As the most popular blogging platform in the world, WordPress powers millions of websites. So, hackers and bad actors have taken a liking to hack WordPress based websites. WordPress typically updates to patch and protect against known vulnerabilities, but outdated third party themes and plugins make WordPress vulnerable. In some cases, hackers can also find vulnerabilities that allow them to hack the whole server.
Thousands of websites can be hacked by exploiting single vulnerabilities. A single vulnerable theme or plugin can lead to the hacking of entire web servers. As a WordPress user, you must secure your website with a proper WordPress security plugin.
The WordPress core comes bundled with some security measures already in place. However, it’s instrumental that a reputable WordPress security plugin holds down the fort. The top security plugins for WordPress deliver the following:
- Security monitoring
- Blacklist monitoring
- Malware scanning
- File scanning
- Security hardening
- Brute force protection
- Post-hack actions
- Security notifications
In this post, I’ll describe and critique 8 of the best WordPress security plugins on the market. Each of these plugins provides the necessary range of features to make your WordPress site secure from known threats. Additionally, these plugins update their services from the latest exploits and threats. If you’re a serious WordPress website owner, it is imperative that you install, activate, and configure one of the plugins from this list. Here are the 8 best WordPress security plugins available today.
1. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening
Sucuri Security is our WordPress security plugin of choice. This plugin is developed and maintained by the popular website security and auditing company Sucuri. This plugin has a lot to offer. Features include security activity auditing, malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, blacklist monitoring, and web application firewall. It unites the most popular blacklist engines including Sucuri Labs, Google Safe Browsing, Norton, and McAfee Site Advisor. If there is anything out of the ordinary, the plugin will notify you via email.
Sucuri Security protects your website from brute force attacks, DOS attacks, Zero Day Disclosure Patches, and other scanner attacks. The plugin also keeps a log of all site activity and protects that log in the Sucuri cloud. This prevents intruders from making alterations to the log in the event of a security breach.
You can use the free version of the Sucuri Security plugin for base-level needs like security monitoring. But if you’re looking to take your security more seriously, it’s worth investing in their firewall or their premium service. At the very least, check out what they have to offer or download the free version of Sucuri Security. Alternatively, you can install the free version through your WordPress dashboard.
2. Wordfence Security
Wordfence is a popular WordPress security plugin. It runs an automated scan that checks for malware on your site daily. This scan checks your WordPress core, theme, and plugins. If an infection is identified, you will receive a notification via email.
This security plugin is free, but advanced features are available for premium users. If you can afford the premium version, it’s worth the money.
Wordfence blocks brute force attack can add two-factor authentication via SMS. Additionally, you can block traffic by country. It scans your server for known backdoors. It also scans your posts and comments for malicious code. Wordfence also supports multi-site. Its most notable feature, however, is the free firewall that blocks fake traffic, scanners, and botnet.
You can protect your WordPress site with the free version of the plugin. Just download it from the repository or install it directly through your WordPress dashboard. The premium version can be purchased from the official Wordfence Security website.
3. iThemes Security
The iThemes Security plugin (formerly known as Better WP Security) offers 0ver 30 ways to protect your WordPress website. With one-click installation, you can block automated attacks and secure your website. It also fixes common security vulnerabilities in your website.
This WordPress security plugin scans your entire website for vulnerabilities. In addition, it prevents brute force attacks and bans any IP addresses that are connected to brute force attacks. It also forces your site’s users to use secure passwords and forces SSL for admin access. This plugin also integrates Google reCAPTCHA to prevent comment spam.