Businesses of all stripes rely on the popular WordPress open-source publishing platform for their website needs. And that popularity has attracted the attention of cybercriminals, making it a frequent target of attacks.
To help them fight back, SiteLock, a Scottsdale, Ariz. website security vendor, kicked off a private beta of its new SMART Database (SMART/DB) solution today. SMART/DB is a scanning tool that detects and automatically removes spam and malware from WordPress databases.
The company was formed in 2008, and as SiteLock president Neill Feather explains in this eSecurity Planet video, the company specializes in helping small and midsized businesses (SMBs) mount a defense against cyberattackers. In addition to providing easy-to-deploy web application firewall (WAF) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation capabilities, the company is now enabling SMBs to strengthen their WordPress deployments.
As entrepreneurs quickly learn in the current cybersecurity landscape, operating a website today is risky business.
"On average, websites face over 8,000 attacks per year from cybercriminals trying to steal valuable resources such as website bandwidth, traffic, and customer data. Popular, well recognized websites that utilize ecommerce or a large number of interactive features or plugins can be obvious targets for cyberattacks and are often reported in mainstream media," Feather said.
"According to SiteLock data, websites using 10 to 20 plugins are two times more likely to be compromised than the average website, and websites linking to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts are 2.5 times more likely to be compromised than the average website."
Although it's tempting for small businesses owners to think that they can fly under the radar of cybercriminals, the opposite is true.
"In fact, 43 percent of all cyberattacks targeted small businesses in 2016," Feather informed. "Given that the majority of small businesses manage or maintain their own websites, they typically aren't aware of the time or resources required to ensure adequate protection against ever evolving security threats such as malware and other vulnerabilities."
"It's important to understand that any website, regardless of number of features or amount of traffic, is constantly at risk," he added.
Apart from the sheer number of websites powered by WordPress—28 percent of the internet according to WordPress contributor Automattic—the platform's extensible nature attracts its share of the wrong kind of attention.
"As most WordPress websites include customer engagement features such as blog comments, blog contributors, and content aggregation, this emerging malware monitoring technology keeps comments and posts clean from spam, ensuring site content is search engine friendly and is most valuable for visitors," Feather said. "SMART/DB also mitigates other database malware like malicious redirects and backdoors, ultimately keeping website visitors safe."
SiteLock is currently accepting sign-ups for its new SMART/DB beta here.