WordPress Security Patches: How to Prepare For Them
November 12. 2019
If you are a WordPress website owner, you really don’t have the luxury to just kick back and relax. You have to constantly monitor your WordPress site and keep close tabs on its security. Simply put, there are too many threats that can attack different parts of your website so you have to be proactive. However, even though it might sound like it, a security issue may not have anything to do with malicious login attempts or nefarious bots. Plugins, themes, and WordPress core oftentimes have bugs – bugs that developers will eventually track and release WordPress security patches for them. But this might take some time, and time may be the one thing you don’t have. Luckily, there are some ways for you to handle this issue without having to wait for anyone.
A frequent scan of your website is a must
Your website is the face of your entire business! To have an appealing and engaging website, you must work on website maintenance. And to maintain your website one of the primary things you should focus on is security. That being said, an obligatory part of your routine should be a frequent scan of your website. This proactive approach will help you detect any potential or real-life problems before they get a chance to cause actual trouble. These days, there are many free security scanner tools that will help you sweep your website in search of threats.
- WPscans – you will get a report on the outdatedness of your software, issues with your plugins and themes, and the presence of any information leakage.
- Sucuri – it can detect malware, recognize blacklist status, as well as issues with security protocols.
Noticed the need for WordPress security patches? Inform developers about it!
Whether you have identified a security issue or you have detected a website vulnerability, your job is to notify those in charge of fixing the problems. Once notified, the developers will work on amending the code by issuing security patches that will be accessible through upgrades. Think of all the people you might be saving by writing a simple e-mail that will shine more light on the issue. Depending on which part of your website you’ve noticed the bug, you can do the following things:
- In case you have noticed a bug in the WordPress core of a theme, your next step should be to create a ticket through the WordPress support forum.
- In case you have spotted a bug in any plugin, the worst thing you can do is mention it on any public forums. Instead, send an e-mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. This way, you will ensure that the necessary security patches are worked on in privacy.
Keep an eye out for any security updates
By now, we should all understand the relevance of timely updates – they help our WordPress websites run smoothly and trouble-free. While updating your themes and plugins is relevant in ‘normal’ circumstances, it’s even more important to do so when you are expecting a bug to be fixed. Luckily, developers are pretty good at what they do, so you can expect WordPress security patches to arrive shortly. As soon as you notice that an update is available, make sure you implement it.
Don’t be too confident just because you’ve received WordPress security breaches
Just because you’ve excavated the problem up until now doesn’t mean that you can’t still be at risk at some point. After all, there is no such thing as being too safe or too careful. That’s why it would be a good idea to reset the passwords of all the users logging into your site. For this purpose, you can use the Expire Passwords Plugin.
Provide extra login protection
How do you achieve this super coveted extra login protection and how do you revoke unwanted access? By updating both your security keys and salts! Luckily, this isn’t a hard thing to do, and you don’t have to be a WP expert to do it. Although that never hurts! A secret key will make your password practically unbreachable. Simple passwords such as ‘password’ are too easily guessed.
But a secret key is a password that is made up of too many randomly put together numbers and letters that coming up with the right formulation will take years. Once you pair it together with a salt, which is supposed to further enhance the strength of the result, you will get some much-needed peace of mind. At least, you’ll know your site isn’t so easily available.
Don’t forget about your SFTP passwords
This is just a quick reminder not to forget about your SFTP passwords in case you or anyone else on your team use them to upload files. Seems like we are changing all the passwords in one go, but there is a good reason for that. When it comes to changing an SFTP password, you can easily do it through the control panel.
Do a double-check and patiently wait for WordPress security patches
After all, what else are you supposed to do but wait? Whether you’ve noticed a bug, the developers saw it first, or a third party warned them about its presence, all you can do now is wait for WordPress security patches to become available through different updates. Then again, while you are just sitting and waiting, you can do something for your website and kick out anyone who might have taken advantage of these vulnerabilities. Change all of your passwords and double-check your work. With how smart hackers and bots have become these days, you really don’t want to leave the safety of your website up to chance. And why should you when you can protect it yourself?