When it comes to hackers, WordPress is quite the favorite. According to Sucuri, out of all content management systems, 90% of all hacked sites were powered by WordPress.
However, if you consider the fact that it powers over one-third of all websites on the internet, this statistic is not at all surprising.
Now, WordPress in itself is quite a secure platform and consistently rolls out new updates to patch up any known issues. However, a lot of hackers take advantage of the vulnerabilities of installed plugins & themes or outdated versions of WordPress to hack into websites and steal data.
Another big reason is the fact that a lot of small business and personal websites incorrectly believe they couldn’t be a target as they don’t have anything of value to be stolen. But at the end of the day, the fact stands that your website, however big or small, is always at the risk of being compromised.
Which is the reason…
Why you need to secure your WordPress website
Hackers often target smaller business website for personal information
According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Report, about 43% of data breaches involved small businesses. Hackers often target unprotected personal or smaller websites in order to gain access to personal information with the intention of selling it to a third-party organization.
Prevent significant drop in business revenue
Google doles out long term penalties for sites that have been hacked. A website that has been flagged as hacked sees a steep drop in ranking and traffic and hence, conversions. Therefore, cleaning up your website and securing it before it gets flagged by Google is of key importance.
Avoid damage to your brand reputation and breaking customers’ trust
As a business, your first priority should be to ensure that any data shared with you does not fall into the hands of a third-party organization. This not only breaches the moral contract you have with your customers but also affects your brand.
The solution? Use a security plugin!
A security plugin gives you all the functionalities you need conveniently tied up in a neat package and helps protect your WordPress website from possible breaches.
Security plugins are also great when you have limited technical knowledge and don’t feel comfortable tinkering with the more complex parts of your website.
But now, the question is,
Which WordPress security plugin should you use?
Well, to make your job easy, we compared some of the most popular security plugins to help you decide which one is the correct fit for your website.
For every security plugin, we go over details of important aspects like
- Protection: How well the plugin defends your website against threats & attacks
- Detection: How thorough it is when looking for issues, vulnerabilities or suspicious code
- Recovery: How it helps you restore your site back to a clean state if it is hacked
Based on these parameters, here is a comparison of 8 Best WordPress Security plugins of 2019:
1. WordFence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
A comprehensive feature suite, built with a focus on WordPress sites
WordFence is an end-to-end security solution built around WordPress, which means it stands guard right where an attacker tries to gain access for a complete website lockdown.
a. WordFence for Protection
WordFence security plugin runs at your server or at the endpoint. An ‘endpoint’ is the attacker’s target, that he tries to gain access to. In this case, that’s WordPress.
WordFence employs an endpoint-based Firewall which allows it to leverage user identity information for creating firewall rules. This isn’t possible with cloud-based counterparts.
The integrated malware scanner provides protection against brute force attacks and blocks requests with malicious content.
Another notable feature is the WordFence Threat Defence Feed that constantly updates firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IP addresses. These updates are based on information gathered from over 3 million WordPress websites that use WordFence.
b. WordFence for Detection
The WordFence Malware Scanner checks core files, themes, and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.
A comprehensive scan reports changes, repairs files, checks site for known security vulnerabilities and generates alerts for potential threats. The Threat Defence Feed adds real-time updates about all new malware signatures.
c. WordFence for Recovery
The Malware scanner fulfills this criterion in parts by repairing files. It detects and replaces files that have been changed with cleaner versions and deletes files that aren’t required anymore.
The WordFence team offers paid full site cleaning services to restore a compromised website to working order. This includes removal of threat, detailed analysis and reports, and protection from future attacks.
