For anyone that owns or operates a website, ensuring optimal security is an essential aspect of running a successful online business. For anyone operating a WordPress site - which represents many site owners, as it's one of the most popular web platforms available - website security is particularly important. While WordPress is a reliable platform, it also has many vulnerabilities, putting your site's data at significant risk. This can lead to a loss of customers or customer trust, with potential legal challenges as well.
According to the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database, there were 112 vulnerable WordPress plugins and themes reported in July 2023. The most affected plugins were:
- WooCommerce: 22 vulnerabilities
- WordPress: 17 vulnerabilities
- Contact Form 7: 12 vulnerabilities
- Yoast SEO: 11 vulnerabilities
- Elementor: 10 vulnerabilities
The most affected themes were:
- Avada: 12 vulnerabilities
- Divi: 11 vulnerabilities
- OceanWP: 10 vulnerabilities
- GeneratePress: 9 vulnerabilities
- Sydney: 8 vulnerabilities
These vulnerabilities ranged in severity from low to critical, and could allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to WordPress websites, steal sensitive data, or execute arbitrary code.
In this post, we'll explore the ins and outs of WordPress security vulnerabilities and how to best protect your site with the right website security solutions.
What is a Security Vulnerability?
Before you can take the steps needed to address WordPress vulnerabilities, it's critical to first understand what it is.
A security vulnerability is a weakness in a system, software, application, or network that an attacker can exploit. The vulnerability may be incidental or it may have been placed there intentionally through malware. In terms of a website, the hacker can use this access to steal data or cause other forms of damage to the system. Many times, a website's owner or operator isn't aware the vulnerability exists. That's what makes it so damaging when a hacker does take action.
Think of it as a security loophole that hackers can take advantage of to enter a system they otherwise should not have access to. Once a hacker identifies a vulnerability, they can launch a cyber attack.
How Does a Security Vulnerability Work?
Once a hacker discovers a security vulnerability, they will then go about using it to their advantage. They also use various techniques to exploit vulnerabilities, including:
These vulnerabilities can allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to critical systems. That then gives them the ability to perform any number of nefarious actions such as injecting malware or stealing sensitive data, or completely taking over a website.
If you're unprepared to handle a cyber attack that occurs as a result of a security vulnerability, there's no shortage of challenges it can cause. For anyone operating a WordPress website, security vulnerabilities can be the cause of a lot of problems. Here's how it can hurt you.
How Can an Unpatched Security Vulnerability Impact Your Website?
Unpatched security vulnerabilities can cause severe damage to your online business when left unchecked. A few of the ways these WordPress vulnerabilities can negatively impact you include:
- Losing critical data
- Financial losses
- Reputational damage to your business
Attackers can use your system for any number of reasons once they access it. They can gain backdoor access to other networks. One could launch DDoS attacks. Worst of all, they could steal user data.
Beyond losing customers, money, and the trust of your audience, you may also face legal implications. Compromising visitor data can lead to big problems for a business. Businesses that aren't adept at handling or responding to cyber attacks can find themselves losing money or, in a worst-case scenario, going out of business completely.
There are two major elements of a website's security posture to help you address vulnerability exploits: prevention and response.
How to Protect Your WordPress Website From Security Vulnerabilities and Malware Infection
The best way to protect your WordPress website from security vulnerabilities and malware infection is by remaining vigilant. Keep your themes and plug-ins up to date by updating your platform with any relevant patches. Always update your system when prompted, as failure to do so can leave your website exposed. You should also ensure your infrastructure is operating with the most current protection.
Use strong passwords that aren't easily guessed by malicious actors. You should also implement server-side security measures to bolster your site's overall safety.
Backing up your data regularly and scanning your system for irregularities can also help. If your data is corrupted without a backup, you'll have no recourse to get it back. You'll end up starting from square one with your visitors or customers.
The answer to all of these concerns is using a trusted cybersecurity solution as the best method for keeping your website security intact. Using a proven solution decreases the chance of a future attack - and if an attack does occur, having the right solution in place can decrease the impacts of it.
The question for many website owners and operators is this: how do you find the right IT solution to help your site maintain optimal security?
How ThreatSign! Can Help With Website Protection
The key to protecting your website is to adopt an approach to website security that is equal parts proactive and reactive. You'll want to be able to respond to a cyber-attack quickly to remediate it and get operational. That said, you'll also want to have measures in place that can help you observe and detect threats before they even present a problem. Doing this on your own can be difficult, as you and your IT team may lack the knowledge or experience needed to properly combat these threats.
To protect your website from vulnerabilities, you need to partner with a trusted provider of website security solutions. Look no further than Quttera's ThreatSign! platform.
ThreatSign! is a powerful cybersecurity solution that detects and eliminates security vulnerabilities to protect your WordPress website from malicious attacks. The software offers advanced threat detection and real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. Quttera's WAF (Web Application Firewall) acts as your first line of defense against potential hackers, minimizing the impact of any security vulnerability. The regular scans conducted by ThreatSign! will also give you optimal visibility into your site's current status. In fact, you'll never have to worry about a vulnerability going unchecked.
With ThreatSign!, you can rest assured that your website is protected from cyber threats. You'll also maintain the trust of your site's users.
Learn more about how you and Quttera can team up to protect your WordPress website from malware.