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How To Use The Wordpress Firewall For Enhanced Security And Performance - MalwareCare

How To Use The WordPress Firewall For Enhanced Security And Performance

With developing standards and techniques, hackers, too, are evolving. Attacks in the web world are no secret. Therefore, it is crucial to shield your website in all possible ways.

“With modern websites, third-party component security has become a huge issue. WordPress is a good example. In 2018, the amount of discovered plugin vulnerabilities have grown 3 times when compared to 2017,” explains WebARX. 

This is why you need to have a comprehensive security strategy that accounts for all possible ports of entry a hacker could use to attack your site. 

Diving deep into the depths of the WordPress firewall is our mission for the day. Let’s learn what a firewall is in general and why every website requires one.

What is a firewall?

In the virtual world, a firewall is a layer of defense that prevents potential threats from accessing your website, even while establishing hundreds or even thousands of connections each day to send and receive data.

The firewall functions as a rules-based filter. It examines the user attempting to access the website and evaluates the user’s “character” in light of security concerns it is aware of. Then, it either grants or refuses access based on its analysis of the user. 

There aren’t many more similarities between a physical real-world firewall and a computer firewall. Like other forms of security software that we employ, a firewall operates similarly. 

It acts as a security barrier between the other party and us. However, the operation of a firewall differs slightly from that of a certificate equivalent to an SSL. This protects the data flow and obscures it from the view of anyone who might be a potential hacker. 

Why use a WordPress Firewall?

WordPress firewalls are essential tools for website security since they can guard against various security risks and breaches. These consist of the following:

  • SQL injections
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • File inclusions
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Man in the Middle threats
  • Cross-site forgery

 

Attacks like these have the potential to shut down websites, collect priceless data, and stop corporations in their tracks. Installing a WordPress firewall can considerably decrease the chance of succumbing to an avoidable onslaught.

Additionally, consumers will gain from tightening up the security of their websites. Installing a firewall is an essential part of your security configuration. However, it does not offer a complete solution to protect WordPress sites. Performing routine security scans and backups can help avoid attacks and intrusions.

How to install and configure the WordPress Firewall plugin

If your web provider includes one in your plan, you may add one to your WordPress site that way. Otherwise, the most straightforward choice is to set up a firewall plugin for WordPress. Start by installing, turning on, and adjusting the parameters of your favourite plugin on the dashboard.

Three of the best WordPress firewalls on the market are listed below:

1. Wordfence

Wordfence is a free firewall for WordPress sites, including an endpoint WAF and a malware scanner. It can assist in keeping your website secure from both internal and external threats.

Wordfence is unaffected by encryption flaws since it focuses on endpoint protection rather than cloud protection. If you go for a premium Wordfence plan, you will additionally have access to malware signature updates and real-time firewall rules.

The critical attributes of Wordfence include:

  • High-quality malware scanner
  • Focused on WordPress security
  • Endpoint WAF
  • Regular updates

1. Cloudflare

This popular package will get SSL encryption, a CDN, and DDoS protection. A free plan is available, but if you want to use the Cloudflare WAF, you can opt for premium plans.

A cloud-based security service called Cloudflare provides a defense against the most prevalent kinds of security threats, such as CSS and SQL injections. Cloudflare’s zero-day safeguards can repair security holes in a matter of seconds, and the rulesets may be customized to fend off further threats.

The attributes of Cloudflare include the following:

  • Bot management
  • 250 server locations
  • API and page shields
  • 121 tbps protection against DDoS
  • Almost-immediate security deployments

1. Sucuri

Sucuri offers a full range of website security services. It includes an auditing tool, a virus scanner, and features intended to strengthen your website. While there is a free version available, a premium membership is required to experience the Sucuri WAF.

You would be able to use SSL encryption and neutralize DDoS assaults on a massive scale with the help of this firewall, which would be able to thwart hacking attempts in real-time. Additionally, the Sucuri Firewall uses a CDN for reducing load times on top of everything else.

Useful for a single location

  • SSL encryption
  • Cloud-based WAF
  • Access CDN
  • DDoS protection

1. MalCare

MalCare is a security and firewall plugin for WordPress that does it all. Check out the premium plugin from MalCare if your website is already wholly protected and you’re only searching for a firewall add-on.

The algorithms used by MalCare go well beyond signature matching to find even the most sophisticated attacks. Other well-known security plugins typically miss them as well.

This is one of the simplest and most efficient firewalls for WordPress. This is because it gives you complete control over its operations and offers immediate firewall coverage. The positive internet evaluations for MalCare are another factor that makes it one of the best options if your website has been compromised.

Installing your WordPress Firewall

Check out the steps below to choose and configure your WordPress firewall:

1. Finding the right plugin

Although we looked at three popular WordPress firewalls, other options are available. Whenever you are purchasing, have the following in mind:

Cost: Given that free firewalls sometimes only offer a small number of functions, you may want to balance the cost with the level of flexibility and protection provided.

Customisability: A number of high-end firewalls allow you to edit your settings and make block lists. If they are essential to you, select a firewall with a wide range of customisation options available. 

Assistance: Having support is helpful if your website is the target of an attack. However, many free or low-cost plugins do not offer prompt customer service.

Cloud-based firewalls vs. point-based firewalls: Many WordPress firewalls are cloud-based, enabling them to examine a greater variety of traffic sources and protect sites against DDoS assaults. However, endpoint firewalls tend to be more precise and combat threats brought on by software.

Your decision must depend on your site and its particular needs. So, weigh these options before settling on one.

2. Setting up the Firewall

We’ll discuss using Wordfence to configure your WordPress firewall as we lead you through this example. It is advisable to review its official documentation before choosing an alternate firewall plugin or piece of software.

Install and activate the Wordfence plugin to get started. To verify that your firewall is active, simply go to Wordfence and then firewall. 

You may modify some basic settings by selecting Manage WAF, and you can control your site’s brute force protection by choosing the relevant options. However, an IP block list or firewall rules cannot be accessed without purchasing the premium version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Although the use of plugins is quite simple, many questions are buzzing among the users. A few of the frequently asked questions are:

1. This security plugin's many firewall protections were enabled, but I'm now unable to access my website. How do I correct it?

Answer: Your WordPress site’s ‘htaccess’ file should be restored. By doing this, you will be able to restart from scratch and eliminate any firewalls.

2. I've installed WordPress Multi-Site (WPMS). I don't see all of this plugin's menus on my sub-sites. Why is that so?

Answer: All of your sub-sites on a WordPress multi-site share the same file system. So, only your MAIN site has to have some security elements activated. 

You won’t be able to access these features’ menus on the sub-sites. On the main page of your WPMS installation, you may change those options.

3. Is there a hosting service you recommend?

Answer: Any server that is correctly set up should support the plugin. However, if you don’t already have one, getting solid WordPress hosting is a smart option.

3. I turned on maintenance mode, and now I can't access my website. What should I do?

Answer: Access your WordPress Login form by going to the following URL after first restoring the .htaccess file:

http://your-domain.com/wp-login.php

Wrapping up

If you enjoyed reading this post, you’d appreciate using Malwarecare.com’s WordPress website administration and support services, which are available around the clock. Partner with the organization that provides all facets of premium WordPress support services.  

Our skilled experts can help you with everything from limitless website modifications to performance optimisation, security, 24/7 support, or even white-label site administration for businesses and independent contractors. Bring Malware.com on board as a member of your team to create an incredibly safe website.

Sharif Hossain Syeed

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