Best Features of WordFence Security Plugin:
- WordFence offers multisite support which enables you to track issues and alerts for multiple sites conveniently from a single place
- WordFence ensures login security with two- factor authentication
- Builds advanced security rules based on IP Range, Hostname, User Agent and Referrer
- Allows you to monitor Live Traffic and Block country-wise IP addresses
Single site license: $99/yr
Site clean-up service (includes the premium plugin): $179
2. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening
A powerful, all-in-one solution for business enterprises & web organizations
Sucuri is the ideal one-stop solution if you’re looking for a no-nonsense plugin that takes care of all security aspects of your website including detection of existing threats, defense against future attacks, speeding up your website performance, and creating a recovery plan.
a. Sucuri for Protection
Sucuri Security plugin constantly updates patches and server rules to ensure that your site isn’t an easy target. It also detects malicious bots and automatically blocks them.
With Sucuri, you can ensure that only authorized parties can access your website with an IP whitelist and block IP addresses based on geolocation.
b. Sucuri for Detection
The plugin comes with both cloud and server-based scanners that are powerful and lightweight for complete scanning of all aspects of your website.
To ensure the utmost security, Sucuri monitors each and every security-related event. This includes keeping a log of any change that occurs on your website, from log-in to file integrity. This can prove highly useful for security experts analyzing your website.
It also monitors SSL certificates & DNS, checks for SEO spam, website malware and monitors website uptime and basically does a comprehensive job of making sure that everything is clean and in working order.
c. Sucuri for Recovery
One thing that differentiates Sucuri from other plugins is its Post Hack Tools that are available even with the free version. It offers multiple tools and settings to use when there is suspicion of a hack. Malware removal & hack cleanup functionalities are inbuilt into the price of your premium plugin.
Additional Features of the Sucuri WordPress Security Plugin:
- Boosts Website Performance
- Mitigate advance DDOS attacks
Basic – $199
Pro – $299
Business – $499
3. Jetpack – Security, Performance & Site Management
Trusted user-friendly plugin, ideal for personal & small business websites
With over 5+ million active installations, Jetpack is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there. It is created by Automattic, the people who built WordPress and is a trusted plugin for site management, security, and performance.
It is ideal for personal websites and small businesses as it handles a lot of aspects of your website well. It not only offers security features, but it also includes marketing, site management, and performance optimization tools. This way you can kill multiple birds with one awesome plugin!
However, for the purposes of this article, let’s focus on security features.
a. Jetpack for Protection
Jetpack offers protection against brute-force attacks, auto-updates plugins, monitors downtime, ensures secure authentication and keeps a log of all site activities.
The feature list is not as comprehensive as the top-end WordPress security plugins, but all it’s best features are available within the cost-effective ‘personal’ pricing plan and are quite sufficient for a small website.
So, if you’re looking for basic security for your personal website without breaking the bank, Jetpack has you covered.
b. Jetpack for Detection:
The premium versions of Jetpack include Spam Filtering, Malware scanning and auto-fixes. The security scanning feature detects malware and threats and immediately alerts you about it. All known threats are automatically resolved and for others, you can contact their support team.
c.Jetpack for Recovery:
With the premium version of Jetpack, you get site backup and archive functionalities with unlimited storage space. If something goes wrong, it also automatically restores your website saving you the hassle of doing it manually.
Additional Features of the Jetpack WordPress plugin:
- Site management functionalities
- Site performance optimization
Personal – $39/yr or $3.50/month
Premium- $99 or $9/month
Professional – $299 or $29/month
4. SecuPress – WordPress Security Plugin
Cost-effective, comprehensive security solution with useful unique features
SecuPress is a relatively new player in the game but offers a lot of promising features. It offers both a free version with unique features and a premium version with automation & additional functionalities.
a. SecuPress for Protection:
SecuPress comes with a powerful firewall that blocks malicious incoming requests, bad crawlers, SQL injections, brute force attempts, bad request methods and also includes GeoIP blocking.
It lets you scan and delete default security keys and replace them with strong alpha-numeric passwords for better protection. SecuPress’ Profile and Settings pages are password-protected, and the plugin ensures that WordPress endpoints and APIs are blocking bad bots to keep your content protected.
