February 9, 2018 Business Solutions
Are You Using Backdoored WordPress Plugins? Learn How To Protect Your Business
WordPress might be the king among content management systems, but the vast plugin repository of its kingdom can sometimes cause troubles. And it does so almost daily. What can be the consequences? How to avoid malicious backdoored plugins? Answers below.
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What Do Backdoored Plugins Do?
Backdoored plugins let hackers meddle with your site all they want. The most unnerving and dangerous examples of exploits are:
- Inserting SEO spam links
- Gaining access to sensitive information (logins, passwords, personal information, etc.)
- Removing entire pages or subpages and filling them with hacked content
- Populating your website with irrelevant comments
- Using your site to attack other sites or mine bitcoins
How Can You Protect Yourself?
When you’re an owner of a WP-based website, there are at least a couple of things you can do to ensure the safety of your online asset.
#1 Keep your WordPress version up-to-date. This is very important because updates often contain patches to vulnerabilities. Plus, the WordPress team is quick to release a security patch whenever there’s trouble—sometimes so quick that a malicious plugin doesn’t cause widespread damage.
#2 Always do a thorough background check of any plugins you’d like to install. The four things to look at:
- Number of downloads
- Star rating
- Date of latest update
If any of the four indicate there’s something suspicious brewing, move on to another plugin. Believe me, there are so many similar plugins in the WP repository, you’ll find what you need without taking unnecessary risk.
To keep up with the latest WP vulnerabilities, you can also set up a free email alert at WPScan. The website also has a frequently updated database of vulnerabilities found in WordPress, WP plugins, and its themes.
What to Do When Your Business Website Is WP-Powered?
While managing a small WP-based website with just a handful of plugins isn’t much of a challenge, maintaining a business website that relies on a variety of plugins to function can be troublesome. But there’s more: failing to ensure all of your plugins are safe can quickly turn into a disaster.
Remember, not only do you have your business’ safety to worry about but also your clients’. Because of that, there are basically two things at stake here:
Imagine a situation where your customers’ personal information is compromised. There’s no telling what hackers will do with all that information once they obtain it.
What you can be sure of, however, is that you’ll lose trust and reputation among your customers. Plus, your company can face legal action of often calamitous consequences.
And there’s another legal aspect to consider.
Data Breaches and the Upcoming GDPR Legislation
With GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming into force on 25 May 2018, data breaches will become even more burdensome for companies. The new EU regulation requires businesses to report data breaches to all affected users within 72 hours post-breach. Otherwise, you might be fined.
The upcoming EU regulation concerns all businesses that have an online presence in the EU and have EU-based customers.
Hire an Expert to Avoid Being Hacked
So if you want to sleep soundly at night without nightmares of litigation tormenting you, consider hiring a security specialist experienced in WordPress. Knowing the platform inside-out, a specialist will be alert to any suspicious plugins, themes, or other WP vulnerabilities.
A WordPress professional is up-to-date with the latest WP security news and flaws, being ready to intervene the moment something threatening comes up. If you’d like to talk about security of your WordPress site, contact one of our specialists. We’ll analyze your site and determine the level of security your business needs to stay safe.