Today, WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) for web design. Individuals and businesses alike flock to the platform to create blogs and websites. While WordPress prides itself on its consistently updated core application and the security it offers, there are tens of thousands of attempted attacks on WordPress sites per day.
While individual WordPress users are concerned about their privacy, businesses have a lot more security concerns to worry about for both themselves and their customers. WordPress is the lifeblood of many small businesses and a single security breach could be fatal to most of them.
If you are running your business with WordPress, you must keep up with every security feature available. You have to go beyond simple patches and adopt advanced security tools and techniques.
If you own a business and WordPress plays a vital role in reaching or selling to your customers, you should know about these advanced security measures.
Use a Login Limiting Plugin
WordPress is commonly infiltrated using the simple hacking technique known as “brute force” attacks. With AI and the ability to use bots, hackers often find it easy to guess the username and password of a WordPress account. WordPress does not limit login attempts naturally, which can lead to innumerable attempts at guessing your credentials.
Fortunately, there are plugins available that will allow you to limit the attempts at login before locking the account. This simple step can potentially prevent the success of a brute force attack.
Ensure you change your username from “Admin”. Many users leave this default information intact and make a brute force attack a far easier task for hackers.
Verify File Permissions are Accurate
It might seem counterintuitive, but many WordPress users change their default file permissions on select folders to be publicly writable. As you can imagine, this leaves a WordPress site incredibly vulnerable to an attack. Since anyone can write to the folder, a bad code can be easily uploaded to it and run amuck on your WordPress site.
Checking for this vulnerability might seem difficult, but WordPress offers security plugins that will ensure your folders have the correct permissions set on them. Be extremely cautious around anyone who suggests making folders publicly writable.
PHP Execution – Disable It!
Disabling PHP execution could prevent a hacker from running a malicious script in vulnerable WordPress directories. Many users are reluctant to disable PHP execution, as it can break certain aspects of their sites. However, this step could thwart many attacks on your site even if a hacker gains access to it.
Disable File Editing After “Go-Live”
File editing becomes far less necessary once your website is up and running. WordPress administrator access allows users to write to PHP files by default. If hackers gain this level of access, they can do anything to your WordPress site.
Once your “Go-Live” is complete, alter your “wp-config.php” file to disable the file editing feature for administrators.
Protect Your wp-config File at All Costs
The “wp-config.php” file is arguably the most important one for the security of your WordPress site. This file is vital as it contains some very important information that cannot fall into the wrong hands. If a hacker gains control of this file, it would be very difficult to secure your WordPress site again.
Use a Firewall
The firewall acts as a guard against anyone trying to walk right into your WordPress site. For WordPress, this means using a Web Application Firewall (WAF). These firewalls are often available from the web hosting service provider.
Your hosting provider can also suggest or help you set up appropriate rules that will make the firewall as effective as it can be.
Watch Security Logs
A security log plugin can be very revealing to those who choose to use it. These logs will show unusual activity and attempts to attack your site. Knowledge is power and the understanding of how your site is being attacked can help you protect yourself from these efforts.
Consider a Dedicated IP Address
While not as important as it once was, a dedicated IP address can still improve your WordPress site’s security. To encrypt your e-commerce site, you will need an SSL certificate. Some services that provide the SSL certificate will require a dedicated IP address.
Securing a WordPress site is vital if your business depends on it. Go above and beyond the basic security measures to ensure your customers are safe and your business stays running.