WordPress security firm Wordfence has published an advisory recommending to be vigilant against an increase in hacking activity after the Russian attack on Ukraine and offered tips to avoid falling victim to state-sponsored cyberattacks .
Additionally, the United States Government’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has just updated its Shield’s Up webpage with more information about possible cyberattacks originating from Russia.
Website Security Protects Search Visibility
Many members of the SEO community do not view website security as an SEO issue. Cyberattacks, however, can have a devastating effect on search visibility and the ability to display web pages to site visitors.
Website security should ideally be an important part of SEO, as search visibility can be compromised by hacking and other security events.
Wordfence advises greater vigilance
State-sponsored cyberattacks are common, especially against government and infrastructure-related websites.
But at this precise moment, the threat could spread to commercial websites. Wordfence has advised all site publishers to be more vigilant.
While Wordfence acknowledged that at this early stage it has yet to see an increase in state-sponsored hacking events, it nonetheless advises publishers to be more vigilant over the coming hours and days.
The founder of Wordfence advised:
“If you are running a business, I would advise you to enter a higher state of mindfulness.”
The Wordfence alert offered these steps to help protect against cyberattacks:
- Learn more about social engineering and phishing attacks.
- Enable multi-factor authentication
- WordPress plugin developers need to be extremely vigilant not to be compromised and serve as a means of spreading exploits to all client sites.
- Monitor your logs to spot suspicious hacker activity
- Keep an eye out for new (and malicious) files appearing on your site
Cyber Security Tips
The US Government CISA has also released guidance and a list of resources and tools that can help prepare organizations against cyber intrusions and other attacks.
CISA has suggested several preventative measures to take:
Fix known security vulnerabilities in software.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Replace end-of-life software products that no longer receive software updates
Replace any system or product that relies on known/default/unchangeable passwords
Sign up for CISA’s Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Free cybersecurity tools
The CISA website offers a comprehensive list of free tools that can help prevent or mitigate cyberattacks.
Among the free tools and services, here is a partial list:
Consider increasing your security
All websites experience a variety of attacks at virtually any time of the day or night.
However, recent developments in Ukraine have increased the possibility of an increase in state-sponsored hacking attempts from Russia.
Publishers on WordPress should consider using a trusted WordPress security plugin like Closing words as well as increased security using the tips and free tools mentioned above.