14 Oct 2021 - Dennis Egen

CMS Minimum Security Requirements: Your Essential Overview

cyber-threatIs your organization truly prepared to take on the increasingly real threats presented by cyberattacks? It’s incredibly likely that even if you think you’re ready for whatever cybercriminals come your way, there are vulnerabilities within your content management system (CMS).

Why can we say this with such certainty?

Because on average, only 5 percent of companies’ folders are properly protected. 

The widespread prevalence of cyberattacks is no longer a looming threat; cybercrime is more extensive than ever, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before malicious actors do something as extreme as someday bringing down an entire F-35 fighter jet. After all, it’s estimated that by 2025, cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion every year.

If F-35 fighter jets with sophisticated computer systems and access to the globe’s best security are gearing up for potential breaches and other attacks, you should be doing the same for your CMS. Here’s where you should start. 

Is Your CMS at Risk?

Is your content management system at risk of falling prey to the efforts of cybercriminals?

In short? Absolutely.

Experts expect that in 2021, ransomware attacks will happen once every 11 seconds.

Your CMS is an ideal solution to bring technical and non-technical users together to manage a beautiful website that drives conversions. They offer a wealth of functionalities, plugins, and technologies to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of your website. 

But all of these functionalities in one CMS means that your system covers a wide “surface area,” making it hard to spot and mend vulnerabilities. While people in your organization need to access critical data, applications, and documents within your CMS, it needs to be locked down enough to ward off bad actors. This means that the following things need to be secured:

  • Web servers
  • File systems
  • Operating systems
  • Database
  • Administrative areas

Plus, the front end of your CMS-powered website may be exposing you to cybercriminals. Code written in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or custom codes, as well as forms and inputs can leave you vulnerable to attack. 

CMS security breaches are staggeringly common. In 2018, 73.2 percent of sites managed via WordPress had easily exploitable vulnerabilities, 98 percent of which were caused by third-party plugins. An expansive website can do great things for your business, but it also means having plenty of security in place to keep it protected. 


CMS Security On-Demand Webinar

Security Requirements: What You Need

Your CMS needs ongoing protection from cybercriminals who may be trying every day to make their way in and take advantage of your valuable, confidential data. While this isn’t a comprehensive list of the things you can do to check, secure, and defend your CMS, it’s a good place to start.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is also called “ethical hacking,” and it refers to the practice of testing your CMS, as well as web applications, networks, and firewalls for security vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal could exploit to gain access to your data. You can conduct penetration testing using software applications, and by checking for weak spots manually to test your system from end to end.

CMS-Related Security Training Tools

Many CMS solutions now offer their own security training tools, which your developers, architects, and engineers can use to pinpoint all the ways they can strengthen your CMS’s security—straight from the source:

  • Drupal offers Acquia certification
  • Sitecore has its own security training solutions
  • WordPress’s WP Engine is about to release its own training certifications

Team Security Training

It only takes one mistake to allow a cyber breach to occur. Your CMS needs to be secure, but to accomplish this, you need to train your team with certified security training. Misconfigurations and small mistakes can lead to costly breaches. Your website’s security should be a priority for your entire organization, but they need to know how to avoid these little errors that can add up to a big problem. In fact, the most common reasons why a CMs is compromised include:

  • Weak passwords
  • User mistakes
  • Outdated software
  • Missing security updates

By implementing training to avoid these little goofs and help your team understand the importance of staying up-to-date with your security and software, you can help prevent these issues.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Services

Enterprises today have access to endpoint detection and response tools to seek out threats and respond to them, but thanks to a severe shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, there may not be someone to take charge of this task. 

Managed detection and response refers to an outsourced service that integrates seamlessly with your CMS to find threats and vulnerabilities, then address them when they are discovered.  Typically, EDRs find a huge volume of threats and security alerts. An MDR service helps you sift through all of these using a personalized security strategy. 

Intrusion Detection Systems

Intrusion detection systems (IDSs) filter through network traffic, looking for bad actors, suspicious activity, and out-of-the-norm behaviors. When an IDS finds these kinds of violations, they are sent to administrators or security information and event management (SIEM) systems for review to separate malicious activity from false alarms. Since firewalls aren’t entirely impenetrable, this helps track down intruders early, before they can do a great deal of damage. 

An Incident Response Plan

In the event that a breach or cyberattack happens, a well-thought-out incident response plan helps you understand how to deal with it. If you handle the following kinds of data, it’s essential:

  • Federally protected or state-protected information
  • Personal health information
  • Trade secret information
  • Anything other than data that’s vital to your success

An incident response plan outlines the internal team who is ready to deal with the situation, as well as the external resources you should use for data security, the steps to take if an attack happens to mitigate the damage, an action checklist, and more.

Support, Guidance, and Education from the Experts

At Engine Room Tech, we take CMS security seriously. You shouldn’t leave any part of your content management system to chance—an attack on your CMS can place the future of your entire organization in jeopardy. We have the tools and services you need to keep your CMS secure, and we’ll help you understand exactly how and why you need to keep these safeguards in place. 

To learn more about content management system security, check out our on-demand webinar on CMS security, then schedule a consultation with our team today. 

CMS Security On-Demand Webinar