WordPress Security: Top 5 Tools for Stopping New & Emerging Attacks

By: | December 5, 2017 | Tags: , , , , | 41 comments

Use these 5 free tools for WordPress security

Top 5 Tools for Stopping New and Emerging Attacks Before They Reach Your Website

by Bill Acholla

A few months ago, I started my research on website security and their many tools. With so many hacks happening around the world, it was just fair to try to see how safe our data really is.

People follow various tips and go over security checklists to make sure they are following the best practices. A way to gauge the level of security your website has would be to go over the security plugins your hosting website offers.

During my search, the first website that stood out with a number of security plugins was WordPress.

Even before I started the research, many people requested me to do a blog on how to secure a WordPress website from hackers. I guess, in the wake of hacks happening all over the world, people have become more vigilant with concern to web security.

For each one of us who want to get our voice out in the world, WordPress has been the ultimate resource. From fashion to sports, the website caters to all industries and provides quality services.

But when it comes to WordPress security, how efficient are the tools?

And so I got down to researching all the available tools that save WordPress websites from hackers. The list had quite a few contenders but here are the top 5:

  1. Wordfence
  2. Sucuri
  3. 1Password
  4. Cloudflare
  5. BulletProof Security

This post will review all 5 WordPress plugins.

Although WordPress has a number of tools to tackle security, most people prefer Wordfence. With more than nine million active installs, it has become the most downloaded plugin and many consider it the best WordPress security there is.

Why though?

The answer is quite simple. Wordfence has garnered this popularity because of its frequent security scans. In an effort to prevent malware attacks, the tool reviews any suspicious activity. And you can conveniently review it on the tool’s dashboard.

It displays the status of the security system, all the enables Wordfence features, and also the blocked attacks for the past days, weeks and months. These attacks include the attacks on your site and the Wordfence network as well. You can also get an overview of the login attempts made, blocked IPs and the countries from where the attacks originated.

Use these 5 free tools for WordPress security

The site scan option is by far the best feature of the plugin. Once you hit the button, the plugin will look for any potential security problems, which can include malware and vulnerabilities, modified core files, outstanding updates and comments from unsafe URLs.

Once the process is complete, the plugin gives you a list of the security issues and recommends the best way to resolve the issues.

The best part about Wordfence is that it’s free but still provides a lot of security options. And if you want to add some more security tools, you can opt for their paid version.

“Each connection in the Internet of Things brings new risks that challenge defenders to provide enhanced levels of protection. This requires a threat-centric approach to security, with solutions that work together, collecting and sharing intelligence, with a coordinated focus on threats. This is the only way to protect what matters most.” Chris Young SVP-Security Business Group at Cisco

Even though the plugin is quite user-friendly, some features might seem like a challenge to handle. You might have to go through the documentation to get an idea of what they do and how to operate them. But apart from this slight setback, Wordfence is the ultimate security tool you need for securing WordPress sites.

[Host Blogger’s Comment: Nicole of the Professional Mom Project also recommends Wordfence.]

  1. Sucuri

The number 2 on my list is Sucuri. It is a website security company and they specialize in WordPress security. Just like Wordfence, they also protect your website from malware, blacklists, hackers and DDoS.

When you enable Sucuri on your website, it activates the cloud proxy firewall, which enables plugins to secure your WordPress and to monitor all the traffic coming to your site. This way, they are able to keep an eye on the possible attacks, prevent them and allow only the legitimate traffic to access your site.

Moving over to some of the benefits of Sucuri and there are many!

Of course, it makes your website secure. Their services include malware removal and hack repair, continuous malware and hack scanning, brand reputation and blacklist monitoring, advanced DDoS mitigation, customer support and the best of all; prevention against hacks.

Use these 5 free tools for WordPress security

They also provide security hardening options to attack detected vulnerabilities so they can be prevented in the future. With their monitoring services, you can be sure not to miss even the smallest detail concerning your site’s security.

There’s a bonus included too!

Sucuri also provides performance optimization and caching, and even though they are a bit expensive, you get the whole package.

  1. 1Password

One of the most asked questions is how to secure WordPress website from hackers and I get such queries almost every day. People invest in firewalls and security plugins but they forget the simplest resource; password management.

