WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMSs) in the world, accounting for more than half of all websites that employ CMS. But being a very convenient, user-friendly, and robust solution does not always imply total security.
With the advent of cybercrime, it is more critical than ever to adopt precautionary, proactive, and preventative measures to safeguard our websites. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to understand which security measures are disabled by default in WordPress and what we can do to replace them.
If you learn WordPress by taking a WordPress course, security features that are missing in WordPress won’t be taught in detail. We’ll explore some of the security features that aren’t built into WordPress. Let us begin!
A Quick Introduction to WordPress Security
WordPress is amongst the most extensively used CMSs, and for a good reason. However, with such a large number of websites utilizing the software, it has become a popular target for hackers.
Cybercriminals can infiltrate your site using various forms of attacks. For instance, some of the most popular are as follows:
- Scripting on Multiple Websites (XSS).
- Injection of Structured Query Language (SQL).
In general, WordPress is proactive in discovering and resolving security concerns. However, developers cannot guarantee the security of every site, particularly in the case of third-party technologies and user behaviour. For example, employing obsolete themes and plugins, as well as older versions of PHP, can introduce security risks.
Security Features We Wish WordPress Included
While we continue to uncover and apply the most effective methods for mitigating risks, it’s critical to recognize that WordPress does not come equipped with everything we need to keep our websites safe.
Identifying the security elements that it currently lacks is the first step toward developing alternate solutions.
It also offers SEO tools, social media integration and many other features that will help you with your online marketing campaigns. See Tomoson review of Showcase IDX to find more about it.
- Integrated Audit Logs
When you’re managing a WordPress site, a lot happens simultaneously. Audit logs (alternatively referred to as ‘activity logs’ or ‘activity trails’) assist you in determining who modifies your site and when.
This form of log can be used to keep track of website activities. Having this information enables you to monitor your site and quickly recognize when something goes wrong.
Regrettably, WordPress does not currently include a feature to accomplish this. Alternatively, you can utilize a plugin to help you with this. Below is an example of one such plugin.
An audit plugin can assist you in keeping track of all website occurrences, including user updates. This is especially handy if your site has a large number of contributors.
- Two-Factor Authentication (two-factor authentication)
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a highly effective method of preventing brute-force assaults. It adds another degree of protection to your WordPress login screen by requiring two means of identity verification.
WordPress, on the other hand, has not yet integrated this security element into its platform. Part of the issue is that implementing it solely through the core platform is challenging because methods such as text message verification would require extra Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
In the lack of a built-in WordPress 2FA, you can utilize the Two-Factor plugin developed by 3rd parties. This enables two-factor authentication with time-based, one-time passwords obtained via Google Authenticator.
- Cryptographic Plugins
WordPress introduced signature verification for Core updates. This involves inspecting your header and files for validating the site’s validity using signing keys (created by the WordPress.org team).
If the signature is invalid, WordPress will soft-fail, while future releases will have a hard-fail. Finally, this check is intended to prevent hackers from tampering with the update server by misleading the automated update system into downloading bogus code.
This is significantly more difficult to accomplish now than it was previously. That is because hackers would now need to steal the signing keys from the core developers of WordPress.
However, at the moment, this cryptographic signature applies solely to Core updates. We’d like to see the plugin ecosystem adopt signed packages and updates in the future. Meanwhile, it’s critical to be cautious about thoroughly vetting plugins before installing them and regularly updating them.
- Protection against brute force attacks and CAPTCHAs
Brute-force assaults pose a serious threat to WordPress-powered websites. This occurs when a hacker attempts to crack your password repeatedly using a variety of different letter and number combinations.
One is to ensure that you are using secure passwords. This means making them as complicated as possible, which you may accomplish by using the WordPress Generate Password feature located on your User page.
Another possibility is to restrict login attempts. Using two-factor authentication is a good place to start. However, using Completely Automated Turing Tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHAS) and adding an additional layer of security to your login and registration forms is a good idea.
The most straightforward way is to utilize a plugin such as Advanced Captcha & invisible Captcha. It allows you to add any type of CAPTCHA to your WordPress forms, including the login page.
- SSL Certificate Assistant
SSL certificates are required to establish an encrypted connection between the server of your website and the user’s browser. Failure to implement one on your site can jeopardize not only your data but also your search engine optimization (SEO), as Google penalizes sites that do not have one.
The process of installing an SSL certificate is not difficult. The majority of site owners may obtain one from their hosting provider, which is usually a one-click process.
To make this process even easier (and hence more widespread), we believe it would be beneficial if WordPress included a function that assisted users in installing a free SSL certificate if their sites currently do not have one.
Globally 30000 cyber-attacks happen daily. With so many security dangers on the internet today, protecting our websites has never been more critical.
Unfortunately, while WordPress is a dependable and sophisticated content management system, it is not totally secure. This is why it is vital to ascertain the defences it lacks and devise strategies to compensate.
As said previously, there are 6 security Features that we wish WordPress included:
- Audit logs are pre-installed for the purpose of tracking user activity.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
- Cryptographically signed plugins, similar to the approach taken with Core updates.
- To further restrict login attempts, brute force protection and CAPTCHAS are used.
- An SSL certificate assistant that enables WordPress users to easily install a certificate with a single click.
As days go by, more and more cyberattacks are happening, and we need to protect our websites from hackers. Knowing the security features WordPress lack helps us to take steps and fill those gaps.