10 WordPress Security Issues & Vulnerabilities You Should Know About

Wordpress Security Issues (illustration)

A leading CMS, WordPress, is used on almost 40% of all websites worldwide.

All these aspects can be related to its popularity, user-friendly interface, massive offer of customization options, and support they offer to their users. WordPress is the most easiest and dependable way to create a website for your business. Some of its commendable features are listed below:

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By MTS Staff Writer – You may read this article in its entirety HERE on MarTech Series’ website

1. User-Friendly Interface

It is one of the most important contributing factors majoring on why WordPress became popular is the ease that comes with operating it. It turns out that even people with such little technical awareness could create, edit, and operate web content with no problems whatsoever when using the WordPress dashboard.

2. Extensive Customization Options

WordPress provides an enormous collection of themes and plug-ins that allow you to create a site on their basis using specific needs and preferences. There are two types of things that make up a website: themes define how it looks and what its layout is while plugins make it functional with additional features such as contact forms, e-commerce, search engine optimization, etc.

3. Robust Plugin Ecosystem

Whereas the enormity of more than thousands plugins makes it possible for users to improve the functionalities in their WordPress websites without coding knowledge. A wide variety of functions are included under these plugins, which are used for securing functionality, performance enhancement, content management, integration into social media, and analytical tracking.

Why are WordPress Sites Vulnerable

Despite its popularity and myriad uses, WordPress sites are susceptible to several forms of security hazards. Several factors contribute to their susceptibility: The objectives in the following ballot have three states: approved, disapproved, and void. Let’s look at some reasons now why WordPress sites are so vulnerable

1. Open-Source Nature

Open-source WordPress can be downloaded free of charge and therefore, it is freely available for anyone to take a look at its source code, to make changes to it, or to share it. However much it cultivates innovation and internal coordination, it leaves WordPress open to security threats. Strike initiated by hackers analyzing the source code will become evident towards identifying their susceptibility and exploit the same to attack websites.

2. Third-Party Plugins and Themes

Comprehensive reliance on third-party plugins and themes increases security vulnerabilities. To verify all the plugins and themes go through a strict check-up and critical scrutiny yet some people may have vulnerabilities and other practices which a hacker can use to his advantage to infiltrate into one’s systems. Furthermore, outdated or poorly maintained plugins and themes are often denied timely security updates, which leaves websites vulnerable to potential dangers.

3. No Security Practices

In fact, novice users and website administrators can easily miss important security measures, which include among others use of strong passwords, updating WordPress core, themes, and plug-ins, installing security plug-ins as well as conducting regular backups. These practices must be complied with if websites are not to be left prone to attacks and compromises.

Which is more important the security of Websites in WordPress and what can one do.

For instance, as most of the threats are targeting WordPress websites from the aspect of security the enhancement of the website security is the most prominent as the greatest priority.

Any website that is secured using WordPress is guaranteed the best security, as WordPress offers unmatched flexibility and functionality, something that most websites require during creation and management. By adhering to best practices in cybersecurity, keeping a keen eye on evolving threats, and utilizing the various tools and resources, website owners can address the threats and safeguard WordPress websites against emerging risks.

Following are a few security issues and vulnerabilities with the WordPress sites that you should know:

WordPress Security Issue 1: Brute Force Attacks

An attempt to decode sensitive material through trial and error is called a brute force attack. Brute force attacks are most frequently used to crack passwords and encryption keys (read on to find out more about encryption keys). Brute force attacks also frequently target SSH login credentials and API keys. Scripts or bots that target the login page of a website are frequently used to carry out brute force password attacks.

  • Common methods used by attackers to execute brute force attacks on WordPress websites.

In a brute force attack, different username and password combinations are systematically tried to obtain unauthorized access to a WordPress website. Attackers carry out these attacks using a variety of techniques. Here are a few typical techniques:

1. Dictionary Attacks:

Attackers make use of pre-made dictionaries that include dictionary words, frequently used passwords, or password lists that have been compromised in the past. They methodically attempt every combination until they can log in successfully.

2. Credential Stuffing:

Attackers utilize passwords and usernames that they have acquired from one source (such a data breach on another website) to enter WordPress sites without authorization when users have reused their login information.

3. Brute Force Software:

Attackers try several login and password combinations quickly by using specialized software that automates the process. These tools can be tailored to fit different web systems, such as WordPress, and are frequently adjustable.

4. Rainbow Table Attacks:

Precomputed tables with hash values for every possible combination of passwords are called rainbow tables. Attackers can more quickly and effectively find the actual password by using these tables to seek up the hash value associated with a certain password.

5. Credential Spraying:

Rather than focusing on a single user and making many password tries, attackers use a small number of frequently used passwords and test them against a variety of users. This technique works well against weak passwords and is less likely to result in account lockouts.

6. Login Page Exploits:

Attackers may try to get around login limitations or obtain access by directly influencing the authentication process by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the WordPress login page itself.

  • Strategies to mitigate the risk of brute force attacks, such as using strong passwords and limiting login attempts.
  • Inspire users to generate difficult-to-guess passwords that are distinct and complicated.
  • Add a function that limits logins so that users who go over the limit can be restricted and temporarily locked out.
  • When logging in, enforce 2FA for an extra layer of security.
  • Turn off XML RPC for your WordPress website.
  • To identify and prevent attempts from malicious IP addresses, make use of a firewall, such as the WordPress-specific MalCare firewall.
  • Choose a firewall with integrated bot protection. This will allow good bots like Googlebot to access the website while blocking malicious ones like scrapers and brute force bots.
  • If your website doesn’t need user registration or login, disable these features.

