How CMS Can Improve Security in 2016

2015 is drawing to a close and with it, we say goodbye to some of the biggest developments that hit the content management systems’ (CMS) market. While WordPress continues to dominate, Drupal, Joomla, and phpFox all have experienced a growing number of customers. According to a study conducted by Bitglass, enterprise applications for CMS on the cloud will also become stronger in 2016.

CMS Security

As the service and storage features of cloud computing are changing, we have to realize the importance of security, which is only growing with each passing day. As of today, most businesses want to launch a website using a CMS, and even more want to leverage on enterprise grade applications on the cloud as an integral part of their online strategy.

There is thus, no denying that CMS has decentralized the job of a webmaster to the point where content production and management has become as easy as searching something online. Despite that, the record number of security breaches, issues, and data leaks only suggests that 2016 will be met with greater challenges in terms of CMS security.

Common Causes
Cybercriminals are well aware that there are hundreds of thousands of websites with outdated plug-ins, web applications, themes, and other components that can be easily exploited. On top of that, there are many websites on popular CMS like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla that have un-patched installations waiting to be exploited. Generally speaking, there are five cyber attacks a person can issue against your website or database:

1. Remote code execution
2. SQL injection
3. Format string vulnerabilities
4. Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
5. Username enumeration

While the game (CMS) has changed, the players (cybercriminals) have not, and the same goes for the motives. Motives can be to gain access to personally identifiable information (PII) of customers and employees of a business stored in the database, tapping into the banking details of people for monetary gains, or even blackmailing webmasters, website owners, or customers by using personal information as leverage. Also, in some cases, cyber attacks are initiated through malwares that redirect the user to a different webpage for a wide range of reasons.

Improving Security
Some of the most pressing security concerns in the world of CMS are those that are often easily avoidable. More often than not, websites are affected by vulnerabilities as a result of outdated plugins and themes. To avoid this, all you have to do is click on update when the notification appears that your plugin or theme has a new update waiting to be installed. It’s really not that complicated!

What is complicated, however, are the SQL injections and cross-site scripting that put your website’s guard down and leave it at the mercy of cyber attackers. With increasing dependence on cloud technology, we are likely to see more of these attacks than the first type. Therefore, to protect your website and its database, you need a comprehensive security strategy that involves more than just buying a security plugin for your CMS. It should focus on adding layers of encryption to your database. Doing so means that even if your website is hacked, there are little chances of your database being exploited!

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