Figures released suggest that there has been a surge of cyber attacks during the pandemic, with reports of malware up by almost 60% and brute force attacks up by 30%.
WordPress site maintenance service, WP Manager discovered the worrying trend after observing a leap in requests for malware removal. Delving deeper, it also uncovered a surge in attempted hacking, something it says is becoming more common as CMS systems become more sophisticated and cyber criminals more creative.
A malware attack can be catastrophic for businesses, with the malicious software able to disable the device or steal confidential information such as client details and personal identifies. Breaches like this are also costly, with Forbes putting the average cost of recovery from a ransomware attack at £65,718. This figure spirals even further if sensitive data is compromised.
Jason Correia, Managing director of WP Manager said,
“It's actually shocking to note how instances of malware have increased this year. For clients not on one of our site care plans, we have noticed a nearly 60% increase in the number of malware removal requests received this year – so far – which is a huge jump on 2019 figures. Generally, we have also noticed a 30% increase in the number of brute force attempts too (attempts to hack into the website).
“Part of this increase is likely due to the general growth trend and adoption of WordPress as a CMS, but there are other factors at play too. WordPress malware attacks are becoming more and more complex and with 55,000 + plugins available for download, there are more opportunities than ever for hackers to target themes and plugins to exploit vulnerabilities, as well as WordPress core software itself.
“Hosting also plays a large part in website security. Regardless of how secure your website is in terms of whether it's maintained, kept up to date, and has a security plugin active or not, if you are hosting your website with certain providers, perhaps on a low cost plan, your website can also be at risk to such security factors. For example, on some popular budget hosts, if another website or database on that shared server gets hacked, your website may also be infected as a result – depending on the setup. It's truly concerning how often this happens and malware removal can be very expensive, so we always advise clients to consider these risks when deciding where to host their website. Investing in a site care plan, or even spending time or money to put measures in place yourself will be worthwhile in the long run and actually work out more cost effective.