The CMS has been an excellent method that developers introduced to make the process of adding images and videos, uploading and downloading files, and storing them efficiently and automated for users of these platforms. This process has made HTML and the World Wide Web development from the static sites it was known as to something more beautiful.


With CMS platforms introduced in the early 2000s, it has made users with no technical knowledge, and even users with excellent technical and web development knowledge build and maintain websites quickly and without much stress on the users since everything has been streamlined.


Based on W3Tech Surveys, WordPress have accounted for over 75% CMS powered websites that are currently online. It the most popular, and it is not changing anytime soon.


However, because this CMS platform helps many people in building their websites and offers the best services, CMS vulnerability to hackers has also been on the increase over the years.


A startling 73 percent of all WordPress installations, according to a survey by WP White Security and Sucuri, contained known vulnerabilities that could be quickly uncovered with automated technologies, which most hackers know, which is why they have increasingly compromised CMS platforms for a long time.


Sucuri further stated that the first CMS Platform that tops the vulnerability to a cyberattack is WordPress, followed by Joomla and Drupal. The view has been proven correct.


Definition of a CMS

CMS is an acronym for Content Management System, a platform that allows users with and without technical knowledge to build and manage their websites efficiently. It also makes uploading, storing, and downloading content easy. The excellent Graphic User Interface (GUI) they have makes way for a smoother user experience and interaction on the platform.


A CMS has two significant elements in them, and they are the Content Management Application (CMA) and the Content Delivery Application (CDA).


The administration of users and groups by CMA enables them to add, edit, and delete site material. It also contains the front-end user interface, which enables a user to edit a website's content without needing technical knowledge of HTML, CSS, or any other programming languages. The data are usually compiled by the Content Delivery Application (CDA), which also makes the updates on the website possible.



Reasons there are CMS vulnerabilities


1. Ignorance of the CMS platforms users

The reason there is an increase in CMS security vulnerabilities is that most users of these platforms automatically assume that the platforms have CMS cyber security in place to prevent any form of hacking that may occur, and this is an error in the thinking of the users of these platforms.


Choosing a recognizable brand like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal do not mean that your website automatically is protected. If you are using any of these CMS platforms, you cannot assume that your website is protected simply because it is a popular platform. These platforms have many flaws because the platforms are built on frameworks that are viewed as open source.


The popularity of these platforms has led to CMS security vulnerabilities because those looking for websites to hack easily target sites built in these platforms because of some of the cybersecurity security the platform has and the fact that no one is directly responsible for any cybersecurity issues that may come up.


2. Weak passwords

For CMS cyber security, users of any of these platforms must ensure that their website is secured. Unfortunately, most of them use weak passwords, which increases CMS security vulnerabilities and makes the website hosted on it prone to automated brute Force attacks by hackers.


With most administrative access to websites hosted on these platforms having weak passwords, hackers can quickly, introduce malware into the websites, which can lead to such websites being blacklisted. Those who have access to the admin panel should be viewed only when needed.


Also, to prevent CMS vulnerability, ensure that your password is strong, unique, and not easily guessed by people. It should be eight characters long with numbers, upper and lower cases, and other signs. Having a solid password should not be undermined.


3. Plugins and themes

Users of a CMS platform want their website to look beautiful and have a significant user interaction that prompts them to download different plugins and themes.


According to a recent study, eight million vulnerable plugins have been downloaded from WordPress alone, and more than 20% of the fifty most popular WordPress plugins are hacker-prone. Some of the cyberattacks these plugins and themes are prone to are cross-site scripting, SQL injection, path traversal, etc.


Developers who may not put all the security measures on that theme or plugin usually develop the plugins and themes. This adds to or increases CMS security vulnerabilities with these additions.


4. Large-scale cyber attack

The fact that there is CMS vulnerability to a cyberattack when a hacker uses a search engine to access many websites that are hosted on a CMS platform because of this vulnerability makes it easy for websites of different individuals and businesses to be exploited.


Also, with the launch of a protocol like ‘XML-RPC,’ available on CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, pingbacks, remote access to users, and trackbacks are available, which makes CMS vulnerability on the increase because DDoS attacks are possible because of the protocol.


Accessing multiple websites hosted on a particular platform and performing a large-scale cyberattack is usually because of the several CMS vulnerabilities that are not well managed. Previously, an attacker could not launch a significant scare attack because they had to take the time to locate a particular business or website to attack. With a CMS in place, they can attack many sites without going through so much stress.


5. Outdated core software

While it is a great idea to build your website on a CMS platform, it still has its disadvantages. It is prone to CMS vulnerability when a user of this platform has outdated core software and has not updated it when new ones have been released.