SecuPress also strengthens WordPress core files by keeping them updated and changing their database prefix. It secures your WordPress login page with 2-factor authentication. It also runs a background anti-spam tool so you never have to worry about it.
b. SecuPress for Detection:
The plugin has an in-built 35-point security checklist and it generates a detailed report which includes a security grade for your website. In case you are planning to use it for a client, this complete analysis can be exported and shared with clients or colleagues.
The Malware Scanner scans your website at regular intervals to detect any malware or threats and generates a report with step-by-step guidelines on actions you need to take to get rid of them.
Another unique and beneficial feature that SecuPress offers is that it detects vulnerable plugins and themes and gives suggestions on which plugins need to be uninstalled to preserve security.
c. SecuPress for Recovery:
SecuPress offers automatic backups of your website that you can also store offline for additional security. You can also schedule the backup of your website at regular intervals
SecuPress also offers Malware Removal services to take care of cleaning and repairing your site and secure your site against future attacks.
Additional Features of SecuPress for WordPress:
- Schedule backups, full scans, and malware scans
- Complete logs
Single-Site License- $60
Malware Removal Services – $285
5. iThemes Security
Easy to use, feature-rich security plugin ideal for novice users
The iThemes Security plugin comes with an intuitive Security Dashboard that displays important information in a way that’s relevant to you and over 30 options & functionalities to secure your website.
a. iThemes for Protection:
iThemes provides 2-factor authentication & protected salts and security keys, enforces strong passwords and defends against brute force attacks by locking out users with too many failed login attempts.
It also monitors file integrity, keeps track of 404 errors and provides easy handling of user-level security with WordPress User Security Check. The ‘away mode’ makes the dashboard inaccessible during specific hours when you aren’t making changes to harden your WordPress site and ensure no changes are made by a malicious external party
b. iThemes for Detection:
iThemes Security makes use of Sucuri’s 10 point checklist to scan for known malware. Also, it checks blacklist status, website errors and out-of-date software and alerts you about any changes or suspicious activities.
c. iThemes for Recovery:
The iThemes plugin takes regular backup of WordPress database to help you recover from attacks easily. You can schedule these backups and have them be emailed to you or alternatively, send them to an off-site storage destination for added security.
Additional Features of the iThemes Security Plugin:
- Multisite security management
- Detects hidden 404 errors
- Release locked IP addresses
Single site license: $48
10 site license: $99
Unlimited site: $120
6. All-in-One WP Security and Firewall
100% free security plugin with beginner, intermediate, and advanced features
All-in-One WP Security and Firewall plugin comes with a comprehensive set of beginner to advanced features and an informative dashboard that displays everything you need to keep track off.
It evaluates your website security using a security points grading system has all its features conveniently categorized into basic, intermediate and advanced categories so you can apply them as a group, depending on your requirement.
The best part is, this plugin is completely free.
a. All-in-One WP Security & Firewall for Protection:
Firewall rules can be applied progressively using categories, making this plugin ideal for anything from a personal website to established businesses. You can even add advanced firewall protection with .htaccess files.
Its security features include user account, log in, registration security, database security, file system security, blacklist functionalities, brute force attack prevention and more.
b. All-in-One WP Security & Firewall for Detection:
The file change detection scanner generates alerts about any changes made which you can further investigate to determine their legitimacy.
c. All-in-One WP Security & Firewall for Recovery:
All-in-One WP Security & Firewall allows you to easily backup your original .htaccess and wp-config.php files which can be used to easily restore broken functionality.
Additional Features of All-in-One WP Security & Firewall:
- Temporarily lock down the front end
- Export/import security settings
7. BulletProof Security
Advanced security plugin with powerful tools & automation
BulletProof Security is a fully automated plugin with advanced security features to take care of all your needs. It comes with a 1-click installation wizard that configures and sets up everything for you.
a. BulletProofSecurity for Protection:
The Wizard Autofix tool goes through currently installed themes and plugins and automatically creates whitelist rules for known issues, automatically sets up and cleans .htaccess code for multiple WordPress caching plugins.
An IP-based Firewall protects your website while AutoPilot Mode automatically creates Firewall whitelist rules in real-time.
