A WordPress security audit is checking your site for possible security weaknesses and fixing them when you detect them. Most webmasters simply ignore security on their own. They just do an initial security audit once in a while and then just don’t bother with it until and unless they have their server hacked.
I know that you probably want to focus more on other important security measures for your site. But I’m sure you know how important it is to keep your server running smoothly, without crashing, getting a virus or some other problem. Don’t be tempted to skip the maintenance of your server just because you think you need a refresher. The sooner you address these issues, the less likely they are to cause problems on your server.
You should look for a WordPress audit at least once every 6 months, if not more often. By that time you will have updated your site’s database, and it’s probably time to perform a regular security update.
A good security audit will be detailed and thorough, taking into consideration a lot of factors. It may include running your server as a normal user on a clean operating system, then checking if there are any suspicious files on the hard drive that could affect your server’s performance. If there are, the administrator needs to look at it and remove it.
Some of the things that a good security audit will consider are whether the root directories are being run by a normal user, or by a root account that is only used by a specific software package. You should also check for any insecure default passwords, such as those used by WordPress itself (or by your own personal user accounts).
A good security scan will look at the log files for security problems. This includes logs of access to the site by unauthorized users, including email addresses and passwords. It will also look at the contents of the FTP and telnet ports, and the files that are opened on them. You may also want to look at the configuration settings of MySQL and PHP.
A good way to get the most comprehensive report is to run a complete WordPress audit over a week. Check out everything that is open and read the report. You will need to change the password for every file and setting that you feel has any security risks, even if you think that nobody would be able to get to those files. You may also need to fix any insecure settings and disable your server to make it unusable.
Make sure that all security flaws are fixed, including the ones that you think will be easy to fix. You may find that there are several holes that are very hard to exploit. You may also want to make changes to the site’s login page, to make it harder for hackers to gain access to the information they need to compromise your server. Once you’ve done that, the next step is to use a WordPress audit tool that can scan your server files for any new threats, and fix them in a safe manner.
There are some good tools that allow you to perform a regular WordPress security audit on your own. If you want to run the scans over a longer period of time, you may even want to consider purchasing a more expensive tool to do this work for you.
After you have performed the WordPress security audit, you should then try to determine what the source of the problems was. You may find that it is something that you did yourself or that an unauthorized user had access to.
To recap, the WordPress security audit is one of the most important actions that you can take to secure your website. If you ignore it, you will put your website and its data at risk.