WordPress appears to be one of the leading Content Management Systems (CMSs) that different website owners use to create and manage their website in the most effective way. But there might be several occasions where you need to protect your site from WordPress brute force attacks. These attacks come with a lot of consequences for your site. They may even slow down the overall speed of your website.
The site might become inaccessible and the attackers can have all the access to your valuable information very easily. They can always crack the password of your WordPress admin area and install some kind of malware on it. After that, your website along with its visitors face all the troubles. So in this article, we are going to discuss all the process of how you can protect your WordPress site from such attacks.
Know What are the WordPress Brute Force Attacks?
Before we step into the steps to get protected from the WordPress brute force attacks, you should know what is it. It is nothing but a hacking method that focuses on breaking into a website by utilizing several trial and error techniques. To send a large number of requests to the target system, hackers use some automated software applications. With each request, they attempt to gain access by guessing the information that would unlock it. Such information may be the passwords or pin codes that will help you to unlock the information.
Such tools offer all the flexibilities to also disguise the hackers by using different locations as well as different IP addresses. Due to this reason, it becomes quite difficult for the target system to block such suspicious activities by identifying them. If there was a successful WordPress brute force attack happened on your website, then hackers can have access to the website’s admin panel. They can perform different operations after they get access to the admin panel of your website.
From installing backdoor, malware, to deleting everything from the database, everything is possible after a successful attempt of such an attack on your WordPress site. They can steal user information without any trouble if they penetrate the security of your website. The WordPress hosting servers might slow down even if there was not a successful brute force attack occurred on your website. This happens because of the so many requests and sometimes the servers might crash.
Steps to Get your Website Protected from WordPress Brute Force Attacks
You already got familiar with WordPress brute force attacks, now you want to make your site protected from them. In this section, we are going to walk you through all the steps how can you protect your site from such attacks. So keep reading…
Step 1: Install a WordPress Firewall Plugin
Whenever an attack in such regard is attempted, the first thing that you should do is to install a firewall plugin on your WordPress website. The brute force attacks can make the site heavy on the servers where your website is hosted that it takes too much time to load. As already discussed, even unsuccessful attempts of such attacks can slow or crash the servers of your website.
Due to such reasons, it is always necessary to tackle those requests before they reach the web server of your WordPress site. To safeguard your website from WordPress brute force attacks, you will need a firewall installed on your website. A firewall comes with all the capabilities to filter out bad traffic from the good one. It also blocks such bad traffic from accessing your website for security purpose. There are two types of firewalls available that you can use on your website to make it more secure.
Application Level Firewall
With the help of these firewall plugins, you can easily get to know the traffic that tries to reach your web server. These firewall plugins monitor such traffic before loading most of the scripts of the website. Most of the time this method works but sometimes it’s not so efficient. Whatever you, the brute force attacks can still affect your server even after installing the application level firewall plugin.
DNS Level Website Firewall
Apart from the application level firewall plugins, the other types of plugins that most users use on their website are these DNS level website firewall plugins. To block all kinds of suspicious activities, these plugins use their own cloud proxy servers from where the requests need to pass.
With the help of this routing feature, you only get to send genuine traffic to the main hosting server. After they pass through the cloud proxy servers, the suspicious traffic gets blocked and the genuine ones get passed. The plugins also boost the overall speed along with the performance of the WordPress site.
There are certain plugins that you can use to make your website more secure. You can filter out the bad traffic from the good one and block them after they pass through the proxy server. Thus, to get your site protected from WordPress brute force attacks.
Step 2: Install WordPress Update
With just a simple update of WordPress, there are so many issues of your website that you can fix. There are some common brute force attacks that happened on your WordPress site, as there are several vulnerabilities on it. You will find these points of vulnerability on your WordPress if it has an outdated version. Not only if the WordPress CMS itself is outdated but if the plugins or the themes are outdated, then you might face brute force attacks.
