If you are reading this page then you are on your way to being proactive in taking steps to help reduce the risk of reinfection. While no one can promise you the risk will ever be zero, we can work together to ensure that it’s as low as possible.
If you are using WordPress, Joomla (or any other CMS), and it is not already the stable current version, take a minute to update. Why? Because out-of-date software is one of the leading causes of infections today. This includes your CMS version, plugins, themes, and any other extension type.
Choose a good, strong password. A good password is built around three core components – Complexity, Length and Uniqueness. The argument most make when it comes to passwords is that it’s too difficult to remember multiple passwords. This is true. It’s also why Password Managers were created.
We cannot stress the importance of changing all passwords to include those not related to your CMS. Your website has various access points, attackers understand this and because of this they will often exploit multiple points of entry.
At a minimum, be sure to update the password for all administrator accounts. We say all because often users will create more administrators than they require and will often update one, but forget about the rest. There really is no better time to clean than after a compromise. Take advantage of this time.
If you are using a CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) change your database password. Please be sure to update your configuration file – Joomla: configuration.php and WordPress: wp-config.php. This is not an automated process so you will need to know how to open those files and edit manually. If you’re not familiar with handling changes in your database and configuration files, contact your host.
If you don’t know how to change your passwords (specified above), contact your hosting company for details. You can also Google for “YOUR HOSTING COMPANY – FTP password” for instructions on how to do so.
In a lot of cases we see that websites are compromised via local environment (notebooks, desktops, etc.). Its why we always ask you take a minute to run a local AntiVirus product. If you’re okay with spending a little money, BitDefender is leading the pack in malware detection on Mac and PC. Other alternatives includes Kaspersky for Windows and Mac, Sophos, and F-Secure for Windows. You can also try Avast, MSE, Spybot that are free alternatives and very good. Here is the bottom-line. It doesn’t matter how many times your site gets cleared, if your desktop is not clean, your site can get reinfected easily.
A critical element of website security is ensuring you have a proper backup strategy. Backups function as your safety net, depending on the platform you are using for your website you might have several options for backups. You can often find third-party providers, and your hosts often have viable options. If you are unsure what to choose though, you have the option to enroll in the Sucuri Backups solution. It’s a simple configuration that works via the FTP / SFTP protocols, storing all your content, including the database, in the cloud.
Whether you’re a Sucuri client or not, we recommend leveraging our Free WordPress Security plugin if you’re using the WordPress platform for your website. We provide detailed instructions on how to install it and provide a more in depth discussion on WordPress Security Monitoring.
Too often the issues we see plaguing our clients are caused by “soup kitchen” servers. Old installations of content management systems, themes or plugins. Over time these old installs are forgotten and ripen with malware that’s ready to infest the entire server after every cleanup. Take a minute to separate those things that belong on a test, staging and production server. Read more here: A Little Tale About Website Cross-Contamination.
There are a growing number of software vulnerabilities exploited by attackers. Trying to keep up can be very challenging for the best system administrators and developers. It’s impractical to think that everyday website owners can stay current with the latest threats. It’s because of this that website owners should look into implementing an enterprise-grade Website Firewall (WAF) on their website.
A good WAF will function as an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) for all your website traffic. Those who purchased the Sucuri AntiVirus product as of February 2015 now have the option to enable the Firewall in their account. For those who are not already customers, or purchased prior to February 2015, you too have the option to enable a Website Firewall via the Sucuri Website Firewall product line. Let’s face it, when you created your website you were hoping it was going to be easy and weren’t interested in security. It’s time to consider something like a Website Firewall to help keep your website performing optimally, and keep hackers out.
Here are good articles / posts to read to help you improve your security posture: