WordPress, which is one of the most used CMS in the world, has more security vulnerabilities reported than any other CMS. Statistics show that the vast majority of hacked websites were hosted on WordPress. According to a report posted by WP WhiteSecurity, of the 40,000+ WordPress websites in the Alexa Top 1 Million, more than 70% of them have vulnerabilities to hacker attacks.
What makes WordPress popular for hacking attempts?
- Outdated WordPress Installations: The majority of current WordPress installations are using older versions. This means that vulnerabilities that have been fixed in newer versions are still there for these websites. It can take a malicious attacker only a couple of minutes to run an automated scanner to discover and exploit these known vulnerabilities.
- 3rd Party Plugins: There is no formal regulation for WordPress plugin developers; anyone can develop a plugin. Many of these plugins have vulnerabilities that can be used to hack websites.
- PHP Code Base: WordPress is written in PHP and uses MySQL DB, making it vulnerable to SQL Injection. Injection attacks of this kind are the most common vulnerability exploited by WordPress hackers.
How can I protect my WordPress website?
- Keep Your WordPress Installation Updated: Make sure your WordPress installation is using the latest version at all times.
- Use 3rd Party Plugins with Caution: Only use known plugins. Use the minimum number of plugins possible.
- Implement a Strong Password Policy: Use complex and unique passwords. Enforce this policy for all staff members who login to your website CMS.
- Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF): Implementing a high quality WAF will greatly improve the security of your website.
How does a Web Application Firewall protect WordPress websites?
Web Application Firewall is one of the most recommended ways to make sure your website is protected. For most users, it’s difficult to track WordPress and plugin versions to keep them updated all the time. By implementing a Web Application Firewall, you can make sure your site is protected at any point.
Using a Web Application Firewall in front of your website will monitor all the traffic to and from the application. The WAF filters and blocks harmful traffic based on a set of rules that prevent hacking attempts.
Hackers use bots to scan your web application’s surface and search for vulnerabilities that can be exploited during future attacks and penetration activities. Most of the hacking attacks we see today are being done by automated scanners. It takes only few minutes to scan large amount of websites for known vulnerabilities.
The StackPath Web Application Firewall provides rules that block known attacks and vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection, XSS, and more. Our bot protection will block unauthorized vulnerability scans and login page brute force attempts. This creates a tremendous headache for potential hackers by denying them the ability to map your site and plan malicious activities, making an attack much more difficult and expensive.