One of the burning topics that have taken an alarming proportion globally is the unauthorized access or unethical hacking of the web security due to its vulnerability. Security threats can compromise on important stored data of an organization or individual with malicious intentions.
Today it has grown into the most important issue in terms of design and development. Open source content management systems are liable to be even more susceptible to security threats. Moreover, in the coming days, the task to save data and vital information is going to become even more difficult.
WordPress is the target of an assortment of such automated attacks; bots are trying with logins forcefully, database injections, and script in addition to various malicious activities. Bots are not the only threat that needs to be dealt with there are others too that is seemingly dangerous.
There are bases that need to be covered even beyond automated threats; changing beyond behavior is one of the important tasks at hand in securing a WordPress site. The 5-things listed down will attempt in humanizing security.
1. Best Practices
First and foremost, educate users about the best practices. As a matter of fact, one of the scopes of duties of a designer includes training his clients. However, even while we are inclined to orient the basics of managing content, which is anyway a good opportunity to talk on cybersecurity, at the same time; it may sound a little complex to brief them. They need to know some basics and have common knowledge about online security.
These items are applicable both to WordPress and in general as the concept is to make users understand and avoid the risk of jeopardizing the system otherwise it may become a headache.
2. Careful Selection of Plug-in:
Be careful in choosing the plug-in and be observant when you spend time as you will find all plug-in are created equally. Possibly anyone can write a plug-in but quality may differ significantly.
Therefore it becomes all the more important to do a bit of homework before installing. Study how often plug-in gets updated also check at support forums and usage numbers.
Even after you have decided to use a plug-in, there is no certainty that from here on there will be a smooth sailing. On the contrary think of each plug-in that you install with unending maintenance issue as they may get outdated and eventually the brand gets phased out. Moreover, quite likely the authors may no longer get time or the inclination to maintain them. There have been instances where plug-in has been unintentionally sold to those with malicious intent.
In order to avoid such instances, it is sensible to stay on top of the chart. Know the right plug-in that you are using, keep your eyes and ears open on the launching of new versions. In short pay attention to WordPress-related announcements.
Last, but certainly not the least, spare a moment to audit the sites you maintain on a regular basis. Inactive or no longer needed plug-in may be simply deleted in order to reduce the potential risk. This simple exercise will go a long way in helping to cut down on unwanted technical problems.
3. Utilize SSL:
SSL or Secure Sockets Layers is a standard security protocol that establishes encrypted links between browser in an online communication and a web server. SSL was basically used for E-Commerce sites or those that handled sensitive information and prevent the unauthorized access of important data, which in modern times has become the norm. Now, both browsers and search engines have understood the importance and forewarn users about sites that still run over HTTP. This is a significant step in web security.
As designers, the issues we come across is that it is easy enough to add SSL to a WordPress site; but sometimes, we may not be the final decision-makers, when it is a matter of acquiring a certificate. In such instances, we advise to opt for SSL and educate clients as to why it should no longer be considered optional.
4. Employ a Helping Hand:
It is not humanly possible to monitor sites constantly; however, this can be done with the help of tools that are easily available to keep a watch 24/7 are great options, as they look for suspicious code and behavior with an eagle’s eye.
These types of the plug-in can curtail failed login attempts, prevent malicious code from being executed and also alert you of outdated software. As a discount, premium versions add wings such as country-blocking and two-factor authentication.
You will find that the value of these plug-ins is significant in handling common threats by both bots and humans Though they won’t make your site 100% bulletproof, they offer an extra layer of protection; they could provide you with actionable information that can lead to a safer site and great experience.
5. Turn-Off Unneeded Functionality:
Scores of built-in functionality are offered when you install WordPress for the first time. All the same, the chances of using all the features do not occur. So, it is wise to have them turned off. Here, the biggest culprit would have to be Comments. Not all sites need to have them enabled. It is okay with sites that should be using some heavy spam protection. You may even disable it if the site you are building doesn’t need this feature; use the Discussion settings within WordPress. Look at the other features that you may not be utilized for a long time, viz. REST API, Gravatars, and XML-RPC are some of the likely items to be shut off or disabled.
Probable Threat to Our Own Security
Our own behavior is perhaps the biggest security threat to a WordPress site and not any automated assault as one may think. The above steps have one common thread; being proactive. By implementing secure practices even before a problem crops up, we can implement a security-first mindset, by sharing knowledge, through research background of the software. However, that would not enable us to stop every possible threat perception, but it puts us in the best possible position to combat it.