Need a WordPress Security Service: Did you know that WordPress websites are the number one target for hack attempts? WordPress is the world’s most preferred website building platform, and therefore anyone using the platform puts a target on it’s back. How bad is the situation you ask? Well, some 90,978 number of hack attempts are made on WordPress websites every single minute. This naturally prompts a user to think how secure WordPress is and whether one should use a security plugin?
To understand if you need a WordPress security service, we must first understand what sort of security does WordPress provide. If WordPress is secure enough, your website will not require a security solution. But if that’s not the case, then a security solution is mandatory.
How Secure is WordPress?
It’s a complicated question that warrants discussion. There is no definite “yes” and “no” answer to whether WordPress is a secure platform. While there have been no major security issues with the WordPress core, the software thrives in an ecosystem that can make it vulnerable. WordPress add-ons – themes and plugins are responsible for a majority of the security breaches of websites.
Website owners are also responsible for keeping a site safe. Moving ahead, we’ll clearly see how the onus of security is divided between WordPress Developers, WordPress Add-on (Theme and Plugins) Developers, and Site Owners.
The WordPress team shoulders the responsibility of keeping the WordPress core safe and free from security threats. Their works involve finding and patching up vulnerabilities that could affect hundreds of thousands of websites built on the platform. WordPress being the world’s number one website building platform is lead by the best programmers in the world. They follow a carefully planned calendar and periodic beta releases along with small improvements on the system. The CMS currently maintains and supports over 60 million websites which require a substantial amount of resource making the budget a crucial factor here. WordPress receives thousands of dollars of investments each year to keep running its business.
WordPress Add-on (Theme and Plugins) Developers
There are free plugins, and there are the paid ones. Often free themes are developed as a side project, a hobby, something to keep one’s preoccupied or hone one’s skill. Free themes that are a developer’s side-project are often not as well maintained as the premium ones. Because the developer has a full-time job that enables him to pay his rent and bill. Which means they have less time to dedicate to making plugin improvements or adding new features, or even patching vulnerabilities. In the WordPress community, it doesn’t take long for news about vulnerabilities to spread. Hence, delay in releasing a patch for a vulnerability would mean thousands of sites who are using the plugin are at risk.
Moreover, WordPress has made creating a website so cheap that users no longer want to invest more than the bare minimum in building a website. Which is why a lot of website owners prefer using free plugins and themes. We mentioned before a lot of free themes and plugins are developed as a hobby project and are not as well maintained as the premium ones. Therefore, hackers often target free plugins and themes to hack into a website. But if the plugin was a premium one, then the developer could focus on adding new features and releasing regular security updates. Financial security could help bring in more developers to maintain the theme/plugin better. This is why many security experts suggest WordPress site owners to use only premium themes and plugin.
WordPress Site Owners
Today it’s easier than ever to build a website, and all it takes are a few dollars to get a site up and running. But this comes at a cost. In a bid to meet the deadline, the website developer skips necessary security audits that leaves the site vulnerable to hacking attempts. When a WordPress site is hacked, WordPress alone can’t be blamed. We all want websites built faster and at a much-reduced cost. As a result, security often takes a backseat.
Moreover, site owners have a tendency of thinking that because they are paying for something to be built from scratch, the site will be secure and they won’t have to be concerned about it. But the truth is, the onus of keeping a site safe also lies with the owner of the site. They have to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the site updated and using security plugins to save the site for when disaster strikes.
Why You Need a WordPress Security Service?
As you can see that the security of WordPress sites are interdependent on a number of factors and that is why security can never be an absolute state. You can’t just do one thing and expect your site to be safe. You can invest hundreds of dollar, hire one of the finest website developers in the world and still, your site can be hacked. What you can do is reduce the chances of a security breach by employing layered protection. You need a WordPress security service that provides layered protection.
Imagine your WordPress site sitting at the heart of an onion. Hackers would have to peel through the whole onion to get to your site. Some hackers will give up midway because the work is taking too long while others won’t have the necessary resource to peel through an entire onion. That’ the sort of security your site can have through a security plugin, like MalCare, Sucuri, etc.
There are plenty of security plugins to choose from, and that is why we thought of listing down the features that an ideal security solution should have.
One of the first thing that constitutes layered protection of a website is the firewall. It shoulders the responsibility of filtering the traffic that comes to your site. It acts like a sieve that prevents IP addresses that are known to cause problems to the sites they visit and lets the rest pass. The firewall must be powerful and should be able to keep a record of malicious IP addresses found on the internet.
There are three major types of firewalls available, and those are a plugin-based firewall, a cloud-based firewall, and an inbuilt firewall. Plugin-based firewalls sit on the website it can be installed like any other plugin. It has certain predetermined rules that it checks to find out whether a request made by someone on your website is malicious or valid. In the cloud-based firewall, when someone makes a request on your site, the request is sent to the firewall that uses a variety of technology to determine whether the request is a valid one. And inbuilt firewalls are found in web host providers who use the firewall to primarily protect their infrastructure. Therefore chose a firewall depending on the kind of security you require.
Brute force attack is a common occurrence on WordPress sites and so protecting your login page is a priority. In brute force attacks, attackers hack program bots to try and guess your site’s username and passwords. They have a list of commonly used passwords and usernames that they try out in a website login page in hopes that one of the combinations will be correct. Login protection plugins use CAPTCHA to block off malicious login attacks after a few failed attempts. CAPTCHAs are designed to be unreadable for machines hence protecting the site from further abuse by a bot.
WordPress recommends website owners to harden their site to keep attackers from taking advantage of your site. But unfortunately, to harden one’s site, one needs to have some technical knowledge of WordPress. Sure, there are tutorials for everything available online but making changes to the backend of your site comes with a lot of risks. These online tutorials won’t take any responsibility if your site crashes when you are trying to make changes to it. Some security plugins like MalCare make it easier for people without any technical knowledge of WordPress to easily harden their site in only a few clicks.
WordPress Core, Plugins and Themes Update:
Ask any website security personnel and the first thing they’d suggest you do is keep your WordPress core, plugins, and themes up-to-date at all times. There is a good reason for this urgency. Outdated themes and plugins are the culprits behind most hacked websites. This makes you think, why don’t people update their site if it’s that important. There can be several possible answers, but the most common ones that we have come across is either site owners are not aware of how security is connected to updates, or they have too many websites on their plate to manage them all efficiently. The former is about lack of knowledge. Take a look at this post where we discussed in details about the importance of updates on a WordPress site. As for the latter problem, we suggest you use a plugin that allows you to update all your sites from a single dashboard as MalCare does.
Backups are the safety net that you can fall back on when something happens to your site. Say your site is hacked and some of your content is removed. In that case, you not only have to clean your site but also restore the content that you worked so hard to create. One can take backups manually but restoring them becomes a hassle. Moreover, if you are not using an automated tool, you might forget taking backups sometimes. An ideal security plugin should have a backup option that takes automatically every day.
You can get a standalone plugin for all these features or you can look for a security plugin that offers all the above-mentioned features. Using too many plugins give rise to complications because a lot of times one plugin is incompatible with another. That is why you need a WordPress security service that takes care of all your security woes.