2021 SUPER Interesting WordPress Security Statistics, Trends & Data You Need To Know

By Susanna Balashova January 3, 2021

Today you’re going to learn about WordPress security statistics.

Specifically, I’ll show you the stats that can help you protect your WordPress blog, how to secure your WordPress website from hackers and reasons why WordPress is Targeted by hackers.

Ready?

Let’s dive right in.

If WordPress is your content management platform then this article is for you.

It’s not a question that WordPress is the most popular content management system out there. Over 35% of the websites on the internet are using WordPress.

The system is easy to customize, it’s user-friendly, good for SEO, and lets users add multiple features to their websites.

However, albeit being popular, WordPress has never been without hacking issues.

Whether you have an active personal blog, a business website, or an e-commerce store running on WordPress, you should ensure maximum security of your website.

The content management platform is pretty secure, but there is a ton of vulnerabilities you want to know so you can up your website security at all times.

In this article, you’re going to learn some of the WordPress security statistics trends and data you should know in 2021.

We’re also going to discuss a few points on how to protect your website against WordPress security vulnerabilities.

But before that…

How Popular Is WordPress?

Statistics by assignment help suggest that:

  • 37% of all websites on the wild wide web run on the WordPress content management system. This is equivalent to over 544,000,000 websites.
  • The content management system has over 54,000 plugins.
  • Over 1.1 million new domains are registered on WordPress every 6 months.
WordPress Security Plugin

As you can see everyone looking to start a blog or website of any kind, will likely use WordPress for various reasons as stated above.

The big question is:

Is WordPress Secure?

Many new users ask; “can WordPress be hacked?”

Generally, all websites, regardless of the content management system can be hacked.

As stated earlier, WordPress is built with security in mind. However, because it lets users choose from tens of thousands of plugins to improve the functionality of their websites, it isn’t without security vulnerabilities.

An eye-opener:

Website Hacking Statistics

A survey has shown that on average, there is an attack every 39 seconds and in every website attack, 75 records are stolen per second.

A report by McAfee suggests that hackers create over 300,000 new malware attacks every day.

Some studies have also shown that 98% of WordPress vulnerabilities are associated with plugins.

That being said, let’s get into the meat of this article.

WordPress Security Statistics, Trends & Data You Need to Know in 2021

As the most widely used CMS platform, WordPress has encountered a ton of data breaches, malware, and Trojan attacks, hacking attempts, and all types of security vulnerabilities.

According to a 2019 security report by Sucuri:

  • 44% of all susceptible websites had several vulnerable components.
  • 62% of the websites on the internet were targeted by SEO spammers.
WordPress Security Distribution
  • 47% of all affected websites had multiple backdoor attacks.
  • SQL injections accounted for 53% of reinfections.

But that’s not all:

  • 73.2% of everyday WordPress installations are open to security attacks that can be detected with free automated tools.
  • According to WordPress, only 39% of websites are using the updated version of the content management software.
  • Backdoors, Pharma hacks, Drive-by downloads, and Malicious redirects are the four popular WordPress malware infections.
  • In 2017, organizations increased security budgets by 50%.
  • Insecure or stolen passwords account for 81% of website attacks according to a security report from Panda.
  • By protecting your website against plugin vulnerabilities and brute force attacks, you secure your website against 70% of the security issues.
  • In 2017 there was a reported 36% increase in ransomware attacks.
  • At least 20,000 websites are blacklisted by Google for malware and close to 50,000 others for phishing each week.
  • 18 million WordPress users were affected by the most dangerous WordPress security breach to ever happen.
  • Weak passwords account for close to 8% of WordPress security breaches.
  • Cross-Site Scripting or XSS accounts for around 84% of all security vulnerabilities on the wild wide web.
  • An attacker can perform SQL injections after gaining access to your WordPress database and your website data.
  • 30.95 percent of Alexa’s top 1 million websites are still running on the obsolete version of WordPress and are vulnerable to hacking attempts. That means that every WordPress user should use the latest WordPress version.
  • According to WordPress.org, only 48% of WordPress websites are using version 4.9 and only 40% are using version 7.2 of PHP.
  • 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities are related to plugins. In fact, one study found out that a fake SEO plugin exposed around 4,000 websites to malware attacks. It’s important to install plugins from trusted sources.
  • According to WordFence, WordPress websites record at least 90,000 attacks per minute.

Reasons Why WordPress is Targeted By Hackers

As stated above, all websites on the internet are vulnerable to security attacks. However, due to its popularity, it’s no doubt it’s prone to hacking attempts.

That being said, here are some of the reasons why WordPress records the highest number of hacking attempts albeit being tightly secured.

1. Using Outdated Plugins or Theme

No matter how much you update your WordPress software, if you don’t keep your plugins and theme updated; your website is vulnerable to security attacks.

Some WordPress themes and plugins come with a ton of security flaws and bugs.

