Are you planning to start a website and wish it would be a successful venture? If yes, you must invest a lot of skills, energy, time and money into it. One of the most important considerations is maintenance, upgrades and security. Maintenance and security are the two most critical considerations for keeping your website successful, optimal, and protected from malicious attacks. In this regard, you must have a sufficient upkeep toolbox for your online business. This will make sure you have every necessary tool and software to maintain the website and keep it running optimally and securely. If you are lacking Web Application Firewall in your upkeep toolbox, you are missing a key element for your website.
Web Application Firewall initialized as WAF is a powerful asset in every website upkeep toolbox to help you safeguard your website. It works by streamlining many of your security related tasks automatically saving you time, money and energy. To make sure you understand WAF inside out, we’ll start by explaining what a WAF is and its importance and guide you step-by-step on how to add a WAF to your WordPress Site.
What is Web Application Firewall, and why is it important?
When WordPress security is in question, there are several issues that can accrue. This is the reason why most WordPress site owners are in a constant move to invest in WAFs as a way of protecting their websites from malicious actors and bots. The WAF is simply a program that filters and monitors the application traffic and the website traffic and identify and prevent any malicious activities from permeating the website or attacking it.
It simply acts as a gate between the WordPress site and the internet. When users are accessing your website, they will be required to pass through the WAF first.
Types of WAF
There are three main categories of WAF that you can choose from today depending on your website needs, type of business and budget. They include:
- Hardware/Network Based-
- Installed on Local Area Networks (LANs)
- Relatively expensive
- Best for Large Businesses and organizations
- Software based
- Found within Virtual Machines (VMs)
- They are Flexible
- They are affordable
- Best for small and medium-sized Business
- Run by the Service providers
- Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Based on the Cloud
- Don’t require Physical Hardware or VMs
- Suitable for both Small and medium-sized Businesses.
Why is WAF important?
WAF simply acts as a line of defense protecting the website from users. The WAF can secure the website and protect it from most of the attacks including:
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
- File Inclusion
- SQL injections
- Cross-site forgery
- Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks
- Man in the Middle (MiTM) attacks.
Unfortunately, WAF cannot defend the website from all types of attacks. It is not an all-in-one defense for your website and for that reason, you need to combine different capabilities from other programs. But still, it’s a critical component of the broader website security suite.
How to add a How to Add a Web Application Firewall on WordPress?
With all that knowledge about WAFs and their importance in security your website, it’s the right time to understand the four key steps of adding WAF in your WordPress website.
Step 1: Choose the right WAF for your website
The first step in this case is to familiarize yourself with the different types of WAFs that are available today. As we have discussed above, there are three main categories of WAF:
- Hardware-Based or Network Based WAF
- Software Based
- Cloud Based
The first category (Network Based WAFs) are added to the LANs and are easily deployed through a physical Hardware. The main objectives of installing network Based WAFs is to improve the speed and the performance of the application and the servers. Suitable for larger organizations and businesses that have relatively higher levels of traffic on daily basis.
Software based WAFs on the other hand are located in the VMs. This means that they are obviously not on the physical appliances but their components and functionality is similar to the network based WAFs. Their main selling point is that they are flexible and can be applied in both cloud-based applications and physical locations.
Cloud-Based WAFs are usually offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In this regard, everything is based inclusively in the cloud. It easily means that they don’t require any VMs or physical hardware. They are very affordable mainly because the providers handle all the updates and optimizations.
Step 2: Specific needs
The second step is to identify the needs of your WordPress from WAF. Now that we are discussing the WAFs for WordPress, you are obviously going to need the Cloud-based WAFs. There are few other options you have. But before digesting that point, start by making a list of all the requirements for your WordPress site. Consider some factors such as your Budget, the level of customization or control you want and eventually whether you want the tool to perform any other kind of maintenance or security related tasks. With the list of requirements, the process of comparing the tools is easier.
Step 3: Choose a WAF tool
Now that you have penned your requirements, it’s time to research and choose a WAF tool. In this regard, we recommend focusing on WordPress Plugins. Using add-ons is the most straightforward option you have. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of options to choose from to add a web application firewall to your website. But in this case, we will only list some of the most straightforward and beginner-friendly options:
This is the most common security company known for a plugin that offers a wide variety of monitoring and auditing tools. It can protect against Malware, brute-force, Domain name and several other risks.
This tool is loved for its Content Delivery Network and makes the best alternative for people that wants to increase speed and optimize their website.
WordFence has over 4 million active installations proving that it’s a very reliably WAF plugin for security and optimization.
Step 4: Installation
The final step in this case is to install the plugin. Now that you have decided on the WAF tool to pick for your specific needs, you need to head to the installation and implementation step. The installation step will mainly depend on the tool you picked. Always check with the tool’s support center for specific instructions. In case of any issues with the installation, always check the knowledge base or contact the provider.
In conclusion, WordPress security is a prime consideration. If the security of your website is compromised, the loss is immense, and it can translate to heavy long run burdens. Implementing a WAF WordPress plugin is the only way of ensuring that your website is working securely, optimally and improves user experience.
Need assistance configuring your Web Application Firewall? Contact us! We’re happy to help.
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