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Why you Must Secure your CMS

Part of what has made the internet more of a necessity than a luxury is how accessible it is for people. So accessible that just about anyone can have their own website, which is why there are over one billion existing websites right now-a number that grows as impressively by the second as it has by the year.

So, why are CMS platforms targeted by hackers?

First, because websites on these platforms are so prevalent. Second, because the open-source framework of these systems requires webmaster responsibility and attention to security precautions.

There’s a lot of monetary incentive for hackers to find and exploit vulnerabilities in these systems since these CMS platforms are so widely used by businesses and for e-commerce purposes. That, on top of already existing hacker culture, is incentive enough for digital perpetrators to regularly target open source CMS systems.

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How to Secure A CMS Website?

Everyone hates security. Security means extra work. Lots of it. You need to monitor security announcements, apply tedious upgrades (even though they may break your site), and review plugins carefully before you install them. No fun.

But what's the alternative? A broken or compromised site. You want your homepage to stay the way you left it, right? Not get defaced by a Mongolian teenager? Then you'll need to learn about security.

Get Security Announcements

The first step to staying secure is staying informed. Any good CMS, and any good extension, will have regular security updates. But they won't do you any good if you don't hear about them. Learn how to find and subscribe to security announcements for every moving part in your website.

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Why is it important to update your CMS?

A CMS is not a book. You write a book, you publish it, and there it is, a lovely block of paper. It's done. It can endure for centuries.

By contrast, a CMS is never done. If you don't keep upgrading your CMS, you risk losing your site.

Websites, Like Cars, Need Maintenance

Many people think of websites as a one-time expense. They want to pay a developer, get a nice website "built," and then move on. But that's not how it works.

A website needs to be maintained.

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Regular Updates to Your Website CMS is Important

Regular Updates to Your Website CMS is Important

A content management system (CMS) is the easiest way to add, edit and refine content on your website. The ability to easily and quickly add and manage content is essential for anyone with a professional website. If you don’t have some form of CMS built in to your website, it’s time to seriously ask yourself the question – Is your website offering you what you need it to?

Most people have heard the phrase ‘content is king’, and since good content is the cornerstone of any effective website – content should be revised and updated regularly.

A CMS allows you to control the content on your site on your own terms without having to have a working knowledge of HTML or CSS (web coding languages), and means you also will be able to avoid having to get in touch with your web developer every time you want to add or amend content.

Not only is having to deal with a third party when it comes to updating content time consuming, it also means that you’re probably not going to end up adding as much content as you should. In the competitive world of online marketing and appearing in Google’s search results, new and insightful content can be the difference between people finding you over one of your competitors.

From Joomla, WordPress and Drupal, there are many different content management systems that are used internationally, but none more popular (and arguably as easy to use) as WordPress. Therefore for the purpose of this article we will be focusing mainly on updating WordPress, although the main point is consistent for all CMS’s, with the major point being – update or beware.

Similar to anti-virus software updates, CMS updates are provided regularly for good reason. Like anything else, when it comes to online security, everything on the web can become vulnerable with time and hackers are always finding new holes, and new ways to exploit the back end of a website.

Outdated software is especially prone to attack as coding languages have changed and gaping holes can be left which black hat operators are all to keen to exploit for their own gain. Third party plugins, themes and scripts can also present a security risk to your CMS, so before installing any third party plugin or theme on your site, make sure to do your research to verify the safety and reputability of the add-on you are installing.

So if your site becomes compromised, the worst that could happen could be any of these below:

  • Thousands of spammy links from questionable sites which may cause your site to be penalised by Google leading to loss of traffic and enquiries
  • Stealing of private user data including email addresses, credit card information, passwords and other private customer information
  • Hi-jacking of your site to change layout, delete or add offensive content, or change the way your site functions
  • Changing of your CMS password restricting access to your site.

OTHER REASONS TO UPDATE YOUR CMS

Apart from the major reason of security, updating your CMS also offers a range of other benefits. New updates contain more efficient codes and features which help to improve the speed and performance of your site, while also using less bandwidth. As your site grows, this will also alleviate pressure on your web server.

An updated CMS also gives access to new features that can enhance the usability of the platform to integrate with other tools. New updates also help to simplify the way you add content to your site, including the ability to drag and drop rich content without the need for reformatting.

For those who don’t manage a website themselves, it’s important to have a plan in place with your hosting company or website administrators to ensure your CMS is regularly updated. This ensures that neither party assumes the other is responsible for updating the software and a plan is in place for the ongoing security of your site. This could be as simple as making someone in your business responsible for doing this, and checking that the version of the CMS that you are using is the latest one, or it could mean paying your hosting company or web developer to take responsibility of your site security including an updated CMS.



Credits: http://www.mediaheroesbrisbane.com.au/

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