WordPress Security Plugins: What they’re actually doing for you

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WordPress may be the world’s most popular blogging platform, but it isn’t invulnerable. Just due to the fact that it’s home to millions upon millions of websites, WordPress is increasingly being seen as a goldmine by hackers. After all, if they can crack one blog using the platform, odds are they’re going to be able to crack many, many more.

Like any platform, WordPress comes with its own unique vulnerabilities. While WordPress themselves spend countless hours updating the platform to patch these vulnerable points, it isn’t long before a few new ones are found and exploited.

One area of vulnerability for WordPress is its plugins. WordPress has an exhaustive range of plugins that increase functionality across everything from writing, to SEO, to security. Many of these plugins are well made, with well-earned reputations. Others are not. Using a vulnerable plugin, hackers can gain access to websites and introduce malware, access to private information, or even start siphoning card details from your customers. The SoakSoak malware, which infected over 100k websites, is one example of this.

But what about the plugins that keep your website secure?

While there are many plugins to choose from, it is important that you choose the ones with the best functionality. Not only do you want a plugin that is free from the aforementioned vulnerabilities, but you want one that will keep your cybersecurity sharp – giving you the peace of mind to get on with your work.

Here are our choices for the reliable WordPress security plugins, and our explanation of what they actually do for you:

WordFence

WordFence is the most popular security plugins on WordPress, for several reasons. Take a look at its features:

  • Regularly malware infection checks of your theme, plugins, and your WordPress core.
  • It supports 2-factor authentication, which nips any malicious login attempts in the bud.
  • Increase site speed by 50 times using Falcom caching.
  • Ability to block traffic from countries.
  • Firewall option for botnet, scanners and fake traffic.
  • Hosting scans to reveal known back doors like R57 and C99.
  • Advanced options for paid users.
  • Scans comments section for malicious code.

WordFence isn’t necessarily the best because of the range of features it has, but it is the best for the quality of these features. If you’re looking for a great firewall and security scanner for WordPress, this is it. It has a well-documented track record of success from it’s 3+ million installations. Seriously, read any of the 3000+ 5 star reviews.

It’s a great, all-round security solution that easily installs into your WordPress website, has a simple, easy to use functionality, and delivers reliable results. With website businesses ranging from e-commerce to business loans, to cloud accounting, hacking threats are only going to become more common. Luckily, WordFence offers a great level of security against these rising threats. If you want more from it, you can also opt for the paid plan.

Sucuri Security

The Securi plugin for WordPress was developed by the security company Securi Inc. They’re a globally recognized business for all things security, especially WordPress Security. And like the company who created it, Securi is a plugin that knows what it’s doing.

  • Provides protection from Zero Day Disclosure Patches, DOS attacks, brute-force attacks and more.
  • It actively audits your security activity.
  • Monitors the integrity of your files.
  • Scans for Malware.
  • Utilized the best blacklist engines – from Sucuri labs to McAfee Site Advisor, to Google Safe Browsing.
  • Logs activity securely in the Sucuri cloud – keeping logs secure from attackers.
  • Website firewall for premium users.

While Sucuri may not be as popular as WordFence, it lacks next to nothing in functionality. And with over 600,000 installations, it’s certainly getting some well-deserved love.

BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security is a great option for people who want an easy installation, and a plugin that they don’t need to fiddle with. You simply switch it on, relax, and watch it do its thing. BulletProof Security comes with a reliable firewall and effective malware scanner which will take care of most of your threats without you needing to lift a finger. It also offers backups, so if you experience a crash or infection you can get back online ASAP.

  • Malware scanner
  • Firewall
  • Protects against Base 64, CSRF, SQL injection, Code injection, XSS, CRLF, XSS, and tons more.
  • Maintenance mode for FrontEnd and BackEnd
  • Full and partial database backup (saving you having the squirrel everything away on the cloud).
  • Extensive video tutorials
  • Easy, one-click setup
  • Security and HTTP error logging

The plugin also prevents repeated failed login attempts and continually checks the code of your plugins, themes and core files. If it finds an infection or vulnerabilities, it’ll let you know. Extremely useful if you don’t have the best web hosting or are unfamiliar with WordPress.

Acunetix WP SecurityScan

Similar to Sucuri, Acunetix WP Security is developed by a well-known security company (Acunetix), giving it a pedigree that few other security plugins can boast. It’s an extremely helpful plugin that continually checks your WordPress site for vulnerabilities and then tells you what you need to do to correct them. This could be changing your passwords, restricting file permissions, or improving your database security. This is extremely helpful for beginners as it helps educate them on exactly how they need to bolster their website’s security to withstand cyber attacks. For those who are a little confused by the topic, this is a useful level of handholding that shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Available for multiple sites
  • Backs up the WordPress database
  • Easily remove corrupted or infected files (such as themes or plugin updates).
  • Life traffic monitoring

Not as fully featured as the aforementioned plugins, but a great option none the less. It can be a great first step in learning the correct resolutions or countermeasures to the more common WordPress security risks.

Conclusion

These are some of the most reliable WordPress security plugins you can find. While no security plugin is completely bulletproof (including BulletProof Security!), these will go a long way to keeping your WordPress website safe. Complement them with some good security practices, like having strong passwords, and you’ll greatly reduce your chance of getting hacked.

 

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