WordPress Security Guide

WordPress Security Guide

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS), with 43.2% of all websites running on its software.

WordPress offers flexibility, usability, and advanced features that will help it succeed whether you’re establishing a commercial website, an online store, or a hobby blog.

Why Website Security is Important?

Hackers have the ability to take passwords, user data, install harmful software, and even spread malware to your users. The reputation and financial health of your company could be seriously harmed by a WordPress site hack and you can end up having to pay ransomware to hackers in order to get back into your website.

You should pay additional attention to WordPress security if your website is a business.

As an owner of an online business, it is your job to safeguard your company website, same like it is the responsibility of the business owner to protect their actual store facility.

Why Do You Need to Secure a WordPress Website?

If your WordPress website gets hacked, you risk losing important data, assets, and credibility. Furthermore, these security issues can jeopardize your customers’ personal data and billing information.

Based on WPScan Vulnerability Database, these are some of the most common types of WordPress security vulnerabilities:

  • Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) – forces the user to execute unwanted actions in a trusted web application.
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoSattack – incapacitates online services by flooding them with unwanted connections, thus rendering a site inaccessible.
  • Authentication bypass – gives hackers access to your website’s resources without verifying their authenticity.
  • SQL injection (SQLi) – forces the system to execute malicious SQL queries and manipulate data within the database.
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS) – injects malicious code that turns the site into a transporter of malware.
  • Local file inclusion (LFI) – forces the site into processing malicious files placed on the web server.

Keeping WordPress Updated

WordPress releases regular software updates to improve performance and security. These updates also protect your site from cyber threats.

Open source software called WordPress is updated and maintained on a regular basis. WordPress automatically installs small updates by default. You need to manually start the update for major releases.

You may install dozens of plugins and themes for WordPress on your website. These third-party developers that frequently issue updates also maintain these plugins and themes.

The stability and security of your WordPress site depend on these upgrades. You must make certain that your WordPress theme, plugins, and core are all current.

To check whether you have the latest WordPress version, open your WordPress admin area, and navigate to Dashboard -> Updates on the left menu panel. If it shows that your version is not up to date, we recommend updating it as soon as possible.

Screenshot of the WordPress Dashboard updates tab

Strong Passwords and User Permissions

The most common WordPress hacking attempts use stolen passwords. Use more secure passwords that are specific to your website to make that difficult for them, not only for your WordPress admin area, but also for your FTP accounts, database, WordPress hosting account, and your custom email addresses that make use of your website’s domain name.

Many beginners don’t like using strong passwords because they’re hard to remember. The good thing is that you don’t need to remember passwords anymore. You can use a password manager. See our guide on how to manage WordPress passwords.

Another way to reduce the risk is by not giving anyone access to your WordPress admin account unless you absolutely have to. If you have a large team or guest authors, then make sure that you understand user roles and capabilities in WordPress before you add new user accounts and authors to your WordPress site.

The Role of WordPress Hosting

The most crucial aspect of your WordPress site’s security is the WordPress hosting service you use. Good shared hosting companies like Bhosting or Hostbliz go above and beyond to safeguard their servers from typical threats.

Here is how an excellent web hosting service protects your websites and data in the background.

  • They constantly monitor their network for unusual activity.
  • All reputable hosting companies have tools in place to mitigate large-scale DDOS attacks.
  • They update their server software, PHP versions, and hardware to prevent hackers from exploiting a known security vulnerability in an older version.
  • They have disaster recovery and accident plans ready to deploy, allowing them to protect your data in the event of a major accident.

Install a WordPress Backup Solution

Backing up your data is your first line of defense against any WordPress attack. Remember that nothing is completely secure. If government websites can be compromised, so can yours.

Backups allow you to quickly restore your WordPress site if something goes wrong.

There are numerous free and paid WordPress backup plugins available. The most important thing to remember about backups is that you must save full-site backups to a remote location on a regular basis (not your hosting account).

We recommend storing it in the cloud with Amazon, Dropbox, or private clouds like Stash.

Depending on how frequently you update your website, once-a-day or real-time backups may be the best option.

Best WordPress Security Plugin

Following backups, we must set up an auditing and monitoring system to keep track of everything that occurs on your website.

This includes monitoring file integrity, failed login attempts, malware scanning, and so on.

Fortunately, the best free WordPress security plugin, Sucuri Scanner, can handle all of this.

You must first download and install the free Sucuri Security plugin.

After activation, navigate to the Sucuri menu in your WordPress admin. The first thing you’ll be prompted to do is create a free API key. This allows for audit logging, integrity checks, email alerts, and other useful features.

The next thing, you need to do is click on the ‘Hardening’ tab from the settings menu. Go through every option and click on the “Apply Hardening” button.

Sucuri security hardening

 

Enable Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Using a web application firewall is the simplest way to protect your site and have confidence in your WordPress security (WAF).

A website firewall prevents malicious traffic from reaching your website.

DNS Level Website Firewall  – These firewalls route your website traffic through their cloud proxy servers. This enables them to send only legitimate traffic to your web server.

Application Level Firewall Plugins – These firewall plugins examine traffic after it reaches your server but before most WordPress scripts are loaded. In terms of reducing server load, this method is not as effective as the DNS level firewall.

Sucuri WAF

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