Top 5 WordPress Security Plugins That Will Neutralize All the Threats
WordPress is currently one of the most used web frameworks in the world. There are about 172 million sites on the internet, and roughly 75 million of those run on WordPress.
One of the main reasons for its success is that it takes away the need for complicated mechanisms for website design. Almost every conceivable function has a plug-in and the security front isn’t any different.
Since WordPress is so popular, it’s a common target for hackers looking for an easy way to intrude onto your server. The implications, if they succeed, range from adding you to a botnet to taking down your whole operation. The great thing about WordPress: there’s a plug-in for that.
Wordfence is one of the most popular WordPress plug-ins on the market with over 3 million installations. Once installed, it acts as a proxy, sitting in between you and any requests that reach your site. This enables it to carry out a wide range of functionality.
The most notable feature in this plug-in is the Threat Defense Feed. This is a huge list of common malware sites and other crucial information that is constantly updated and fed into the plug-in. This allows it to filter out any harmful incoming requests based on the IP address or domain.
Other than which, our favorite features in this app inlcude:
A malware scanner: This is the server equivalent of an antivirus. It checks for code injections, bad URLs and unwanted redirects.
Control panel: Wordfence allows you to add multiple sites to your security network and monitor all of them from a single dashboard.
Brute force protection: It has a warning system that alerts you in case of a sudden DDOS attack and prevents it preemptively.
If you’re one for authenticity above all else, then JetPack is just the right plug-in for you. It was developed by the same people that developed WordPress itself, after all. For people simply interested in security and nothing else, this may be an overkill because it comes with a ton of other features, too.
Security-wise, however, it comes with the following key features:
Brute force protection: Hackers won’t be able to force their way into your site by repeatedly sending the same request, until they find something useful.
Malware scanning: It scans for themes and plug-ins that may have known vulnerabilities and alerts you so you can take action.
Downtime monitoring: In the event your server goes down for one reason or the other, this plug-in will let the server admin know via email and/or phone number.
Spam filtering: If you have a comment section on your site, this feature is incredibly useful. It helps to filter out visits by bots that just leave links to malicious sites, for example.
Real-time backups: The defining feature of this plug-in is optional real-time backups in the event your website is breached and your data is lost. The whole website is backed up onto a third-party server daily.
iTheme Security is a suite of tools meant to provide security for your WordPress site, rather than a single tool with universal functionality. It’s been around for quite a while, and many consider it to be the de facto tool for website security on WordPress.
Do note that there’s a free and paid version of the app, but the free version should work just fine for most users. The paid version offers more functionality, but it’s targeted towards more advanced users who need comprehensive control of their websites.
The most notable features of this plug-in include:
Malware scanning: This works the same as in almost every other malware scanning tool. Malware scans are scheduled and happen on occasion.
Brute force protection: Sites that attempt to access unauthorized pages by sending multiple requests at once are automatically blacklisted.
Forced SSL: Crucial areas of your site that require encryption are redirected to a secure page automatically. This prevents anyone from sniffing your connection.
Features that come with the premium version of the app but might be useful to the right audience include:
2FA: Two-factor authentication adds and an extra layer of protection on your site so that nobody can log in to the admin panel if they are not properly authorized.
Password security & expiration: An extra security feature for those who need it is password expiration. This allows you to set a period within which the password used for admin pages has to be changed.
Google reCAPTCHA: sites that show suspicions behavior – those that are likely to be bots – are automatically presented with a reCAPTCHA. It’s almost foolproof against them.
Sucuri Security is a plug-in that prides itself in providing more nuanced features that other themes don’t offer. As such, it’s not exactly a beginner-friendly tool. It tends to overwhelm anyone not used to normal security features with a myriad of information that they probably won’t know what to do with.
The key features that stand out about it include:
Audit logging: It records everything that happens inside your websites in a log and gives you advise on what to do about it. This makes it easy to spot rogue scripts, for instance.
Record monitoring: In the off chance that something major about your site changes, the record integrity monitoring feature will alert you. It contrasts the present state of your website with how it was in the past
Remote malware scanning: Unlike plug-ins that use a dictionary of information to let you know if you have any malicious activity going on, this plug-in moves everything to its own server. This simultaneously saves you CPU time and allows it to be more efficient.
All In One WP Security & Firewall
All in One WP Security & Firewall is a free tool that is perhaps the most beginner-friendly software out there. Aside from the impressive UI, it also comes with support, for those that are in need of it. The biggest advantage over the rest is its use of graphs, meters and bars to contrast the current security situation from before.
It’s a very comprehensive solution, but the most remarkable features are:
Account security: It prevents brute force attacks to admin pages.
Configuration file backup: It includes the option to backup your HTACCESS and WP-Config files.
IP blacklisting: Sites with suspicious behavior are automatically blocked
Your choice of WordPress security plug-in should ultimately come down to your individual needs and how well you understand how to manage WordPress. Don’t rather go by the popularity or the sheer number of features it offers. Pick a tool that meets all your security need and keep your site updated for optimum performance.