For several years now, content management systems have been on a relentless march towards website dominance. Since the appearance of "free" solutions on the market, vast numbers of website operators have switched to content management systems as the preferred way to create and maintain websites. And there is little to wonder as to why that has happened. Once reserved only for those with big budgets like companies and organizations, open source solutions have brought that power to the masses. Solutions like WordPress Joomla and Drupal have taken over the web world and solutions like Magento have come to dominate small-scale e-commerce sites. But with all this amazing and ostensibly free technology comes a responsibility that most web owners are not prepared for. The responsibility to protect their users by keeping their sites secure and up to date.
A Bad Problem Is Getting Out Of Control
The truth is that every day the problem is getting worse and users are exposed to more and more sites that are infecting their computers with viruses and malware. It happens because mast web owners don't bother keeping their software up to date. For whatever reason, most amateur web operators don't care enough about their impact on unwary visitors to do anything to protect them. They assume, wrongly so, that their website is fine even though the chances are that it is not fine. As each day goes by since the last update, more and more risks appear and the likelihood of a website being infected becomes greater.
The Bad Guys Automate Thier Crimes
Bot networks are everywhere. They become more plentiful all the time. Bot networks are created from infected sites. They infect users of those sites and attempt to infect other sites as well. The reality is that it doesn't take a lot of money or a team of hackers to create a nightmare. Irresponsible website owners make the work so easy that you can practically download software to create your own network of infected sites. You could go onto the dark web and, for a few bitcoins, buy software that will scour the web on your behalf, seeking out of date websites to infect. In no time at all, you'll have a handy list of sites you can own and do with as you please. Want user data to sell? No problem! Would you like to lock up people's data until they pay you a ransom? Easy schmeazy! You can probably buy the whole package to do it all for you for a bitcoin or two.
What Should You Do To Avoid Being A Problem?
For many website owners, this is an easy answer. Keep your software and plug-ins up to date. If you're using a modern version of your CMS, such as WordPress or Joomla, you have access to a one-click update process. This is true for the CMS and for your modern extensions as well. However, if your software is more than a year old, you may need to upgrade your site manually. This may mean uploading new software via FTP or some other back-end process. It could also mean a complete website rebuild if your software is too far out of date. The reality is that websites need to be maintained or they become leaky and will turn into a problem sooner or later.