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WordPress Security Risks

WordPress: Are The Security Risks Too Great?

WordPress is open source software; it is a popular website building tool that has been dominating the content management system scene for years. Proponents say that it's easy to use and customizable, and praise the fact that its open source. However, the risks associated with WordPress websites are beginning to outweigh the benefits.

WordPress security breaches have been steadily becoming more common, and because WordPress is such a popular platform, it's a prime target for many hackers. In fact, after doing a little research, you'll see that there's a growing risk associated with using WordPress.

Read on to learn about why WordPress is so vulnerable to breaches, why "open source project" doesn't always equal "great," and why the WordPress bubble is about to burst wide open. You'll find that there are better choices out there for your site.

WordPress - Popular but Risky

More than a quarter of all websites are powered by open source platforms like WordPress. If a website is open source, it means that anyone can get a copy of the code that runs the back end of that site. Open source software makes some pretty serious claims - it's free to use, you can customize it as much as you want, and you can fix any bugs on your own without having to wait for a vendor to do so. Assuming you possess the necessary technical skills, or have the budget and time for someone else to manage an open source website. There are many reasons why, on the surface, open source platforms like WordPress makes sense, which is why it's still such a popular option.

However, when you look closer at the stats, you'll see that Sucuri recently reported that 83% of hacked websites are WordPress-based sites. This should alarm anyone considering WordPress as an option, and highlights why the market is beginning to take notice.

Hacking: Why is WordPress a Target?

WordPress powers so much of the internet, so it's always in the spotlight. You may have heard about cyber security breaches, cyber attacks and bugs in the news, and it seems that they are on the rise. There are a few reasons for this rise.

  • From the point of view of a hacker, it would be difficult and time-consuming to find a security hole in the software for individual websites. So they instead aim to find security holes in the most popular website building software on the planet - WordPress. Because of its open source nature, it's easy to secure a copy of the code and find holes or bugs, and from there, hackers can exploit millions of websites, because they all run on the same code.
  • Because it's easy to hack so many websites at once, the return on investment for hackers is huge.
  • Many WordPress users fail to update their software, which makes hacking the site a breeze. In fact, the majority of hacked sites are out of date.

In addition, many features of WordPress run on plugins. While these pieces of software can expand the capabilities of your website, vulnerable plugins are one of the top ways that a hacker can gain access to your site. Every plugin you install increases the number of ways a hacker can get into your site.

How Does A WordPress Site Get Hacked?

More than half the time, hackers use vulnerable websites to send out spam, use your SEO rankings for their own gain, or redirect from your site to another one. If a hacker finds a breach and exploits it on a few thousand sites, they have a huge network to send out spam or use black hat SEO techniques.

Many of these hackers simply insert a piece of malicious code into the code of your site, theme or plugin. Even if you're an expert in HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript, it can take hours to pour over all the code on your site, and even then you may not be able to find the malicious bit of code. And when it comes to WordPress, hackers don't just get in through holes in security. They often use bots to try to pry their way into your site, using weak passwords, phishing, your hosting, or just plain brute force.

The scariest part is, those that want to learn to expose WordPress security breaches can do so pretty easily. Hackers can learn to write malicious code via written guides online or videos on YouTube. All it takes is a quick Google search, like "how to hack WordPress sites," and you're already on your way. A hacked site puts your customers' sensitive information at risk, and if you're an e-commerce site, this could even mean credit card information. Most small business owners don't even want to imagine that email they'd have to send out to customers to let them know their personal data may be compromised, because of a data breach on its website.

The Risk Is Just Too Great

While creating a site WordPress can be quick and easy, in the long run, it's a bad idea for your business. Many sites get hacked in a way that's virtually unnoticeable (like the pharma hack), until you go to search for your site on Google, and see a bunch of weird links below your site. If you're not checking regularly, you'll never know how long your site's been hacked. And if your site has been hacked for months without you knowing it, how much business have you lost out on.

And if Google (and other search engines) suspects that your site may be hacked, it could blacklist your website. Google is always trying to protect users from unsafe or malicious sites, so if your site appears unsafe to Google's web crawlers, Google could de-index you from search results, which means that potential clients and customers won't be able to find you. This can lead to a serious loss of revenue, and can even destroy the business you worked so hard to create.

While millions are currently comfortable living inside the WordPress bubble, we'll continue to see attacks increase and developers struggling to keep up and patch all the vulnerabilities. It's only a matter of time before people draw the line and say that enough is enough. Security threats are on the rise, anyone can learn to hack a WordPress site, and more people are beginning to scrutinize open source platforms. Why are you putting your data at risk? The truth is, you don't have to turn to WordPress to get the site that you want.

There are Secure Options Out There

At QuickSilk, we understand how valuable your site and your business are. We know that you can't put your data and reputation on the line, and you can't risk your site being down or inaccessible for any amount of time. QuickSilk is one of the most secure content management systems available, and you don't have to sacrifice ease of use or affordability. We work with you to help you create a functional, secure, and affordable website, and we are always there if any problem arises, so you know you'll be getting top-notch support from industry experts. Contact us today to see how we can help you create the website that your business needs without any of the risks of WordPress. Come see QuickSilk!

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