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Top 3 Website Security Threats To Prepare for in 2022

February 16, 2022

Website security threats shouldn't be taken lightly.

According to an IBM report, data breaches cost an average of $4.24 million in 2021, up from $3.86 million in 2020. Besides financial losses, website threats also damage a company’s reputation and can cause search engines to block the business’ website.

With the 2020 pandemic ushering in a ‘new normal’ in remote work, businesses should be more careful than ever. Cyberattacks are on the rise, with cyberattack costs expected to exceed $6 trillion.

But what are the website threats you should look out for?

Website Security Threats

  1. Phishing
  2. Ransomware
  3. Cloud-based attacks

1. Phishing

Phishing is a type of website security threat wherein the cybercriminals send emails that seem to have come from a trusted source to lure individuals into sharing sensitive information such as credit card details and passwords.

Phishing scams often involve sending links to websites that are infected with malware.

Phishing is a common website security threat. Watch out for emails pretending to come from legitimate sources.

Watch out for wrong grammar, misspelled words, and multiple typos to avoid falling for phishing emails.

Cybersecurity experts expect phishing attacks to increase in 2022 — these website threats increased by 600% during the 2020 pandemic.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware wherein hackers lock a victim’s computer through encryption. During a ransomware attack, they prevent users from using the device and threaten to destroy data unless a ransom is paid. Ransomware is often spread through malicious software or infected email attachments.

Two-thirds of technology executives expect the number of ransomware attacks to increase in 2022.

According to the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre, there were three times as many ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2021 as there were in the entirety of 2019. The increase can be attributed to the pandemic and increased online activity in digital environments.

Moreover, Cybersecurity Ventures states ransomware damage is expected to reach $265 billion by 2031. Protect your website from these types of attacks as early as now.

3. Cloud-Based Attacks

With the shift to remote work came increased reliance on cloud apps and, subsequently, an increase in cloud-based attacks. Between January to April 2020, cloud-based attacks increased by 630%.

Cloud-based attacks are often caused by malicious code such as:

  • SQL injection attacks
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • Trojan horses
  • Spyware
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS attacks).

The good news is, many cloud-based attacks can be prevented with good security practices.

How To Prevent Common Website Threats

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to keep a WordPress developer on standby to secure your website. You can do things to prevent many of the known vulnerabilities, even if you're not a techie.

1. Educate Your Customers.

The first step to preventing website security threats is to educate the people using your website — you, your employees, and your customers.

Although customers don't have access to your website’s backend, they interact with your platform. Attacks against your customers can lead to compromises on your website. Similarly, security vulnerabilities on your site also affect your customers.

Here are some things you can do to raise awareness:

  • Warn customers of the potential dangers of common website threats. Remind them not to share private data such as credit card numbers on social media.
  • Enforce strong passwords. Remember, it only takes one compromised password to take down millions of WordPress accounts.
  • Require multi-factor authentication (MFA).

2. Choose a Reliable Web Host.

Did you know your choice of web host plays a role in preventing website security threats?

If you have a website that collects sensitive data and personal information, such as ecommerce stores, a reliable web host is a must.

When you sign up for a hosting plan from reliable companies such as Nexcess, you get access to security features such as SSL certificates and security plugins.

Choosing a reliable web host helps prevent website security threats.

All Nexcess Managed WordPress plans and Managed WooCommerce plans come with:

3. Frequently Update Your WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins.

Security misconfigurations are one of the most common causes of website attacks. It happens when website owners fail to or inaccurately implement security controls for a web server or web application.

According to a report released by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), security misconfiguration was one of the top security vulnerabilities of 2021.

The most common examples of security misconfiguration include using default user accounts and passwords and older software versions.

By simply upgrading your WordPress core, you can prevent up to 56% of security vulnerabilities and prevent 44% of cyberattacks by updating your plugins.

Nexcess’ managed hosting plans include WordPress and plugin updates to ensure your website’s safety.

4. Install a Security Plugin.

Besides keeping your website updated, did you know that 70% of website threats could have been prevented with a security plugin?

Nexcess Managed plans come with the top security plugin iThemes Security Pro, which prevents website security threats by:

  • Stopping brute force attacks
  • Enforcing reCAPTCHA to block bad bots and reduce spam
  • Scanning your website and applying patches where applicable

5. Install a Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Prevent website threats by installing a firewall.

Although a security plugin can prevent most common website threats, many plugins don't have the features offered by web application firewalls (WAFs).

WAFs monitor and control incoming and outgoing traffic. They block threats before they reach your website.

Final Thoughts — Top 3 Website Security Threats To Look Out for in 2022

Website security issues are no laughing matter.

The good news is, preparing for a cyberattack is not complicated. Website owners can minimize security risks by employing good security measures.

Reduce website security threats by signing up for a Nexcess Managed WordPress hosting plan, which comes with security features such as daily backups, automatic updates, and free tools.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman

Maddy Osman is a WordPress expert and WordCamp US speaker. She is a WordCamp Denver organizer and also operates The Blogsmith, an SEO content agency for B2B tech companies that works with clients like HubSpot, Automattic, and Sprout Social. Learn more about The Blogsmith's process and get in touch to talk content strategy: www.TheBlogsmith.com