WordPress is a popular and widely used platform for building websites, but its popularity also makes it a prime target for hackers. A colleague of mine recently told me how a client on his server installed a malicious plugin that infected every WordPress instance on his server. After he spent hours cleaning out the malware, he launched the sites and days later, they were re-infected by a secondary script that was hidden in the database and had a delayed launch. He spent days removing the malware, hardening his servers, and then monitoring for any additional issues. It was an expensive lesson in WordPress’ vulnerabilities.
If you’re with a managed hosting provider specializing in WordPress, they often include security monitoring and other notifications that help you avoid issues. However, self-hosted WordPress websites lacking this layer of security are pretty vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches… unfortunately, and usually by the site users that don’t know any better.
The statistics speak for themselves: in 2021 alone, there were 1,628 WordPress-related vulnerabilities reported in plugins, themes, and the core itself. Almost half of all cyberattacks targeted small to medium-sized businesses that often lacked adequate security measures. As cyberattacks continue, self-hosted WordPress websites need a robust security plan to protect against these threats.
iThemes Security Pro
Developed by WordPress security experts, iThemes Security Pro is a comprehensive security plugin that offers robust protection and advanced features to safeguard your WordPress site.
The Three Pillars of Effective Website Security: iThemes Security Pro addresses the three fundamental aspects of website security: preparation, prevention, and detection.
- Preparation: WordPress’s popularity makes it an attractive target for hackers. iThemes Security Pro simplifies WordPress security by providing comprehensive tools and features. With this plugin, you can proactively secure your website against potential attacks, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and compromised user accounts.
- Prevention: Preventing a hack or security breach is far more desirable than dealing with the aftermath. iThemes Security Pro provides actionable steps to reinforce your website’s security. It includes measures such as blocking brute force attacks, monitoring suspicious activity, and implementing user security enhancements like strong password requirements and two-factor authentication (2FA). By fortifying your website’s defenses, you significantly reduce the likelihood of successful attacks.
- Detection: Early detection is key to minimizing the impact of a security breach. iThemes Security Pro offers robust monitoring capabilities, allowing you to promptly identify and respond to malicious activity. By closely monitoring essential security events and providing real-time alerts, this plugin empowers you to take immediate action, investigate unauthorized changes, and patch vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
Key Features of iThemes Security Pro
iThemes Security Pro offers an array of features designed to enhance the security of your WordPress website:
- Stops automated attacks: By blocking brute force attacks on the WordPress login, iThemes Security Pro thwarts automated attempts to compromise your site’s credentials.
- Monitors for suspicious activity: The plugin tracks security events, enabling you to detect and respond to malicious activity, lock out bad actors, and investigate any unauthorized changes.
- Strengthens user credentials: iThemes Security Pro implements essential user security enhancements, such as strong password requirements, two-factor authentication, and passwordless logins, reducing the risk of privileged user accounts being exploited.
- Scans for vulnerable plugins and themes: The Site Scanner feature identifies vulnerable software on your site, automatically applying patches if available, and ensuring your site remains protected against known vulnerabilities.
- Blocks bad bots and reduces spam: With the reCAPTCHA feature, iThemes Security Pro distinguishes between humans and bots, safeguarding your site against malicious bots attempting to gain unauthorized access or engage in spamming activities.
- Automated security actions: The plugin takes proactive measures on your behalf, automatically locking out suspicious users, banning malicious user agents and IP addresses, and applying version updates to keep your site secure.
- iThemes Brute Force Protection Network: Join 1 million other websites to unite against malicious IPs attacking WordPress sites worldwide. You’re doing your part to secure not only your website but helping protect other people’s websites, too.
iThemes Security helps me sleep at night, knowing that the industry-leading security is running on my client sites. And I love the regular updates and webinars that give me confidence I am giving my clients the best WordPress advice available.Hilary Chapman, Owner of Seddon Digital
iThemes Security Pro is designed to help improve the security of your WordPress installation from many common attack methods, but it cannot prevent every possible attack. Nothing replaces diligence and implementing the WordPress security best practices. This plugin makes it a little easier for you to apply both. If you’re an agency, they also offer multi-site licensing.