8 Top WordPress Security Plugins for Business Websites

Oct 21, 2020 | Website Security, WordPress

Kevin Fouche

8 Top WordPress Security Plugins for Business Websites

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

Building a website is a grand adventure for most brands, whether you are building your first website or redesigning from an existing site. WordPress makes it easy through themes and dashboards to quickly customise your website for any brand or purpose you might need.

You can build a home for your brand, an eCommerce store for your products, and a platform for blogs and discussions. You can make your WordPress website into a customer service portal, or you can use it as your online broadcasting station.

WordPress Security Plugins

But the one thing that all WordPress websites have in common is the need for security. WordPress.org. and WordPress.com both install with only basic features that most do not include security. If you want malware detection, hacker resistance, and firewall protection, it’s important to take charge of your website’s security and secured customer interactions.

This is where security plugins come into play.  Instead of writing your own secure web code, you can rely on the WordPress plugin market. There are over a dozen different viable security plugins to choose from. Some will stack, and some directly compete. Each offers a useful combination of security features.

Which one to choose? Today, we’re here to spotlight the top eight industry-recommended security plugins available for your WordPress website.

1. Sucuri Security

Sucuri Security is the number one WordPress security plugin. It has a free tier and premium subscriptions to Sucuri for those websites that want the extra features. Sucuri is a great all-in-one security solution and is designed to install easily for the benefit of website owners. Sucuri gives you great control over your website’s security settings and related aspects.

Sucuri offers regular integrity checks and guides for post-hacking scenarios. It provides an external WAF firewall (web application firewall) to protect your sensitive data and the private information of account holders. Sucuri is also known for its scanner, which can identify malware infection, an error, or a piece of outdated or damaged code in seconds. Sucuri helps you to maintain a blacklist of untrusted sites.

Sucuri is configured to handle SSL and secure registration for your WordPress website. It can monitor activity for suspicious behaviour and make certain security decisions.

2. Wordfence

Wordfence is unquestionably in the number two spot for WordPress security plugins installed. Both the free and paid versions are in constant demand, which is understandable with all the features included in this plugin.

WordFence performs in-depth scans regularly, monitoring all your files and website activity. Unlike Sucuri, WordFence occupies your local server, so it can also scan everything in your WordPress installation. WordFence can core, plugin, and theme files. It can scan for suspicious code in posts and texts and pages for broken URL pages.

WordFence has free and premium subscription options. The premium version amps up the services with additional spam filtering, country-based blocking, remote scanning and incredibly useful two-factor authentication. WordFence is known for it’s automatic regular search with a manual scanning option. The plugin provides some apt guidance on how to deal with any breach that may be detected.

3. iThemes Security

For WordPress designers that want a rock-solid theme, iThemes may be the plugin for you to get started with. This security plugin primarily helps you to harden your WordPress website security. It will limit login attempts and protect against brute force attacks. It forces your users to create and use strong passwords and provides SSL on all pages.

It will detect a 404, send a notification and display an entertaining page. iThemes will inspect your WP core files for integrity and inconsistencies. It also prevents the administrator from editing files just in case an intruder gains access to the core admin account.

The free version of iThemes uses the Sucuri SiteCheck scanner to keep your website regularly scanned and safe. It backs up your databases and allows you to change your WP database table prefix along with the wp-content path. You can use iThemes to ban bots and spiders. Both versions are great, and the free version is the best place to start.

4. All-In-One WP Security & Firewall

This simple and straightforward named plugin is exactly what it says on the box. The All-in-One WP Security & Firewall plugin is often shortened to All-in-One or WP Security for short, as it’s less wordy for each iteration. The most compelling thing about the All-in-One is that it’s completely free. You don’t have to weigh which features or how much of each feature might need to be paid for with a premium subscription.

WP Security plugin offers a variety of services. You can change the database prefix, monitor file permissions, and disable dashboard editing. YOu can limit the number of login attempts and initiate automatic account idle logouts. Add a Captcha login widget to protect logins for humans only. All-in-one scans your WP files for integrity and monitors changes in file permissions in case a hacker tries to let them in. You can hide your WP version number and stop user enumeration. In addition to the shared blacklist of bad actors, you can also add your own custom whitelist of favourite IP addresses to trust or a manual blacklist of untrusted IPs.

5. MalCare Security Solution

MalCare is the only leading WordPress security plugin that has an effective post-infection set of solutions. MalCare specialises in scanning your website for malware and then running a thorough cleaning procedure to ensure that your website is safe from any potential exposure.

MalCare starts the protective layers with a firewall that bans all malicious logins and known bad-actor IP addresses. You can then harden your website to protect the site’s files and make them more difficult for a hacker to find.  Constant backups ensure that even if you are hacked, you will still have all or most of your data saved on a work computer.

Best of all, malware removal is automated. If any of the automatic scans reveal malware, it will be remediated promptly by your security software.

Post-attack malware cleanup. one-click removal with premium. Deep malware scanning of website files and databases. Login and bot protection. Web application firewall.

6. BulletProof Security

BulletProof holds a bold claim that of the many companies hacked in the last few years, their customers do not number among them. While this is difficult to prove or disprove, we know that BulletProof is known for its quick and easy installation process with very little user configuration required – while also gives users a surprisingly wide selection of security options inside.

BulletProof offers a one-click setup Wizard so that you don’t have to walk through the steps of installation. The plugin establishes a set of login security features that monitor login attempts and take steps to prevent brute force attacks. It will send email notifications, create security logs, and log out idle members. If your WordPress database needs to be automatically backed up, BulletProof can take care of this.

The plugin also offers a comprehensive spam scanner and firewall setup. Your firewall can ban and allow specific IP addresses based on your known trust relationship with each customer. The dashboard of the BulletProof plugin will help you maintain your security front-end and back-end.

7. Jetpack (also VaultPress)

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that extends a larger WordPress service pack. Jetpack was once separate from VaultPress, and VaultPress held a respected position among the WordPress Security plugins. However, Jetpack recently bought and incorporated VaultPress into their business plan. Now the two products are the same.

This incredibly popular plugin is considered all-inclusive and easy to use, and not just because it’s made by the WordPress.com team. Jetpack unlocks the WordPress.com-style secured login with many other features that enhance your WordPress site.

There are features for social media modules, site speed enhancement, and spam protection. Jetpack features many modules to choose from, the Protect is one of the most important security. Jetpack’s early paid levels include regular backups and malware scans of your files. Jetpack can let you make changes to core WP files and offers web-based shells. It will look for known vulnerabilities and help with repair guidance.

8. Defender

Defender has a reputation for making security extremely simple and easy. You can start with the free version and explore the features, then easily upgrade, boosting your WordPress security with just a few clicks.

Defender offers free scans of your site for any suspicious or injected code. The scan tool compares your install with the directory and reports any changes. This serves as version control and malware protection, as you can also restore from the comparative backup. Defender generates audit logs and monitors file activity. It maintains a blacklist of known bad actors that can be added manually.

Defender offers brute force attack protection and idle time logouts to defend account security like others.  It also has the bonus of offering Google 2-step verification.

Further Reading
10 Ways to Make Sure Your WordPress Theme is Secure and Malware-Free
Getting to know the different types of SSL Certificates
Website platform review: Wix vs WordPress – Which is right for you?

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Kevin Fouché, Pixel Fish Director