If you’re running a WordPress site, one of the worst things that could happen is to see your website getting hacked. Gone are the days where we relied on paper documents and file cabinets. Everything is now done over the Internet and pretty much all the information is stored online. This has made it easy for cyber attackers to successfully steal your data and this could significantly affect your business.
Furthermore, if your website is not secure, then it will become highly vulnerable to a hack. Unfortunately, a lot of WordPress users have admitted that their websites have been hacked at least once. If you’re one of them, you might find yourself wondering why your website keeps getting hacked.
How Hackers Attack a WordPress Site
WordPress is a highly secure platform. However, there are certain things that could make it easier for hackers to penetrate your website. The biggest risk is your plugins. Plugins play an important role in the way your WordPress site works. There’s currently an impressive number of plugins available for all WordPress users to download. However, you need to be careful when downloading them since plugin vulnerabilities account for more than 50% of the hacker’s entry points towards your website.
As you know, WordPress is a type of open-source software and anyone can create and publish add-ons for it. This is a great thing, but the real problem is that not all these add-ons and plug-ins are secure. Installing them could make your website more vulnerable to attackers.
There are many other ways in which a hacker can penetrate your website. One of these is known as the Blue Force Attack, which is basically a type of “password guessing” scheme. For this scheme, the hacker will identify your WordPress username and guess a password for such username. Although there are technologies and methods in place that can keep your passwords safe and secure, this type of attack is still a common problem and accounts for about 15% of the known hacker entry points.
Another way a hacker can attack your website is through DDoS attack or a denial-of-service attack. This is a type of cyber-attack where the hacker will make a network resource unavailable by indefinitely disrupting the services of a host that’s connected to your Internet connection. Therefore, you must keep your real IP address hidden and use an Internet connection that’s private and highly encrypted.
How to Defend Your Website against Hackers?
Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to keep your website safe from hackers and increase your website’s overall security. Others are easy to do while there are also those that are a bit complicated and may require some coding experience to successfully implement them.
The simplest way is to back up your website. Unfortunately, this is one thing that many people tend to overlook. It’s always a good idea to back up your website so if a malicious attack will take place, your website cannot be taken down. All that hard work and time that you have put into it will only go to waste when an attacker successfully enters your website and takes it down. So as always, keep a backup of your site.
An effective way to back up your site is to use an external hard disk and perform daily backups of your entire website. That way, all the important files will be kept in an offline medium and nobody will be able to get access to it. There are also numerous online options to back up your website and that includes using plugins where you can store your files on cloud and then access them from anywhere.
Using Plugins to Secure Your Website
Although plugins are often the number one reason for a hacker to be able to successfully penetrate your website, there are also certain plugins that can help improve your website’s security. This can be done by installing a reliable security plugin such as WordPress Defender, iThemes Security, Wordfence, and Cloudflare. These security plugins can help to significantly lower your website’s risk of a cyberattack. They will constantly scan your website for any malicious attacks and the moment they detect any, they will immediately act accordingly to stop them.
Since plugins are often the main reason for website hacks, it’s very important that you keep your plugins updated. Outdated plugins will make your website highly vulnerable to potential hacks. Developers of these plugins regularly fix them the moment they detect any vulnerabilities. Therefore, keep them up to date so you can benefit from these fixes and prevent hackers from exploiting them. If possible, check for updates at least once a week.
Another way to prevent hackers from attacking your website through plugins is to avoid using abandon plugins. Remember that when you use plugins, you’re relying upon the developer to ensure that the plugin is free from any vulnerability that could jeopardize the security of your site. So, if they’re no longer updating the plugins, there’s a good chance that there are some vulnerabilities that weren’t fixed. It’s highly recommended to avoid downloading plugins that haven’t been updated in more than 6 months. For those that you’ve already installed, it’s a good idea to conduct an audit at least once a quarter to ensure that their developers constantly update them.
As you see, there are many ways through which you can secure your WordPress site from potential hackers. Remember that security is a very important aspect when running a website, whether through WordPress or other platforms. This is especially applicable nowadays that malicious people are all over the Internet looking for vulnerable targets. These hackers will try to use and steal your data or ruin the overall operation of your website.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to follow the tips above to keep your WordPress site safe and secure against malicious attacks. WordPress is a truly great platform. For as long as you exercise precaution in protecting your website, then you can certainly benefit from it.
Check out WordPress’ offical blog regarding WordPress website security here.