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What is vulnerability monitoring in WordPress?

Keep your WordPress site secure

In this article, we’ll explore what vulnerability monitoring is, what it means for you as a WordPress user, and how we apply it at one.com.

Create your website with WordPress

Start building your site with the world’s most popular cms.

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  • 40+ free and unique one.com themes
  • Stable and ultra-fast hosting
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Mobile friendly
  • 1-click install
  • 24/7 support

Vulnerabilities in WordPress

WordPress has grown to become the world’s most used CMS thanks to the many customisation options it offers. Currently, there are 34.000 themes and 65.000 plugins available for WordPress. This is of course a great benefit, but sometimes a security risk as popular software tends to be an equally popular target for hackers.

While a vulnerability is a weak spot that makes it easier for bad actors to carry out malicious attacks, the good news is that a vulnerability isn’t the same as an exploit, where someone has actively taken advantage of this vulnerability. Knowing your WordPress website’s weak spots and fortifying them against malicious intent will keep your website safe and your data protected. And that’s where vulnerability monitoring comes in.

It’s your software, not you, that is the target of attacks

A common misconception about cybersecurity threats is that you have to be personally targeted to get your website hacked. This is far from the truth. Exploits are rarely personal. Instead, hackers look for weaknesses in widely used products, like popular plugins, themes and page builders. This way, they can gain control over large volumes of websites. 

Understanding vulnerability monitoring

Vulnerability monitoring is a preventive security measure aiming at discovering security weaknesses before the hackers find them and applying necessary measures to secure against the risks. For WordPress sites, that is done by daily comparing your installed themes and plugins against the world’s biggest database of known security vulnerabilities. Depending on their severity, vulnerabilities scored with a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score on a scale from 0 – 10. This scoring system helps provide more detail about the risk of having that vulnerability exploited.  The scores are then grouped into 3 risk levels – low, medium, and critical. 

The importance of vulnerability monitoring for WordPress

Vulnerability monitoring and early detection are particularly important if you have a WordPress site. WordPress is built from components that can be combined infinitely resulting in many attractive and sometimes easy targets for hackers. As a user, it can be difficult to assess a component or the vendor of that component from a security perspective. As components are updated and new features are introduced, it becomes even more challenging to keep up with the security risks.

What if someone monitored your WordPress site for you? Scan for vulnerability with Patchstack 

Enter Patchstack, our vulnerability monitoring partner. Patchstack is an online security company specialising in WordPress. One of the services that they provide is access to the world’s largest database of WordPress vulnerabilities that gets updated with new findings daily, as it’s tied to a bug ‘bounty’ program that rewards ethical hackers who find and share vulnerability information. 

How can I keep my WordPress site secure?

There are several steps you can take to keep your WordPress site safe and secure. First, try to keep your WordPress install as clean as possible. Deactivate and remove components that you aren’t using. The fewer components, the better as having a smaller number of components reduces the chances that one is malicious or targeted for attacks. 

You can also opt for premium or at least ‘freemium’ plugins and themes, as this guarantees support and that a team is working on them regularly. Free components are maintained on a volunteer basis and might not receive timely security updates. 

Stay away from so called “nulled” components – premium products bought at high discount prices from third-party marketplaces. There is a high risk that the software you’ll receive will not work as intended, or that it could contain malicious code. 

Vulnerability monitoring with one.com

Above all, the most impactful measure you can take to secure your site is to host it with a web host that offers daily vulnerability monitoring. This relieves you of the burden of having to assess and monitor everything you install on your WordPress site. 

At one.com, you will be notified if anything fishy is detected on your site. You will receive a message with details of which component has a known security vulnerability and its CVSS score. If a vulnerability is detected, the best way of protecting your site against malicious intent is to update the vulnerable theme or plugin to the latest available version. If you have a website with us and have the Managed WordPress add-on, the update will be done for you seamlessly in the background. This allows you to focus on what you love while your WordPress security is taken care of for you. 

We repair over fifty thousand vulnerabilities this way every year. Besides automated security, the Managed WordPress add offers benefits such as visually tested automatic updates, premium customer support and uptime monitoring on the go in our Companion app. 

Create your website with WordPress

Start building your site with the world’s most popular cms.

Choose a package
  • 40+ free and unique one.com themes
  • Stable and ultra-fast hosting
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Mobile friendly
  • 1-click install
  • 24/7 support