Password management is as important as other website security issues. There have been numerous cases where millions of passwords were hacked on important websites, which caused quite a stir in the technological world. With the increasing number of threats to websites, it has become imperative that sites take adequate measures to counter this problem.

Use these 5 free tools for WordPress security

Moving on to 1Password, though it is not free, it does have a fair share of useful features.

With features like automatically generating secure passwords and end-to-end password encryption, 1Password has proved its worth. People all over the world are relying on the software to mitigate the risk of hacks and unauthorized dealings.

1Password uses 256-bit AES encryption and even though their source code is not available for examination, it has been deemed as pretty impressive.

Since the app is available for Android and iOS, users love it even more. With added features like fingerprint locking and an interface makeover, the app has become easier to navigate and convenient for users. Now they have even changed their encryption format to prevent metadata leaks.

The app is also useful in keeping a track of your physical items as well. Simply by adding a new item and adding a note about its location will help you keep track of all your stuff. And with their subscription plans of $3 a month, you can avail the best password management software.

You can take a sigh of relief because the cloud syncing option is not enabled by default but if you want, you can avail it via WiFi.

  1. Cloudflare

Use these 5 free tools for WordPress security

Cloudflare is a website security and performance service that not only protects your website from the threat of hacks but also optimizes the speed of your website.

The product offers protection against SQL injection, as well as well as support for SSL websites. But it’s quite hard to describe since it has a unique interface. It mainly focuses on performance, security, reliability and providing insight.

Cloudflare protects your website by placing itself between the user and your site. This allows Cloudflare to monitor the actions of the visitor firsthand. Only when it’s sure that the visitor has no malicious intents, it allows the visitor.

But if the visitor’s actions look suspicious, Cloudflare will automatically take steps to protect your website. These steps aren’t decided by Cloudflare. You get to choose what actions Cloudflare should take in case something or someone threatens your blog security.

  1. Bulletproof Security

Use these 5 free tools for WordPress security

Worried about hacking attempts on your WordPress site?

That’s what BulletProof security prevents. There are various kinds of ways to hack a site and BulletProof Security makes sure your website doesn’t have to face those threats. It has the right tools to prevent hacking attempts from XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection.

But how does this plugin achieve this?

It’s quite simple actually. BulletProof Security uses .htaccess files because they are processed first before any other code. Ergo, hackers’ malicious scripts are stopped by .htaccess files/Firewalls before they even have a chance to reach the code in WordPress.

When BulletProof was first released, it was considered one of the best WordPress security plugins but over time it has been taken over by other emerging plugins. Though still effective, BulletProof doesn’t stand up to the expectations of today’s users.

“When core Internet technologies are well-maintained, the Internet works. When they fail, the best-laid security plans collapse. If we’re going to prevent future heart bleeds, we need security infrastructure to keep up with billions more people coming online. As an industry, let’s invest in technologies that secure mobile networks, data-center traffic, and the websites and apps people access every day. We have to make it easier for future developers from anywhere to choose secure options from the start.” Joe Sullivan Chief Security Officer at Facebook

Now It’s Your Turn To Protect Your Website

If you intend to achieve a flourishing business, don’t let these security issues hold you back. Now that you know about all the available options for WordPress security, don’t wait any longer. Your website deserves the best protection it can get.

By following best practices in terms of security, you can ensure the safety of your website and users can enjoy your services. So get started!

Author Bio:

Bill Acholla is a digital entrepreneur helping small business owners build their brand through content marketing. If you resonated with this article, please subscribe to his business blog and you will get a free report about content publication strategy, which will change your marketing life.

Host Blogger’s Comments:

Not only do these tools increase your WordPress security, but most of them are free.

Please share so other website creators know how to boost their WordPress security to be safe from hackers.

I look forward to your views in the comments section: Are you using any of these tools? Do you recommend them or are there other tools you can recommend to increase your WordPress security?

 

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  1. rajat chakraborty at 2:10 am

    Hello Janice

    Its been long we spoke. Just when I was dealing with a cyber threat myself that your post dropped into my mailbox like an angel’s call.

