WordPress is one of the most useful, versatile content management systems available. It is also the number-one most popular content-management platform. Plus, it’s free to use. However, WordPress does come with some drawbacks. One of the most notable of these drawbacks is the ease with which hackers can infiltrate WordPress sites. In fact, 90% of all hacked content-management platform sites in 2018 were WordPress sites. Insecure hosting platforms, themes, and plugins, as well as brute-force attacks, are all routes by which hackers can gain entry to your WordPress website and wreak havoc by spamming, disabling, or taking protected information off of your site.
Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your WordPress site to prevent hacks and spamming. Two main tools that can be helpful for preventing WordPress hacks are UFW and Fail2Ban. Keep reading to learn more about these two tools and how you can use them to protect your WordPress site.
What is UFW?
UFW is the default firewall configuration tool for the Ubuntu operating system. Creating strong and secure firewalls is important to protect your site, but it can be frustrating and confusing. UFW provides a user-friendly solution to this problem.
UFW is designed to make it easier for WordPress users to create more secure firewalls to protect their site. Firewalls are network security systems that scan incoming traffic to your network and determine which traffic to let through and which to block. They are equipped with predetermined security rules that they follow in order to block certain incoming traffic that might represent an attack or attempted hack from reaching your site in the first place. UFW makes it easy and accessible for you to set up firewalls for your WordPress site as well as configure new rules to use firewalls to better protect your site.
What is Fail2Ban?
Fail2Ban is an intrusion detection software framework that is designed to protect your WordPress site against brute-force attacks specifically. Brute-force attacks are attempts by hackers to gain entry to your WordPress site simply by guessing your password.
WordPress offers a variety of plugins that are designed to protect your WordPress site against brute-force attacks by hackers and infiltrators. Creating a secure password and limiting the number of available successive login attempts for your site can also help prevent hackers from gaining entry to your WordPress site via brute-force attacks.
However, all of these protective measures can put major additional load on your site’s server in the case of a brute-force attack. In the case of a severe brute-force attack, this additional load can disable your server entirely. Fail2Ban is designed to protect your site from brute-force attacks before the traffic from the attack reaches the WordPress system in the first place in order to prevent your site’s server from becoming overloaded and shutting down.
Fail2Ban works in a very simple yet very effective way. It scans server log files for your WordPress site and detects any failed attempts to login to your WordPress account. When it detects too many failed attempts that all originate from a single IP address, Fail2Ban adds a rule to your site’s server’s firewall that prevents all traffic from that detected IP address from reaching your site. After a certain amount of time, Fail2Ban will stop dropping the traffic from the detected IP address—but will start dropping the traffic again if a high number of failed login attempts is detected again in the future.
Don’t worry—Fail2Ban won’t lock you out of your own WordPress account if you accidentally type in the wrong password. It only responds with protective measures to excessively high numbers of successive failed login attempts from a single IP address.
How to Protect Your WordPress Site with UFW and Fail2Ban
Both UFW and Fail2Ban are very easy to install and configure on your computer in order to use these tools to protect your WordPress site from brute-force attacks, hacking, spamming and infiltration as a whole.
The installation and configuration process for UFW and Fail2Ban differ between different operating systems. However, the process is very fast and simple if you’re using any major up-to-date operating system—so there’s no excuse not to install and configure these two tools to prevent WordPress hacks for your site.