7 Most Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities

Why You Need WordPress Security 

Security is integral to every successful website. This applies to businesses of all sizes, reputations, and industries.

Here’s why?

  1. It protects your information and reputation – Security is integral to every successful website. This applies to businesses of all sizes, reputations, and industries. Here’s why.
  2. Google likes secure websites – WordPress security directly affects visibility from a search on Google (and other search engines) and has for a while. Security is one of the easiest ways to boost your search rank.
  3. Your visitors expect it – Your visitors expect your site to be secure. If you can’t provide this fundamental service from the get-go, you will undermine your customer’s trust in you. By earning this trust, you can ensure that your visitors have a positive experience with your business and will return.

What are 7 common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities? 

Here are some of the most common types of cyberattacks that WordPress sites face.

1. Brute-Force Login Attempts

The brute-force login attempt is one of the simplest forms of attack. It occurs when a hacker uses automation to enter as many username-password combinations very quickly, eventually guessing the right credentials. Brute-force hacking can access any password-protected information, not only logins.

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Next is the XSS attack. This type of attack occurs when an attacker “injects” malicious code into the backend of the target website to extract information and wreak havoc on the site’s functionality. The code can either be introduced in the backend by more complex means or submitted simply as a response in a user-facing form. Stay vigilant of this.

3. Database Injections

Also known as SQL injection, this form of attack happens when an attacker submits a string of harmful code to a website through some user input, like a contact form. The website then stores the code in its database. Like with an XSS attack, the harmful code runs on the website to fetch or compromise confidential information stored in the database.

4. Backdoors

Another common type of attack is a backdoor. A backdoor is a file that contains code allowing an attacker to bypass the standard WordPress login, ultimately accessing your site at any time. Attackers tend to place backdoors among other WordPress source files, making them difficult to find by inexperienced users. Even when removed, attackers can write variants of this backdoor and continue using them to bypass your login.

Though WordPress restricts what file types users can upload to reduce the chance of backdoors, stay aware of keeping your website safe from this type of attack.

5. Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks

Next is a common type of attack: The Denial-of-Service attack. These attacks prevent authorized users from accessing their own websites. DoS attacks are most frequently carried out by overloading a server with traffic and causing a crash. The effects are worsened in the case of a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS), a DoS attack conducted by many machines at once.

6. Phishing

You might already be familiar with phishing. It occurs when an attacker contacts a target posing as a legitimate company or service. Phishing attempts typically prompt the target to give up personal information, download malware or even visit a dangerous website that could harm their computer. If an attacker accesses your WordPress account, they could even coordinate phishing attacks on your customers while posing as you. As you can imagine, it’s not great for your business reputation.

7. Hotlinking

Hotlinking occurs when another website shows embedded content (usually an image) that is hosted on your website without permission so that the content appears like it’s their own. While more akin to stealing than a full-blown attack, hotlinking is usually illegal and gives the victim serious issues, since they have to pay every time content is retrieved from their server when displayed on another website.

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