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How WordPress Maintenance Services can save your website hacking

WordPress is the most popular CMS. Currently around 40 percent of websites use WordPress. WordPress is very easy to install and use. With over 50k plugins and thousands of themes, it is suited to meet the unique needs of businesses.

Though WordPress has employed several security measures over the years, security is still a major concern for WordPress website owners. Over the years, cybercriminals have launched several cyberattacks targeting WordPress websites.

Recently, two critical flaws were discovered in the All In One WordPress plugin. These flaws put sites at risk of cyberattacks, spooking website owners.

A WordPress security vulnerability can offer a window of opportunity to hackers, who can exploit it to carry out a devastating attack. A cyberattack can compromise critical customer and business data, making quite a dent in your reputation.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of WordPress maintenance. Periodic maintenance can help steer clear of attack vectors. Your provider will take various steps to beef up website security and keep hackers at bay.

Here are some steps WordPress maintenance services take to prevent cyberattacks.

They Run the Latest Versions of WordPress, Themes and Plugins

WordPress security threats are evolving, so is WordPress security. Each WordPress update includes bug fixes and security fixes. Security patches fix the security vulnerabilities in the previous version.

You can forget to update your WordPress website, your provider won’t. Your maintenance outsourcing partner’s team will stay on top of updates and download and install them as soon as they’re available.

Running the latest version of WordPress is not enough, especially if you are using an older version of plugins and themes. A dated version of a plugin or theme can contain several security vulnerabilities, increasing the chances of your site falling prey to a cyber attack.

The Slider Revolution plugin is a good example of how an outdated plugin or theme can compromise website security. The popular WordPress plugin is used by several WordPress themes. It is prone to a local file inclusion vulnerability that hackers can exploit to obtain crucial info that could be used to carry out a cyber attack.

Your provider will make sure all the themes and plugins you are running are up-to-date.

They Help Their Clients Choose the Right Plugins and Themes

WordPress has thousands of plugins and themes that you can use to extend the functionality of your website.

Even if your themes,plugins and WordPress site is updated to its latest version, a hacker can carry out plugin enumeration-a type of attack that is carried out to probe a website to discover the site owner’s login. The information can be used to execute a brute-force password attack.

Unnecessary plugins can contain security vulnerabilities. WordPress maintenance services are very selective when choosing plugins and themes. Your provider’s team will ensure you do not use any plugins and themes that you don’t need.

Before installing a plugin or theme, your service provider will make the effort to learn everything there is to know about it (ideally from sources other than the developer’s website).

They will check how many times the plugin/theme has been downloaded and when the last update was published to perform a vulnerability assessment (Usually the more downloads, the better. A popular plugin is actively maintained by its authors, meaning if a vulnerability is found it will be fixed swiftly).

They Actively Look for and Remove Inactive Users

Keeping inactive users on a WordPress site increases the attack surface. A professional is quick to spot and remove inactive users. In case you want to keep some inactive users in your WordPress site database, your provider will change their role to Subscriber. This will limit the actions they can perform.

They Disable File Editing

By default, WordPress allows administrators to edit PHP files of plugins and themes. If a cyber criminal manages to gain access to an admin account they can exploit the functionality (allows code execution on the server). Professionals know this. They disable editing to protect WordPress websites against this attack vector.

They Enable HTTPS for all Logins and Wp-admin
HTTPS should be used whenever a user is sending sensitive information to the web server and vice versa. WordPress’s log in form and admin area are the most vulnerable areas of a WordPress site. To keep hackers at bay, professionals not only implement TSS/SSL in these areas, they enforce them.
They Use Complex Security Keys

WordPress uses a set of long, random complex security keys. These keys have multiple encryption keys and cryptographic salts. Security keys ensure better encryption of info stored in cookies.

A security key uses elements that make it harder for a hacker to get past them. Professionals either use WordPress’ key generator to create security keys or make their own random keys.

They Restrict Direct Access to PlugIn and Theme PHP Files

Allowing direct access to PHP files could prove to be a costly mistake. Some files and plugins contain PHP files that cannot be called directly. This may result in the PHP interpreter displaying errors or warnings and critical information may get into the hands of a cyber criminal.

Failure to restrict direct access to PHP files will open up new vulnerabilities. A cyber criminal can bypass security measures when code is split up into smaller files. If the register_globals directive is enabled on the server with direct access to a PHP file, a cyber criminal may be able to perform multiple malicious actions.

Professionals act proactively to avoid attack vectors. They restrict direct access to plugin and theme PHP files in order to reduce the risk of crucial information getting compromised.

Need help with WordPress maintenance? Call our office.