    However the hack relating to my website was slightly different and that was related to content injection hack through one of the embedded javascripts. I have had my lessons dealing with them since past two days, but it helped me device some really good tools.

    This post goes a step ahead to deal with the website security. I have bookmarked this site for further references. thanks a lot for the post.

    Best Regards

      • rajat chakraborty at 9:59 am

        Hello Bill

        Thanks a lot. I think I am in a thick soup here and need urgent help. My website was working absolutely fine until two weeks ago when I suddenly received a message from the Google Webmasters telling me that my website is hacked.

        I haven’t even completed assessing the problem yet and today, I received another message on the Manual Actions in Google Search console mentioning that my website does not follow content guidelines and has been restricted from search results.

        Can you help me out with this please.

        Looking forward

        • Bill at 8:54 pm

          Hi Rajat,

          So sorry to hear that. I understand how frustrating it can be when a site is hacked. Sucuri.net can help you clean your hacked site and help you get removed from the search engine blacklist.

          For more direction, contact me through my site.

  2. Jeanette S. Hall at 8:51 am

    Hello Janice,
    I have chosen to use Wordfence in combination with a secure operating system provided for FREE from Ubuntu. Ubuntu requires a love for a text based operating system, instead of the popular GUI (graphical user Interface). Takes up a lot less hard drive space and processing loads!

  3. Nisha at 11:02 pm

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I’m trusting a similar high-review site post from you in the up and coming too as it is helpful for wordpress user.Thanks.

  4. Moss at 12:35 am

    Hi Bill & Janice,

    When this post came into my inbox, I said yeah, this is what I need right now. Why? Because i just setup a new blog and will need all the help in terms of security.

    Sucuri is a great plugin because I did a lot research for the best security plugins for WordPress, and sucuri was one of the best that came up.

    Infact, I went as far as contacting the WordPress team for the best plugin to secure my site. Their answer, they said they’re currently using sucuri on their site.

    Thanks so much for this timely article.

  5. Freddy G. Cabrera at 10:45 am

    Hey Bill!

    Thanks for sharing these tools and tips for better WordPress security!

    It is very important to be secured. Especially when you are growing your blog’s traffic. The more popular your blog becomes on the web, the more hacking attempts you are prompt to have. This is where all of these tools come in handy.

    Thank you for sharing!

    CHeers! 😀
    Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted…Small Businesses Should Use Micro-Influencers – Here is WHY!My Profile

  6. Vishwajeet Kumar at 8:35 pm

    Hello Janice,

    Great Post. I am currently using All In One WP Security and it comes with some great security and spam prevention features. It helps me to protect my site from hacking and spam as well. I am also using Cloudflare with it and it works great for me. By the way thanks for sharing these great insights with us all.

    Have a great day 🙂
    Vishwajeet
    Vishwajeet Kumar recently posted…What Are Fraud Risks for Small Businesses?My Profile

    • Bill at 1:52 am

      Hi Vishwajeet, it’s nice to hear your site is protected from hacker and yes, Cloudflare is a powerful security platform. Thanks for appreciating my post.

  7. Arvind Kumar at 6:01 am

    Great post Janice…after reading this post I installed the Wordfence plugin to protect my website…i haven;t protected my website from any of these tools..thanks for sharing them..!

    Arvind

  8. Susan Velez at 8:01 am

    Hi Bill,

    Great tips for securing our WordPress blog. I was using Cloudflare but had to remove it because I wasn’t using the www in front of my domain. (I know a little weird)

    But since I set up a redirect whenever someone visits the www version they would be redirected to the non www version, I was told that the only way to set this up was to remove my site from Cloudflare.

    Do you have any recommendations of what I can use for my blog since not being able to use Cloudflare? I already own the BulletProof plugin, although I am not using it on my blog.

    Like Freddy says, once your blog starts to get more traffic, then it’s extremely vital to focus on security more. I do have nightly and daily backups for my blog.

    Thanks for taking the time to share these WordPress security tips for us.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan
    Susan Velez recently posted…Long Tail Pro Review How to Make The Most of It For Your BlogMy Profile

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