How secure is your website? | Tips to protect your website from online threats

Cybersecurity attacks are not new. The oldest being the Morris Worm in 1988 which occurred at the end of a college project to assess the size of the internet.

Recent Australian news has been rife with stories about the growing cybersecurity risk we face here within our own country right now and details attempted attacks to various business and government websites within Australia. This has made all businesses rethink our website security and the protection we have in place to combat unauthorised entry into our websites. The security of your website should be something on your priority list in fact at all times, but particularly now with the increased threat of your sensitive data and information being breached by the wrong people. 

There are ways in which you can protect your website including your server and database from a cyber attack. We will talk about the different ways a WordPress website would be vulnerable to malicious attacks because WordPress is among one of the most optioned and reliable website development platforms available at this time. 

Brute Force Attack

This is like one of the oldest methods for a hacker to get hold of your website. A hacker might try to use a long list of common username and password combinations to get access to your website. Some might use the same password for different usernames. This is like a reverse Brute Force Method. Your website hopefully will lock them out of your account if there are multiple failed password attempts. But if the hacker tries to use the same password “Xyz” for multiple usernames “user1”, “user2”, “testuser”, “admin123” and so on, the chances are high that he will be successful in cracking that one correct username+password combination without getting the accounts locked out if you have not taken the time to change passwords and add protection to your site. 

Make sure you don’t use any username and password that are easy to guess for your wp-admin logins. 

SQL Injection

Make your database name unique rather than having a default one to avoid any attacks on your database. This comes as a part of the SQL Injection attack where hackers try to inject code to attack the databases of your websites through points of contact to your websites like the contact forms or comments. 

DDos Attacks

I need to also mention DDoS Attack’s as this form of online attack has made the headlines a short while back. Amazon mentioned that it was able to avoid a large DDoS attack with traffic of 2.3 Tbps! DDos attacks target servers. Twitter, Reddit, The New York Times, and PayPal were all victims of this attack. Monitoring the network activity and having a strong network infrastructure are some of the ways to avoid a website failure due to a DDoS Attack.

WordPress Themes and Vulnerability

WordPress websites are built on beautiful, fully functional, often free, themes and plugins that make the life of a developer and a designer easy. But with perks like that, you need to invest your time and money on the security of your website even more than ever.  All these codes for your WordPress site are actually developed by a group of different developers and they are open source. While it is tempting to opt for free themes and plugins from unreliable sources for various reasons for your websites, it is definitely going to cost you somewhere else if you are not careful. Ensure that all the WordPress themes and plugins that you use, even if you have paid for them, or they are from a trusted source, you will need to continuously check for updates and keep them up to date. 

Free themes, untrusted plugins, outdated themes and plugins – are vulnerable spots for the hackers to jump into your site and attach a piece of malicious code then boom…..the whole website will be filled with spam code and could go down. At the very least it will be expensive to fix and render your business website a liability until you fix it.

The code can sometimes actually affect all the sites that are hosted on your web server and be even more difficult to detect and remove.

The Wp_VCD code is one of the most common spam codes that you would come across, it is quite stubborn to remove as there are multiple ways and places it can inject the malicious code into your site. 

There are plugins such as Wordfence and Succurri that you can upload to keep these kinds of attacks in check. In spite of you using a paid plugin to protect your website, a hacker can still definitely get hold of your website and access the root folders and mess with its core files if you do not maintain your website regularly. 

If you find or get such reports of your files being infected, then the next step to take would be to thoroughly check the entire website files and clean the malicious code. 

By George Digital can help WordPress Website Owners to clean their infected websites successfully. We will audit all the website files and code and take measures to fix your hacked site. Contact us today for a discounted offer to fix your hacked WordPress website.

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