Hackers aren’t usually willing to enter into a prolonged battle in order to access a particular site. They target weak points and tend to move on if they don’t find any major security holes. This means you can effectively block over 99 percent of all attacks just by improving basic WordPress security. A recent survey showed four main approaches that hackers use to access WordPress Sites:
• WordPress Hosting platform vulnerabilities (41 percent)
• WordPress themes (29 percent)
• Plugin security issues (22 percent)
• Password weaknesses (8 percent)
Let’s look at how we can address these weak points.
1. Choose a secure hosting environment
Just about every host will offer at least minimal security, but since 41 percent of attacks are caused by security vulnerabilities at the hosting end, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality company. Some specifics to look for include:
• A host that is optimized for WordPress, including a firewall optimized for WordPress
• A host that uses the latest stable versions of applications on their servers, specifically MySQL and PHP
• A host with state of the art malware scanning
• A host with Reliable backup and recovery plus account isolation. This ensures that if one site is attacked the effects won’t spread to all other sites on the same server.
2. Activate WordPress security keys
Security keys improve the encryption of data stored in cookies and add random elements to passwords to make them tougher to crack. Modifying the security keys periodically will help keep your site secure. Changing the keys also kicks out everyone who is logged in, a useful trick if you spot suspicious activity.
3. Update regularly
WordPress is regularly updated to address security risks and patch vulnerabilities. It is important to update your themes and plugins continually to make sure that they take advantage of the latest security changes.
The other piece of the update process, one that is often ignored, is removing inactive plugins and themes. These old files are still accessible and are often more vulnerable to hackers because they aren’t being kept up to date.
4. Backup regularly
Host providers make regular backups, but it is a good practice to make your backups whenever you make changes to your site. If you need to recover from an attack without losing time or data, you’ll understand how valuable backups can be.
5. Install and maintain WordPress security plugins
There are many free and paid options that help users upgrade the security of their WordPress site. These are some of our favorites.
• IThemes Security – uses database monitoring, strong user credentials, and brute force protection to prevent several common WordPress attacks. The basic plugin is free, or for a one-time purchase of $80 you can get two pro licenses with additional security measures.
• Wordfence Security – A free plugin that scans server side source code for infections and vulnerabilities then takes action to secure and speed up your site.
• BulletProof Security – Coordinates multiple WordPress security settings into a single area to make monitoring and adjusting easier. In some cases, it takes only one click to set up a secure site though you have options to customize as well.
• BruteProtect – This free plugin tracks failed login attempts across its network of users and bans IP addresses who make too many failed attempts in a given period. This prevents against botnets infiltrating and crashing your site.
Implementing these WordPress security protocols will ensure that your data is secure. These are some simple installs that will give peace of mind to you an your team.