There is no denying that website security is the most fundamental aspect of doing business, especially in the financial sector. It is absolutely essential for maintaining consumer trust. This is why, you need to take security seriously when you operate a financial planning software, investment dashboard, online banking portal, or handle user data in a private manner. More than 400 million people use WordPress and if you’re one of those, you need to be aware of everything needed to protect your WordPress properties from cyber attacks. All kinds of personal information including email addresses as well as login credentials have an eager black-market and hackers can also exploit them to carry out further cyber attacks.
Now let’s take a quick look at some of the most common security vulnerabilities in wordpress and how you can protect your organization’s backend.
- Protection against Brute Force Attacks
When hackers try to enter your website by tying a variety of username and password combinations, it is known as a brute force attack. They utilize an automated processing system which tries out a huge number of combinations. It’s possible for this automated system to guess your password though a lot depends on your password strength.
The best way to secure your accounts from such attacks is to have a unique and strong password. Experts in cybersecurity recommend using three-phrase passwords. Such passwords are difficult to crack through boot brute force attacks but are easy to remember for people. Take the example of “cars and bikes”. Also, it is recommended to add a combination of symbols and numbers, and various capitalizations to create a strong password. If you’re in the habit of recycling passwords, it is a risky habit as past data breaches on other platforms might have exposed your password.
- Protection from SQL Injections
WordPress database is driven by MySQL. As you are probably aware, SQL is short for Structured Query Language. This language is designed to manage huge databases. However, it also creates a vulnerability as hackers can control or access a website if they are able to access its database as all the sensitive information is there. Once hackers are in the database, they can potentially plant harmful content through SQL injections. All kinds of content can be inserted including ads, spam and various other types of malicious content.
Hackers have used SQL injections for a huge number of attacks. In fact, the website of cybersecurity firm Sophos was also hacked in 2020. In short, nobody is completely safe. Hackers were able to steal usernames, passwords, email addresses and a whole lot of other personal information. It is recommended to use a popular plug-in called Sucuri Security Scanner to keep your WordPress site safe from SQL injection attacks.
- Protection from Malware
Another common attack vector for WordPress websites is malware. In simple terms, it may be defined as malicious software and hackers use malware in a variety of forms such as:
- Keylogger: A keylogger is used by hackers for collecting passwords. As the name implies, it stores all the keystrokes in a particular action which also include usernames followed by passwords.
- Ransomware: It is the latest type of malware that has been successfully exploited by hackers. This software completely takes over the server, database or files of the user and does not unlock them until a ransom is paid. Successful mitigation in such cases is rare without using the services of a specialist.
- Spyware: As the name implies, this software captures all the user generated information and sends it to a place that is easily accessible by the hacker.
- Adware: It is not as harmful as others on this list but it is annoying, to say the least. Usually, it is delivered through free software, plug-ins, and themes.
- Software virus: It’s a type of malware that is self replicating and it is usually activated by the user but eventually, it successfully takes over the hosting server.
How to Avoid WordPress Vulnerabilities
It might not be possible for you to prevent all the above mentioned security vulnerabilities but there are ways to prevent most of these cyber attacks. Business owners such as a financial institution owe it to their customers to keep their information safe such as their phone number, address, email, name as well as extremely important information such as their credit card numbers and social security numbers. Here are a few WordPress development tips to keep your site safe: If you’re still worried about security, read this article Fund Manager March Commentary – Lowland Investment Company.
WordPress Themes – Use Trustworthy Sources
One of the often used ways by hackers to get access to a WordPress site is through themes and plug-ins. If you are handling plug-ins and themes on your own, it is important that you do not download these from sources that are not reputed. Instead, always use reliable websites such as Themeforest.net and WordPress.org. People who have some coding experience are capable of building completely customized WordPress websites which allows them to have complete control over security measures.
Keep the Plug-Ins Updated
If the plug-ins on your website aren’t updated, you are leaving yours site open to a lot of vulnerabilities. This is why, it’s important to keep all your themes and plug-ins updated, at all times. You should also keep your wordpress installation as well as the theme updated, at all times. It’s possible to set up automatic updates and you should use this feature. It is also recommended to install Sucuri and perform malware scans regularly to find cyber attacks and prevent spammers from getting access to your WordPress website.
Make it a habit to keep regular backups of your website. It gives you the option of reverting back your website to its original form in case your site is damaged after an attack. Come up with a reliable backup strategy to ensure that you always have a backup copy in a safe and secure location. There is no lack of plug-ins available today that allow you to easily create a backup and one of the most popular plug-ins is UpdraftPlus.
Stronger Web Development Leads to Better Security
Hackers keep using new ways that are technically better and much more sophisticated in order to breach the security walls. It’s possible for you to keep your financial website safe from basic as well as advanced cyber attacks but you need to take security seriously and put appropriate measures in place. The above-mentioned web development tips should help you with that.