If you are facing the WordPress brute force attacks on your website, then the plugins might be the main reason behind it. Most of the WordPress plugins are open source and whatever issues are there with them get fixed quickly. And the process to get away from such attacks is to update the plugins and the themes regularly. Whatsoever, in case, you fail to install such updates on your website, then that means you are leaving your site with all such threats.
To install the updates, you need to go to the Dashboard of WordPress and then navigate to the Updates section on it. You only can go there after you log in with your admin username and password. In this page, you will find all the available updates of the core WordPress along with the themes and its plugins.
Step 3. Protect WordPress Admin Directory
Whenever there is an attempt of WordPress brute force attacks, you should protect the admin directory of your website. Most of such attacks happen with the intention to get access to the WordPress admin area from where hackers can do whatever they want. In such cases, you can add a password on a server level on the admin panel of your WordPress directory to make it password protected. With the help of such a security feature, you can block proscribed access to the admin panel of your WordPress site.
You can do that by simply logging in the web hosting control panel of WordPress where you have hosted your website. After that, click on the Directory Privacy icon that you can fin under the Files section of the control panel. In this section, you should find the folder called ‘wp-admin’, click on it to open. Then, the cPanel will ask you to provide inputs to several fields, fill them up. If you have completely filled up all the information properly, then click on the Save button from the list. It will save the changes that you have performed on the cPanel of your WordPress site.
With these steps, you shouldn’t be facing any further problem to add a password on your WordPress admin directory. If you have successfully added a password on the WordPress admin area, then you will find a new login prompt when you visit it. After doing all these, you shouldn’t worry about the WordPress brute force attacks any longer. Sometimes, you might face up with error 404 on the website which might be so annoying. And to get rid of this error, type “ErrorDocument 401 default” in the .htaccess file of your website and check again by logging in.
Step 4: Add Two-Factor Authentication in WordPress
In terms of security, there are some of the most important steps that you should take to stop all the WordPress brute force attacks. The two-factor authentication is one of those security steps that can prevent those attacks. With the two-factor authentication process, you get the flexibility to add an extra layer of security on your WordPress site. Whenever you or anyone tries to log in to the WordPress admin area, he or she must have to pass through this two-factor authentication process.
In this process, users will require their registered mobiles to generate one-time passcode to make their login attempt successful. Whenever someone tries to access the WordPress admin area, they will need this passcode. By adding this two-factor authentication, you are making the process a bit harder for the hackers to gain access to your WordPress admin panel. They cannot get into your admin panel even if they cracked the password. Hence, add the two-factor authentication on your website admin panel which will help you prevent WordPress brute force attacks.
Step 5. Use Unique Strong Passwords
Whenever someone is trying to gain access to your website, passwords are the keys to it without which no one can get into it. You always need to use the strongest passwords along with their uniqueness for the accounts you have. Majority of the time WordPress brute force attacks happen because of the passwords that the users use are easy to guess. That’s why preventing yourself from such attacks includes the use of robust passwords for the WordPress admin account. A strong password is nothing but a combination of different characters including the numbers and special characters that you should use on your site.
No matter if it is your WordPress admin area, FTP, web hosting control panel, or the database, you should always vouch for a strong password to get into them. Otherwise, hackers are always out there to make WordPress brute force attacks or your entire website structure will destroy. If you are thinking about the process to remember all the passwords, then don’t worry. There are some great password managers available as plugins that will help you securely store and manage the passwords of your website. Whenever you log in to the account, these plugins will automatically fill them up for you to get into the account. Therefore, by using a unique and strong password for your accounts, you are ensuring that the site is secure.
Step 6. Disable Directory Browsing
This is another step to stop WordPress brute force attacks and you can do so without facing any trouble. The moment someone types the web address on the URL bar on the browser, it first goes to the server and then the server returns the file called index. This is where the server displays the content directory of the website if it doesn’t find any kind of index file on the database.
