Currently, 810 million sites are hosted on WordPress worldwide, meaning that out of every 5 sites, 2 use WordPress as their content management system (CMS). This frequent and widespread use of WordPress makes it popular among malicious hackers also.
The reason most people who have not yet taken steps to harden the WordPress website they own, are bearing heavy consequences. During the first quarter of 2021, over 86 billion password assault attempts were stopped, and it was believed that over 30,000 new websites are compromised daily. Hackers are constantly seeking new ways to hack into websites that use the WordPress platform.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help fortify and harden your WordPress website against these types of cyber threats. In this blog post, we will highlight several tips you can implement to help protect the integrity of your online presence. Let’s get started!
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites without knowing how to code. It’s a powerful tool that has been around since 2003, powering millions of websites worldwide.
WordPress is an adaptable content management system that may be used for various purposes, including blogs, online stores, commercial sites, and personal online portfolios.
With WordPress, you can easily design and build your website without relying on expensive web developers or designers. If you ever need help with something, tons of plugins, themes, and tutorials are available online to help you!
WordPress can get the job done quickly and effectively if you’re starting with a blog or looking to set up an entire eCommerce store online.
What is Hardening?
Hardening is a critical security process that helps to protect a website against malicious attacks and unauthorized access. It involves implementing best practices and various measures to reduce the risk of attack or compromise.
For WordPress website hardening, the standard techniques used include:
- Limiting login attempts
- Restricting file permissions
- Disabling user enumeration
- Preventing directory browsing
- Enabling SSL/TLS encryption for data transfers
These techniques help ensure that sensitive information stored on the site remains secure and cannot be accessed by unauthorized users. Hardening WordPress website also helps improve performance by eliminating unnecessary plugins or scripts that can slow down page loading time. Properly implemented hardening measures can go a long way toward providing an extra layer of protection for your website.
How to Harden Your WordPress Website?
So, once your WordPress website is up and running, you should try hardening it against potential threats. You can help protect yourself from malicious attacks, viruses, and hackers by hardening the WordPress website you own.
Here are some security tips to harden your WordPress website:
Install an SSL certificate
Millions of websites utilize SSL certificates to secure their clients’ financial information during online transactions. Getting one is a crucial first step in protecting the integrity of your website. Although some web hosts may charge for an SSL certificate, the vast majority supply them at no cost.
The next step is utilizing a plugin to compel HTTPS redirection, enabling the encrypted connection. By using this industry standard, data sent between a host machine and a client browser is encrypted (client). This encrypted link guarantees that any information transmitted between the two is confidential.
Use a Quality Host
Selecting a host with several firewalls and other security measures is the simplest method to keep your site safe. As tempting as it may be to go with a low-cost hosting service so you may reinvest the money saved into your business, you should think twice before making this decision.
However, there are better ways to go. The potential for future nightmares is high. It is possible that all of your data will be deleted and that your URL will start pointing to a new location.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra on hosting, you can be assured that your website will have more protection. Another perk of choosing a quality WordPress server is that it might help your site load much faster.
Use Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
Securing your login page from brute force assaults is essential to ensuring your WordPress installation. Any WordPress login page may benefit from utilizing the tried-and-true practice of two-factor authentication. Users logging into their accounts must undergo a two-step verification procedure when 2FA is enabled.
These steps are as follows:
- To begin, ensure that you enter the correct username and password.
- Supply an entry of a one-of-a-kind verification code to their mobile device.
Install at Least One Security Plugin
With a security plugin, you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t solely responsible for keeping your site safe. Installing a reliable security plugin (or several) is essential for your website’s safety.
These plugins save you a lot of time and effort by automating formerly manual security tasks, including detecting intrusion attempts, reverting changes to vulnerable source files, recovering your WordPress site, and blocking hotlinking. Some reliable plugins provide support for nearly all of the features above.
Enable a Web Application Firewall
You’ve undoubtedly heard of firewalls before; they’re helpful because they protect your computer from intrusion. You’ve probably got a firewall installed on your PC. Simply put, a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a specialized firewall that protects online applications. Its scope of protection includes servers, individual websites, and networked collections of websites.
If you use WordPress, installing a WAF will act as a firewall between your site and the rest of the internet. A firewall is a security system that keeps an eye on incoming traffic, identifies threats like viruses and malware, and prevents them from entering the system.
Restrict the Limit Login Attempts
WordPress users are not restricted in their login attempts. If you have trouble remembering which letters are uppercase, this may assist, but it leaves you vulnerable to brute-force attacks.
Users can only make so many failed login attempts before being temporarily barred. The likelihood of a successful brute-force assault is reduced since the hacker will be locked out before they can complete the attack.
Use WordPress Monitoring System
Having a website monitoring system in place is crucial. This will notify you immediately if any malicious activity is detected on your site. It would have been preferable if your previous precautions had avoided this behavior, but it is better to be safe than sorry. A WordPress monitoring plugin may notify you of any security issues.
Change Your WP-login URL
Your site’s default WordPress login page is located at yoursite.com/wp-admin. If you leave it at the default setting, a brute force attack might be launched against your account and password. You risk receiving many spam registrations if you allow users to sign up for subscription accounts. You may avoid this by requiring a unique answer to a security question at registration or changing the URL where administrators log in.
As we’ve seen, a variety of options are available to you to harden your website’s defenses and forestall a breach, as we’ve discussed here. Some of them are simple and light, while others are more complex and come with limitations in usability. As a website owner, it is up to you to decide what level of risk reduction is appropriate for you to implement.