One of the great things about WordPress is that everything is built around the same core software. This allows plugin and theme authors to create awesome tools and designs that can be used by anybody running WordPress.
One of the not-so-great things about WordPress is that the same core that makes plugin and theme development easy can also make spreading malware easy. Hackers love code shared by a large number of people since it allows their malicious changes to one piece of software to then to achieve wide-spread damage. What better place to make these kinds of changes than in the set of files every WordPress site is guaranteed to have: the WordPress core?
On Flywheel, nobody can overwrite your WordPress core files.
Everything in your WordPress install is locked down tight, aside from your custom content. Does somebody want to edit your wp-config.php file in order peddle creepy products on your site? Not on our watch!
In order to prevent outsiders meddling with your stuff, we make sure your site is running the latest and greatest version of WordPress. These updates often include security patches, which close any doors and windows that hackers may have found in previous versions.
On Flywheel, these updates are automatic and usually happen within a few days of their release.
Although it may not seem like a big deal, having hard-to-guess username and passwords really goes a long way on WordPress. Due to the uniform structure of WordPress, a lot of web bots will crawl across websites, simply appending a
/wp-admin to the domain name. If the page loads, the bot will start trying username and password combos starting with some of the most common insecure passwords. So if you have a user named
admin and a password of
password1234, you’re at a pretty high risk of getting hacked.
That’s why Flywheel goes to great lengths to ensure that our customers use strong passwords. From our app to WordPress itself, if you try to create a new password that doesn’t make the cut, we’ll let you know.
Intelligent IP address blocking on Flywheel detects intruders and blocks them across all sites on our servers within seconds.
We monitor popular points of entry for hackers and immediately lock out any IP address trying to get through. These points include:
Flywheel uses a variety of techniques to block traffic starting with preventing known malicious IP addresses from opening a session with the server, which is a very severe and immediate action. Another softer layer of security we provide is our proprietary caching ban. This method detects “banned” access attempts and displays a cached page to the visitor stating that their connection has been banned. This method stops the connection at the highest layer of the Flywheel software stack and utilizes the fewest server resources while still presenting a user-friendly response. In the rare of occasion that a user has forgotten their password and keeps trying dozens of time in just a few minutes, they’ll see a ban page but will be presented with easy, on-screen instructions to get their IP un-banned.
Since banned IP information is shared across sites, we develop a kind of “herd immunity” to malicious actors in real time as the attacks come in. So your site’s protected from hackers before they even try to attack your site.
We pride ourselves on keeping the bad guys out of your site’s files and database through the preventative security measures mentioned above. That being said, malware prevention is an ongoing cat and mouse game where systems have to react and adapt to the ever-changing security gaps introduced by third-party plugins, third-party themes, or weak passwords.
We monitor key site activity on an ongoing basis to identify any sites that may have been compromised. In the event that we find red flags, we will run malware scans and if those scans return any positive signs of malware, Flywheel’s Happiness Engineers will immediately get to work on cleaning up the infection. We’ll also notify site owners of our progress along the way.
If we learn of a wide-spread malware vulnerability within a particular plugin, we will send out messages to owners of all sites currently running the vulnerable versions of this plugin and will encourage them to update to the latest version or remove the plugin.
In the rare event of a site getting hacked, our incredible support team of WordPress experts will quickly and carefully remove the malware for you. For free.
Steps that you can complete while we’re working on cleanup are updating all themes and plugins on the site to their most recent version, uninstalling any plugins or themes that aren’t being used any longer, and updating all admin user passwords to something as strong as possible. Since outdated plugin/theme versions and insecure passwords are overwhelmingly the cause behind WordPress sites becoming infected with malware, taking care of these updates as soon as possible will also help us to ensure the site stays clean while we’re working on it.
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