1. Common methods used by attackers to execute brute force attacks on WordPress websites.

2. Strategies to mitigate the risk of brute force attacks, such as using strong passwords and limiting login attempts.

Security Issue 2: Outdated Software

Outdated Software poses many security risks for WordPress sites. Developers release security updates and patches to address newly discovered vulnerabilities. It leaves the website susceptible to exploitation.

  •  Risks associated with running outdated software, including vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.

1. Ransomware risk

Cybercriminals targeting outdated systems find them to be easy targets for ransomware assaults.

Bitsight discovered a correlation between an organization’s poor patching cadence and higher ransomware risk after analyzing hundreds of ransomware instances to estimate the relative possibility that an organization will be a ransomware target. Ransomware events were over seven times more common in organizations with a patching cadence grade of D or F than in those with an A.

Despite the obvious risk, a lot of businesses are blind to the security flaws that allow them to prevent ransomware attacks or lessen their effects. To find out more, read our advice on how to avoid ransomware.

2. Business and functional disruption

Major company disruption can also be caused by outdated systems. Take into account all of the network’s interconnected devices, ranging from cloud-based infrastructure and services to edge IoT sensors and devices. Any of these devices with outdated software puts your whole digital infrastructure and data in danger of cyberattack.

For instance, threat actors are increasingly targeting antiquated and unpatched medical equipment in the healthcare industry, including defibrillators, insulin pumps, and MRI scanners.

3. Third-party breach

Assessing your third parties is just as crucial as identifying and addressing the danger that your organization’s out-of-date systems offer. For example, if a vendor handles your confidential information and uses an antiquated operating system or browser to access your network, they may unintentionally put your information at danger.

Similarly, if you store data on the cloud, a hacker may be able to access the network that houses your data or take over your device by taking advantage of an unpatched security flaw in the web application firewall appliance of the cloud provider.

4. Mobile device compromise

The number of mobile devices linked to your network increases as your organization expands. Research indicates that 67 percent of people use their devices for work, and 55 percent of workers only use their mobile devices for business-related purposes when they are on the go.

Should any of these mobile devices be using an out-of-date browser or operating system, your company’s network may be vulnerable. Even while mobile phone updates frequently include crucial security patches and bug fixes, a lot of organizations lack BYOD security policies or a way to enforce them. Additionally, security personnel find it challenging to keep an eye on BYOD usage and to detect when personal devices connect to the network.

Even while mobile phone updates frequently include crucial security patches and bug fixes, a lot of organizations lack BYOD security policies or a way to enforce them. Additionally, security personnel find it challenging to keep an eye on BYOD usage and to detect when personal devices connect to the network.

5. Internet of Things risk

Webcams, medical sensors, smart gadgets, digital twins, industrial robots, GPS trackers, and environmental sensors are examples of connected IoT devices that might cause significant harm if they are connected to the corporate network and running out-of-date software.

One compromised IoT device has the potential to affect your entire company and its interconnected supply chain. This may cause operational delays and cost losses that go well beyond the damaged item. With 29 billion IoT devices connected by 2030, it will be nearly hard to manually catalog and keep track of their security postures.

  • Best practices for ensuring timely updates and maintenance of WordPress installations.

 1. Page Speed and Loading Time

Monitoring website page performance regularly is crucial because it is a significant ranking element. In addition to decreasing traffic, a slow-loading website can also lower its search engine rating.

Therefore, one of the first things you should do for website maintenance is to make sure your site is loading as quickly as possible.

2. Update WordPress Plugins and Themes

Overused plugins and themes are one of the causes of a slow-loading website. These out-of-date plugins and themes can jeopardize the security of your website in addition to consuming a lot of database capacity.

Because of this, you must regularly update all WordPress plugins and themes on your website or remove those that are no longer needed.

3. Monitor Your Site’s Security

Spam, viruses, and hacking are becoming widespread issues on the internet. It’s critical to examine your website and address any security vulnerabilities right away to make sure you don’t become a target for these dangerous threats.

Even if WordPress offers impenetrable protection, you still need to secure your website. To that aim, you can review these crucial WordPress security guidelines.

4. Take a Daily Backup

Taking a backup of your website is one of the most important daily maintenance jobs that you should perform to protect all of your hard work if your site fails or is hacked.

The best part is that WordPress gives you a tonne of backup plugins, such as BackUpWordPress and BackWPup, which simplify the process of regularly backing up your whole website and database.

5. Clean Up Trash and Other Media Junk Files

Many of the media files on your website are trash or rubbish. Since this has an impact on the speed and functionality of your website, you should remove them entirely to guarantee that your database is optimized and that your website functions smoothly.

6. Review Your Site’s On-page SEO Elements

To improve organic traffic and the site’s rating on search engine results pages, a WordPress website that is optimized for search engines is a must.

Your website’s on-page SEO components will improve both users’ and search engines’ experiences with it. Thus, to promote online growth, it’s critical to analyze the on-page SEO of your website.

7. Find and Fix All Broken Links

Google disapproves of broken or dead links (404 errors). Because they create a bad user experience, too many dead links might result in your website being penalized.

Therefore, optimizing your WordPress website requires inspecting it and correcting any broken links. You can use the WordPress plugin Broken Link Checker to correctly discover and reroute broken links to complete this operation.

8. Optimize Site’s Images

Media assets and photos that have been optimized are another important factor in slow website performance. Improving your website’s performance requires optimizing its visuals.

Additionally, it enhances your content marketing strategy, which raises your search engine rating.

9. Check Your Site’s Download and Affiliate Links

Dead links are one of the causes of a greater bounce rate. Users become…

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