Often, plugin and theme developers can fix these flaws; however, using outdated versions of these tools could expose your website to hacking attempts.

As a rule, keep your WordPress theme and plugins updated regularly.

2. Using Outdated Version of WordPress

Albeit all the WordPress security vulnerabilities reported worldwide, some users are yet to update to the latest version of the WordPress software.

Some are held back by the thought that updating to the newer version could affect their websites.

However, newer versions of WordPress come with security patches that help to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities.

Not updating WordPress is like leaving your doors open or easy to break by anyone.

Hackers could easily get their way into your website.

When it comes to updating WordPress, there is nothing to worry about as long as you perform a full backup before running any update.

3. Using Easy to Guess Passwords

There are reasons why everyone’s home keys are unique and not easy to make a copy of.

Equally, when it comes to WordPress, your passwords are like the keys to your house.

You need to use strong, hard-to-guess, and unique passwords for all your accounts to keep malicious people from hacking your WordPress website.

Even though hackers are smart to crack passwords, using weak passwords gives them an easy way to access your website.

4. Unsafeguarded Web Hosting

Your WordPress website is hosted on a web server. If your hosting provider doesn’t secure their platform, then your website will be at risk of attacks assuming their servers are hacked.

As a rule, you should choose a reliable, secure WordPress hosting provider that guarantees security for your website 24/7.

5. Unprotected Access to WordPress Admin Area

The WordPress admin area is one of the vulnerable areas hackers take advantage of to access your website’s dashboard.

These day’s hackers have devised new ways to crack websites using the admin area.

To keep your WordPress website safe from attacks of these kinds, you need to add layers of authentication to your admin directory.

6. Free Themes and Plugins

People love free stuff and there is no problem with that. Besides, there are thousands of powerful WordPress themes and plugins that are powerful.

And when you’re creating your first blog or website, it’s easier to get tempted to yes a ton of free stuff.

This is where most users end up exposing their websites to security vulnerabilities.

It’s worth noting that not all free WordPress themes and plugins are safe for use on your WordPress website.

Equally, not all freemium tools are malicious to use on your website.

However, you need to ensure you download WordPress plugins or themes from reliable sources.

Using themes from untrusted sources could put your website into security vulnerabilities.

So there you have it.

You are now aware of the WordPress security statistics in 2021 and you know why WordPress is a sweet target for hackers.

You’re perhaps wondering how to secure a WordPress website from hackers.

Use our WordPress security checklist to keep your website hacker-proof.

How To Secure WordPress Website From Hackers

Read below some of the stringent measures to take to keep your WordPress website safe from hackers.

1. Update WordPress Regularly

Often, WordPress installs minor updates by default. However, when it comes to major updates, you need to do the updating manually.

Besides, WordPress is packed with tens of thousands of themes and plugins developed and maintained by third-party developers.

As a rule, you need to update WordPress and all the themes and plugins regularly to keep your website safe from hackers.

2. Use Strong Passwords

Hackers have gotten smart. Today, they are using sophisticated password-hacking tools to gain access to online accounts- your website being one of them.

For that reason, you need to avoid using common passwords.

This sounds a no-brainer but the number of websites that have been hacked because of weak passwords will leave your mouth wide agape.

Another mistake most users make is to use the same password in all of their online accounts.

You should ensure every online account of yours has a unique password.

When you use strong or hard-to-guess passwords, you make your website hacker-proof or at least, you can delay any hacking attempt.

The best way to keep your website safe from hackers is to use a combination of numbers, capital letters, and small letters as well as symbols on all your passwords.

Another effective way to protect your website against hackers is to mask your online activities with a VPN.

3. Transfer Your Website to HTTPS/SSL

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a data transfer security protocol that uses encryption to enable the safe transfer of data between users and your website.

Moving your WordPress website to SSL makes your website use HTTPS instead of HTTP and this makes it difficult for any malicious users from stealing information.

4. Change the Default “admin” Username

When you install WordPress for the first time, your default username is “admin”.

But this default username had made it easier for hackers to access a website using the brute-force attack.

To counter this, WordPress lets users choose a custom username during WordPress installation.

Still, some web hosting providers that provide 1-click WordPress installation set the default admin username to “admin”

To keep your admin area hacker-free, you can either create a new admin username and erase the old one, or use a Username Changer plugin.

You can also change the default WordPress username from the phpMyAdmin.

Over To You

WordPress is open-source software that has experienced a lot of changes for many years now.

Everyone loves WordPress for its continuous improvement, growth, and community.

While WordPress is pretty secure, you also need to play a huge role in ensuring you prioritize the security of your WordPress website.

And we hope this article will open up your eyes.

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Susanna Balashova

Susanna Balashova is a creative magician in a world of (mostly) boring Marketing. She turns dreary work things to be interesting and effective, as well as likes creating her own world within some fanfic sketches. She coordinates the best essay writing service on technology topics. Reach out to her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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