Therefore, make sure that the server finds an index file otherwise the users or hackers will easily gain access to the other contents of your website. During the WordPress brute force attacks, hackers can easily use this directory to find the files with the most vulnerability. In such cases, you might want to prevent access to the content directory of your website. Thus, you can add the following line at the bottom of the.htaccess file of your WordPress website which will help you to get rid of such attempts.
Step 7. Disable PHP File Execution in Specific WordPress Folders
Sometimes, there might be something wrong with the WordPress folders and they might produce several vulnerable points. By disabling the PHP file execution, you can prevent most of the WordPress brute force attacks. Hackers may use WordPress folders to install and execute their own PHP script file to perform these attacks. Therefore, WordPress is one such platform that’s mainly written in PHP and because of that, you might not disable it in all its folders.
Whatsoever, there are certain folders in WordPress that don’t require any kind of PHP scripts to execute some functions on it. As an example, whatever file you upload to your WordPress site, it gets uploaded at /wp-content/uploads location. To prevent yourself from the WordPress brute force attacks, you should disable the PHP file execution to the Uploads folder. It’s important to do so because this is the place that hackers use most of the time to hide their backdoor files. In the .htaccess file, type the following line of codes and save it to the /wp-content/uploads/ location.
deny from all
Step 8. Install and Setup a WordPress Backup Plugin
When it comes to the security of the WordPress website, there are many things to concern about. Creating backups of your WordPress files is one of them. To get yourself away from the WordPress brute force attacks, backups are the most essential tool in the security arsenal of WordPress. Once hackers gain access to your site, they might destroy all of its data and structure. Even after the security steps if you couldn’t secure your website, then the backup can help you to completely restore the site.
There are many WordPress hosting companies, which come with different backup options for you. The backups that you get from these companies are not optimum. That’s why it’s up to you to make your own backups without depending on the hosting companies. To get rid of the WordPress brute force attacks, you can use some automatic backup plugins for WordPress. You can easily take all your files automatically backup to your favorite plugin. The plugins securely make the backups for you without too much hassle.
To Wrap Up
This is where our discussion comes to an end. That’s all you need to know about the steps to prevent WordPress brute force attacks. The article thoroughly discussed all the aspects of the attacks and how you can prevent them. Once, you have followed the steps in a proper manner, then it would become much easier to secure your WordPress site. We hope the article served you well to learn how you can protect your WordPress website from such attacks conveniently. Thank you.
1. How do I Password Protect WordPress Admin?
If you want to create a password protected directory, then at first, you have to go to the folder named ‘wp-admin’ and open it. As the next screen appears, you will see options including the one to activate password protection for WordPress. After that, the only thing to do here is to create a username and password which will successfully create the password protected WordPress admin.
2. How WordPress Sites Get Hacked?
It’s a fact that being an open source platform, anyone can penetrate into WordPress. There are so many vulnerabilities in it and people continuously work on its protection. There are so many hackers who take the path of a very least resistance to it. According to some infographic, 41% of different WordPress sites get hacked from the most common points. Hackers get into the website through all the vulnerabilities that you might have in the hosting platform of WordPress.
3. How Secure is WordPress Admin?
There are certain steps that you can follow to make your WordPress admin area more secure.
- As the wp-admin directory is the heart of any WordPress site so protect it first.
- Use different Secure Socket Layer certificates to encrypt whatever data you have on the sites.
- Add all the user accounts with much more care.
- Change the admin username and password more frequently than ever.
- Constantly monitor the files of your WordPress website.
4. How do I Make my WordPress Site Secure?
You can follow some easy steps to make your site more secure that you have made from WordPress. To do that follow the 10 most convenient steps.
- The first concern lies on the hosting company where you are hosting your WordPress site. That’s why choose a well reputed web hosting company.
- Never use the nulled themes on your WordPress themes.
- Install some sort of the best WordPress security plugin on the WordPress site.
- Use a stronger password with several combinations.
- Disable the file editing feature for your site.
- Install SSL certificates for an extra layer of security.
- Change the Wp-login URL to another.
- Limit the login attempts
- Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files from your site view.
- Update your WordPress version
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