"50.3 percent of compromised WordPress websites were outdated,” this is according to Sucuri's database. When this statistic is compared to other CMS platforms, the vulnerability of WordPress is significantly higher.


With this data, a user is expected to remember that WordPress accounts for 50% more websites than Joomla and other Content management systems, which account for 100%. Consequently, a sizable fraction of WordPress websites still uses out-of-date software, which makes a user's website vulnerable to attack.


The above statistics prove that having an outdated core software and refusing to update it makes it easy for hackers to hack because, with updated versions, previous security issues, bugs, and other things are fixed, which makes it more secure while also improving site’s functionality, performance, and compatibility when compared to the outdated ones.


7. Unauthorized logins

Another reason CMS vulnerability is increasing is how easy it is for hackers to perform unauthorized logins on these CMS platforms. WordPress Security Checklist tells users to use a strong password and change the admin URL of their website to prevent unauthorized login.


Unauthorized login attempts are frequently made using a brute force attack by a hacker. The cyber attacker uses a bot to look over billions of possible username-password combinations while trying to carry out a brute-force login. Eventually, if they are lucky, they will figure out the correct credentials and have access to the confidential data available on the site.


Any given WordPress site's default backend login page is relatively simple to locate. Anyone can access the login page by adding /wp-admin or /wp-login.php to the end of the website's primary URL. Attackers can easily access the default login page and try a brute-force entry if you do not personally customize it. Customizing it does not take time and is for your benefit.



Ways to reduce CMS Vulnerabilities


CMS platforms being prone to vulnerabilities does not mean that there are no ways available to reduce or prevent these vulnerabilities from becoming a cybersecurity threat to a user of these platforms. Some of the CMS cyber security measures an individual can use are:


1. Regular updates

If you use any of the CMS platforms, you will notice that whenever there is an update available for a theme or plugin, you will be notified of it, and you can quickly update it. Some people prefer to keep automatic updates on all the themes and plugins instead of manually doing this when available.


Regular updating helps to enhance CMS cyber security for a user because the updated versions are usually more secure and have been recently worked on by the developers of these themes and plugins, which is what a user needs. Do not also forget to patch your CMS platforms for them to be updated, and this is one of the things noted in the WordPress Security Checklist.


2. Backup contents

You must backup all your files and content on your CMS platforms. It should be done daily or weekly, depending on how favourable it is to a user, but it cannot be avoided.


Doing this ensures that assuming any hack or security breach, a user will have something to fall back on. It also ensures that all data are well protected and can be accessed by users at any time.


3. Stay updated

As a WordPress Security Checklist, they regularly send subscribers their newsletter updates on the latest vulnerabilities that platforms are susceptible to. They also tell users how they can prevent a beach from happening. Other CMS platforms send users newsletters that keep them informed and help them know vulnerabilities, trends, and new methods hackers have employed to hack websites.


4. Make use of strong passwords

One of the easiest ways of preventing CMS vulnerability is ensuring that a strong password is used on these platforms. The password should have upper and lower case letters and numeric, be at least eight characters long, etc. Avoid reusing a password and frequently change them. You can use an application to manage all your passwords if you are scared of forgetting them.


The default admin username created while signing into the platform should be deleted and a new one created, including a new admin login URL, because most hackers can guess it.


In addition, you can add two-factor authentication as an additional layer of password Security. Here, an OTP is sent to a phone number or a mail with a link that expires typically in a few hours is sent to you in case someone tries to log in from a device that is not yours.


5. Use a firewall

Firewalls are not left out in being used to curtail CMS security vulnerabilities, and this has been a good initiative by most users of these platforms. With these firewalls in place, they can scan through and remove all vulnerabilities that can lead to cybersecurity breaches and prevent a cyberattack.


6. Use SSL on your website

Using a popular CMS platform does not mean your website is not prone to cyberattacks. It is even more reason you should use an SSL certificate on your website to ensure that it is protected and not vulnerable to attack by hackers.


You need to have an SSL certificate to save your website from data spying activities. You can buy Thawte SSL, RapidSSL or AlphaSSL certificate for instance for your CMS cybersecurity.


It ensures that data received and stored on your website is encrypted, which makes it impossible for hackers to decipher the data.


Final thoughts

A CMS is an advantage to people looking at building their website without any technical knowledge because it is easy to build it to what they want and customize it. However, these platforms are vulnerable, which makes it necessary to put cybersecurity measures in place to protect the platform for optimum use and without worrying about encountering cyberattacks on the platform.









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