The plugin also provides protection from hacker and spam bots that target your website with Ddos or brute force attacks with JTC-lite and also automatically logs out of idle accounts.
The in-house AutoRestore Intrusion Detection & Prevention System (ARQ IDPS) protects files from being tampered with and quarantines hacker files while the Anti-Exploit guard protects your upload folders from being accessed and well, exploited.
b. BulletProof Security for Detection:
MScan Malware Scanner scans your WordPress files and Database for malicious files or code. Scans can be scheduled manually or run automatically at a regular interval.
The DB monitor is an intrusion detection system that alerts you via email of any new changes that occur in the WordPress Database. The plugin also comes with Login Security & Monitoring with dashboard alerts & stats.
c. BulletProof Security for Recovery:
BulletProof Security includes a database backup tool for full/partial manual or scheduled backup of your WordPress database, ARQ IDPS for automatically restoring original clean and pristine files in place of ones containing malicious code and Wizard Autofix to clean up and protect installed plugins and themes.
Additional Features of BulletProof Security Plugin:
- Security, 404 & HTTP error logging
- Customized Maintenance mode for regular check-ups
- Lifetime updates & support
$69.95 for unlimited sites
8. VaultPress – Real-time Backup & Security Scanning
Recovery focused security plugin with real-time backup & easy restoration
VaultPress is one of the most popular security plugins for WordPress, built by Automattic and focused on real-time backup and security scanning.
a. VaultPress for Protection
VaultPress is powered by Jetpack. It offers anti-spam tools that protect against spam comments and pingbacks by partnering up with the very popular Akismet plugin. You can also easily monitor the latest changes and sync process from the dashboard.
b. VaultPress for Detection
VaultPress scans your entire website for infiltration, malicious files or changes made anywhere on the site and emails you an alert about any suspicious activity. You can also monitor your website uptime.
c. VaultPress for Recovery
VaultPress is focused on easy real-time backups and restoration to help your website recover easily from any malicious attack or incident. The plugin conducts daily backups and has a 30-day backup archive and unlimited storage space.
This makes it easy for you to review issues and fix them. In addition to that, the plugin automatically fixes any dangerous threats and notifies you about the same.
With VaultPress, you can easily restore a clean version of your website with just the click of a button. This is also a convenient option for site migration. You can even download your website backup and store it offline, so you can have a backup of the backup.
Additional Features of VaultPress for WordPress:
- Expert support to help backup, restore and fix your website
- Google Analytics integration & ad revenue generation with business pricing plans
Personal- $39/ year
Professional – $299/year
That concludes our list of the best WordPress security plugins available.
So, which WordPress security plugin is the one for you?
If you’re looking for a comprehensive all-in-one, no-stone-left-unturned type of security plugin Sucuri or WordFence are great choices. Both come with strong Firewalls and thorough scanners. They will provide you with every functionality you need and then some.
But, if that feels overwhelming and you need your security plugin to be more cost-effective while still having all essential security parameters, Jetpack is a great choice. It is trustworthy, easy to use and beginner-friendly. It is also a multipurpose plugin that also includes marketing and performance optimization tools
If you want something even more pocket-friendly, the All-in-One Security plugin is a completely free security plugin with advanced features. Keep in mind that although the basic feature set is pretty safe to use, the intermediate and advanced options might break website functionality if not used correctly.
For the more seasoned developer, SecuPress offers great and unique security features even with the free version and you can always take a more proactive approach and automate functionalities with the very reasonably priced premium version.
BulletProof Security comes with powerful tools to give you iron-clad protection from any threats and is especially useful if you want to focus on Database security or need a cost-effective multisite solution. However, the user interface is not very beginner-friendly and has a slight learning curve.
If you want a more recovery and back-up focused security plugin VaultPress is the way to go, while iThemes comes with a strong 10 point check scanner and a user-friendly intuitive monitor to keep track of everything.
Choosing the best security plugin for WordPress is a matter you need to give great thought to, because website security is an important part of your business. So, which plugin are you planning to choose? Drop a comment to let us know!