be issues to consider.
One great way to avoid issues is to update wordpress as often as possible. During releases, they usually specify issues with security that they are attempting to fix. At this point, everyone knows that the exploit exists which leaves you vulnerable without an upgrade.
We won’t wast time specifying plugins, since there are several. What we will do is cover what these plugins claim to do.
- Screen / monitor
- Question / Validate
- Clean Up
Together, these solutions can be very helpful towards reducing risk and repairing issues as they arise. Sometimes, the best offence is a strong defense so being able to repair any losses should be a priority.
It will take time to find the right combination of plugins. Some claim to do a good job; However, your testing may not have the same results. You also need to consider that some plugins are very intrusive in how they operate, showing warning in the admin, and slowing down your website. There are pros and cons with everything and security is no different.
RESULTS OF INSECURE WEBSITES
When your website falls victim to exploits, the sky is the limit in terms of things that can go wrong. Some exploits only go so far, for example, affecting the database only. Other exploits will gain access to your server files, with the ability to add/edit/delete files.
The motives of hackers differ greatly. Here are a few reasons why your website may be attacked:
- use of your server resources like mass emailing
- Mailicious attack on your operations, like deletion of files
- access to confidential information like other user’s profile information
- manipulation of features in their favor, like awarding themselves discounts
Some reasons have nothing to do with you specifically. Often times, exploits are carried out by automation. So for example, a server would be sitting in a room with software designed to seek out and exploit and vulnerabilities. Searching for these exploits is as easy as searching on google.
Every website online is attacked at some point. Building your product on an open source CMS like wordpress is a great approach to building a secure foundation. From there, you can build on your defences with a strong offence like IP blocking and a strong defense like database backups.