While almost all of today’s businesses maintain their own sites and blogs, a lot of them rely on third-party services to do so. And one of the most popular third-party applications companies use is WordPress. Statistics, in fact, reveal that as of 2021, there were more than 455 million WordPress websites. That comprises around 3% of the total number of sites on the World Wide Web.
On the other side of the fence, while WordPress does make it a lot easier for companies to create and maintain their websites, the platform has had its fair share of attacks over time. On 9 December 2021, for instance, 1.6 million WordPress sites were hit by 13.7 million attacks coming from 16,000 IP addresses in a span of 36 hours. Users with unpatched platform versions succumbed to exploits targeting four plug-ins.
Given the massive WordPress usage, the number of attacks against the platform aren’t likely to cease, making proper IT security and compliance management critical. Of course, it’s highly probable that WordPress users turned to the platform because they lacked IT resources—developers and administrators. There is, however, a solution for that—hiring a DevOps services company to secure their WordPress sites against attacks.
Why Is WordPress Widely Used?
WordPress is a software that eases the creation of websites. And there are various reasons for its popularity worldwide, three of which are detailed below.
- Free and open source: Companies with limited budgets to create and maintain a corporate website can use the program to do so. The free plan also comes with plug-ins and themes that organizations can adapt for their sites. All users have to spend on is hosting.
- Adaptable: Users can create various kinds of websites via WordPress, including blogs, portfolios, and forums. All that is doable because of the many available themes and plug-ins for the platform’s users.
- Media support: We all know by now that sites that employ graphics succeed more than others. WordPress lets users, even the least tech-savvy, to host videos, images, documents, and audio files on their websites with a few simple clicks.
Other reasons include ease of use and management, community support availability, scalability, and search engine optimization (SEO) compatibility. Despite these advantages, though, we also know that the more popular an application is, the more likely threat actors will target its users. Sadly, that has been the case for WordPress (as shown by the sample attacks mentioned earlier), hence the need for better IT security and compliance management.
How Do You Keep Your WordPress Site Secure?
You can follow these best practices to secure your WordPress site:
- Use a strong password: Many WordPress sites suffer from unauthorized logins, allowing attackers to gain control of them. The simplest way to protect your website, therefore, is to ensure your password’s strength. Changing it regularly is also a must.
- Patch regularly: Several WordPress sites have succumbed to attacks because the program, including themes and plug-ins, hasn’t been updated. Since the platform is open source, it can have many vulnerabilities that attackers often exploit.
- Use a web application firewall (WAF): Monitoring and filtering WordPress traffic can be challenging. A WAF can ease the process by automating it. It will disallow direct connections to your server, shielding other connected systems from whatever threats attackers unleash on your WordPress site.
There are many more, of course, and given the ever-changing nature of WordPress, addition of new features frequently, it’s not unlikely for the platform to have more bugs. That could pose huge risks to WordPress sites as threat actors are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities.
For companies that don’t have a dedicated IT security team, finding and plugging these security holes may not be possible. And that could leave their corporate network and site visitors vulnerable to attacks. Hiring a DevOps services company to constantly look out for bugs and fix these without disrupting operations can help. The contractor can keep a close tab on the site and ensure it can’t get compromised.
How Do You Keep Your WordPress Site Regulatory-Compliant?
There are three steps to keeping your WordPress website regulatory-compliant, each of which is discussed in greater detail below.
- Know what regulations you must adhere to: The laws your site should follow depends on what country your company is from, how big it is, what your industry is, and more. You can consult local authorities or consultants to learn more about this.
- Keep your site secure: You need to protect your website from all kinds of attacks, especially if hackers can abuse it to steal customer and employee data, a violation against several regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its iterations in various countries.
- Maintain a secure and regulatory-compliant site: Constantly beefing up your website’s security and ensuring compliance to all the laws your company falls under is a must if you wish to avoid paying fines and going through harsher punishments.
Companies that know very little about regulations and don’t have dedicated staff may need help. Third-party DevOps services can ensure their sites or apps work adheres to compliance requirements, which differ from one industry or country to another.
As this post showed, WordPress site owners can benefit a lot from DevOps services. Not only can these speed up their website development but also ensure that their sites remain secure against attacks and regulatory-compliant.