from 2014 to 2017
from 2014 to 2017
Key Tasks Performed:
- Support team – Dedicated server support
- Infra support – Responsible for server management, security & hardening, vulnerability assessment and solutions
Key Technologies / Products used:
- Hypervisor – VMware
- Storage – Dell
- Network – Cisco switches/routers and ASA firewall
- Backups – R1soft and Veeam
- Application – Cpanel, plesk, solusvm, mailchannel
About our client
Our client is one of the largest public limited company in US providing services to small businesses and financial institutions. They are into development and webhosting services. They acquired Digital marketing, website hosting, email marketing, financial services and small business service companies over a period of 20 years and have established 25 plus facilities across US, Canada, and Europe.
Handling Website and WordPress security for a large number of servers is a very complex task. Recent years, WordPress has seen more hackers. Even though most of the latest updates deal with WordPress security issues, there is still a lot that still needs to be done to improve that security. It would be told that the hack attempts are the result of human error/configuration issue or outdated software version. Hackers have found different ways to inject their scripts in the recent years even though we have automated the security processes. Recent research on WordPress vulnerability database shows that 55 % accounts to wordpress plugins vulnerability, 15% of themes vulnerable and 35% accounts core vulnerability. Most of the hacking attempts happens through code injections. We would be surprised to know that the commercial plugins and branded themes are vulnerable. So security holes are discovered every day. Our recommendations to update the versions and maintain good configuration not always helps on customer websites. It needed more of attention at the server end. Yes, customers come complaining about the server security finally. So actsupport needed to provide a solution to clean and secure thousands of WordPress sites.
How we helped
When our client approached us with the WordPress vulnerability issues, we found that very little work was done to prevent the hacking attempts. This was the scenario that existed before actsupport services were initiated:
- Customers were asked to delete their hacked websites and restore the good ones from the backup
- Customers were asked to follow up 20 point wordpress configuration policies to security their data. It included setting up right permissions for files / folders, removing unwanted scripts , update themes and plugins , update their version to the latest etc..
- Customers kept complaining about database hacks and other plugins / themes vulnerability.
- Few customers were not aware of the software and they left with old versions and needed someone to assist.
actsupport is good at providing Level 3 support and server maintenance tasks for over a decade in the webhosting industry. We accept all the challenges with the same energy. actsupport team acted upon this case and provided a permanent solution to the client.
- The team firstly collected all the server based vulnerability issues and prioritized the tasks.
- The web, database and kernel security were hardened to fix the general security issues with the servers
- WordPress sites information was collected and the upgrade / security fixes were implemented in a phased manner in 100 plus servers.
- A bash / python script was developed to upgrade the wordpress sites along with database with proper backups. The same script was further extended to fix the WP configuration issues.
- A customized firewall / malware – bot search script was used to search for the vulnerable scripts in the sites and they were mitigated / removed instantly.
- A server wide patching software was installed in all the servers to continue monitor the lower version/ vulnerable wordpress files and update it to the latest stable versions.
- Customized Antimalware scripts were deployed in each server to report on any hack attempts / code injections in the WP sites.
Earlier due to WordPress and site hacks, the client was losing their customers and saw more cancellations and a big drop in their profit margins. After patching the servers now, the number of customer complaints has reduced to single digits, ticket volumes have come down and business has improved.
actsupport patching helped the customers now bring down the above count to 100 plus now and over the years we have become an important work partner by providing proactive WordPress support and maintenance.