WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) by far, powering round about 29% of the internet. This makes WordPress a highly lucrative target for hackers, developers of malware and other security threats. Overall WordPress is secure, offers regular security updates and you can secure websites by following a few best practices. Though, WordPress security vulnerabilities are potentially affecting millions of WordPress bloggers and webmasters.
In the past there have been various WordPress security issues which affected millions of users. For the regular user it's quite impossible to determine if WordPress core, a theme or a plugin has security vulnerabilities. This often results in large hacks or security issues like for example MailPoet exploit, Mossack Fonseca Breach, plugins injecting malicious code to publish spam or other security threats. This shows that WordPress security is not something that should be taken lightly. But what can you do to avoid WordPress security issues and protect your site by hardening WordPress?
Best free and premium WordPress security plugins
Don't worry, you don't need to be a security pro in order to secure your website from hackers. In addition to secure WordPress hosting and common security best practices (e.g. strong passwords), there are various WordPress security plugins to secure your website available. These security plugins are ideal to easily improve WordPress security without technical know-how. In the following we've listed the best security plugins for WordPress:
- Sucuri Security
- Wordfence Security
- BulletProof Security
- iThemes Security
- All In One WP Security & Firewall
- Rublon Two-Factor Authentication
- Google Apps Login
- Secure XML-RPC
- 6Scan Security
- Acunetix WP Security
Sucuri is a global security company which offers some of the best and most affordable cloud-based
security technologies. The company is very active in the WordPress community and works closely with businesses and developers to protect plugins, WordPress themes and the WordPress core against common attacks. You can expect the best protection from one of the best cyber security teams out there.
They have a free website malware and security scanner which you can use to scan your website for known malware, blacklisting status, website errors, and out-of-date software. The basic version of the Sucuri Security WordPress plugin is free of charge and offers a complete security suite to protect your WordPress website. The plugin includes features such as security activity auditing, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, post-hack security actions, effective security hardening, website firewall and much more.
SecuPress (free & premium) is a complete WordPress security toolkit to protect your website against WordPress security issues. This WordPress security plugin includes features such as anti brute force login, blocked IPs, website firewall, malware scans and more. You can even block visits from unwanted bots and scan your WordPress theme and plugins for security vulnerabilities. SecuPress also offers nice security reports in PDF format.
MalCare Security and Firewall
MalCare is a fast malware detection and removal plugin loved by thousands of developers and agencies. With an industry first automatic one-click malware removal, you can clean up your website before Google blacklists it or takes it down. MalCare has been developed from grounds up after analyzing over 240,000 websites over the last 2.5+ years.
Its intelligent scanning methodology will never slow down your website. It accurately identifies the most complex malware that typically goes undetected in other popular security plugins. The one-click malware cleaner offers unlimited automated cleanups while the inbuilt powerful cloud-based firewall ensures round-the-clock website protection.
MalCare comes integrated with a complete website management module that ensures better security to your website from a single dashboard. The plugin offers a premium white-label solution that lets agencies provide better security to their clients without risking their business. MalCare is a complete WordPress security solution to protect your online identity.
Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected. After this, the plugin will be comparing your source code across to the official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. When this is all done and completed, the Wordfence plugin protects your WordPress blog, and also optimizes it for optimal speed where possible. Wordfence also offers robust login security features and the firewall blocks complex brute force attacks.
The BulletProof Security plugin has an extensive directory of malicious attacks and in turn protects your blog against more than 100,000 exploits and hacks recorded in the public databases. You can never underestimate the power and insight of hackers, so this plugin proves to be very useful in a sense where it takes everything into consideration. BulletProof Security uses a one-click setup method vs breaking up options and settings into multiple separate different options and settings. Overall, BulletProof is a feature-rich WordPress security protection plugin.
The market for cyber security is booming which attracts more and more companies that want to get a piece of the pie. iThemes offers a WordPress security plugin as well, which was formerly known as Better WP Security plugin, and taken over by the plugin developers. iThemes Security gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software.
All In One WP Security & Firewall
Overall, WordPress itself is a very secure platform. However, it definitely helps to add some extra security and firewall to your site. You can do so by using a WordPress security plugin that enforces a lot of good security practices. All In One WP Security & Firewall has some really great features when it comes to locking down files, and also protecting pages where users would need to authenticate. This is a reliable and well supported WordPress security plugin.
Rublon Two-Factor Authentication
In some cases, you might feel that all you need is a good authentication protection plugin. For that particular case Rublon could be a reliable plugin for two-factor authentication. Rublon is the internet security layer that protects your site against intruders who've cracked passwords. Its two-factor authentication keeps you safe against account takeover, data theft and bruteforce attacks. Therefore, Rublon can instantly increase security for you and your users.
Google Apps Login
You could just go ahead and trust Google with your secure authentication, we think the Google Apps Login plugin is a must-have for anyone who's Google partner, or a Google Apps user. It integrates with the Google servers seamlessly, and adds serious layers of security; hackers surely won't get past this two-step authentication.
XML-RPC is used for 3rd party authentication, for example when you're authenticating an RSS feed to be auto-posted to your blog, or an API request towards a social sharing plugin. Instead of letting everything pass through in plain-text, the Secure XML-RPC plugin will encrypt both POST and GET data to give you a peace of mind.
6Scan Security is one of the rare plugins that takes SQL, XSS and CRSF vulnerabilities into serious consideration. They're the sneaky types of web vulnerabilities, and it's important we don't underestimate them. 6Scan Security is the most comprehensive auto-fix protection your WordPress site can get against hackers.
Acunetix WP Security
Acunetix WP Security plugin is a free and comprehensive security tool that helps you secure your WordPress installation and suggests corrective measures for: securing file permissions, security of the database, version hiding, WordPress admin protection and lots more. As a company, Acunetix has decades of experience in cyber security, so their plugin is guaranteed to be functioning based on the latest standards.
Conclusion: Securing WordPress with reliable WordPress security plugins
In this post you've learned how to make WordPress more secure with suitable security plugins. If you perform a WordPress security scan with plugins, protect the WordPress login, follow basic security best practices and also ensure that you keep your website up-to-date, you usually will be well protected against WordPress security issues. Though, there is no 100% guarantee when it comes to IT security. There always are risks of potential security vulnerabilities, bugs or human error, but at least you can try to keep those risks at a minimum.
In addition to protecting your site against WordPress security issues and choosing secure WordPress hosting, it's crucial as well to perform regular backups. That way you can restore your WordPress site in the event that it got hacked, infected or compromised. Either way, with WordPress security plugins you've hardened WordPress and you don't need to feel at risk. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments.