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Assessing Content Management System Security

As more businesses turn paperless and strive for more efficiency, content management systems become more and more popular. But having all your sensitive information in one place can be a risk.

The companies that make these systems understand the need for extra security, as they recognize the importance of the information stored in content management systems. This universal understanding is one of the reasons the systems have become so popular.

That said, giving your information to a third-party program requires a level of trust, so there’s no harm in doing a little research before you choose the system that’s right for your business.

What Are Content Management Systems?

A content management system (CMS) is software that’s used to manage content from multiple different users and sources.

A CMS is a repository of content and information a business uses regularly. All of a company’s information, from payroll to proposals, belongs in the CMS.

Naturally, these systems are popular with businesses since there’s so much to keep up with. However, there remains that underlying fear of losing all the information, as there is with most content available on devices. There are many different kinds of CMSs to choose from, all of them with different technical needs, allowing you to make the best possible choice.

Closed Versus Open

No matter what brand of CMS you look at, you’ll have to make the choice between a closed and open source CMS, the two main kinds available. Both have their pros and cons that make them more favorable based on your company’s needs. As far as cybersecurity is concerned, it really depends on what you want out of your CMS.

Open source means that the CMS code was developed not-for-profit with the help from a community of developers. This setup has a very low price tag if it’s not outright free. In addition, it allows the business to gather technical support from anywhere. That said, being open makes it a common target for hackers.

Closed source means that the CMS was developed by a company for profit and has a proprietary design and code. They can be more secure than open source varieties, but closed source CMSs normally cost a lot more than open source versions.

Professional Security Measures

CMSes, especially closed source ones, come with some form of cybersecurity built into the system. The level varies from system to system, but a quality CMS will have mechanisms in place for monitoring and analyzing changes to the system requirements.

Other features in a good CMS include an auditing process for continuous assessments, a process for users to report problems easily and a way to keep staff members updated on all relevant training.

No system is completely impenetrable, however. Hackers know this and often seek backdoors into CMSes.

Securing Your CMS

One of the most common backdoors that hackers like to use on a CMS is via plug-ins, or third-party modifications to a CMS that are shared online. Some are more reputable than others.

Hackers can add malicious code into otherwise useful plug-ins, so be careful about which plug-ins you use. Get rid of any plug-ins that are exceptionally old or not in use to minimize threats.

There are many other ways to keep your CMS safe from becoming a target for hackers. Making sure the CMS and all plug-ins are up to date is just the start, but this step is often missed. Update all these programs on a scheduled basis so you know they’re safe.

Also, regularly back up your CMS and all of the information within. In addition, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication can keep most systems safe.

Worth the Chance

A CMS can be an important part of your technology strategy. But, as with any application or program, be sure to research every program as much as possible before use.

No matter what security a CMS comes with, you can always do more to maximize the effects on your end.

All in all, a CMS is worth the small amount of trouble. Just keep information backed up, delete sensitive data that’s no longer in use and always make sure your programs are updated.

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