WordPress is undoubtedly one of the largest platforms in the world for building websites. However, since its establishment, things have come a long way. It goes without saying that the safety and security of a site always remains a huge concern.
Table Of Contents
How to protect WordPress websites against DDoS
Installing WP is rather easy and straightforward. However, as you go on adding more and more themes, plug-ins, and codes to the website, the site becomes more prone to hacking.
Speaking of which, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services) is a common term that people familiar with the online world must be aware of.
A DDoS is a method of attack in which the traffic is sent towards a single website. The idea is to make the target stop responding to the requests. This attack can quickly destroy any website. So, you need to take proper precautionary measures.
Below we have discussed some crucial methods in which you can protect your website.
1. Switches & Routers
Today routers and switches come with software that can identify fake IPs from where illegitimate requests are coming. This way, rate-limiting software is able to stop the system from eating away the network resources. They are able to block the ‘dark addresses’ SYN flood attacks.
Mostly, you will not get access to the networking hardware that the hosting company provides. Therefore, it is best to go with a hosting company that has reputable data centers and provides protection from DDoS attacks. One of the best examples is 1&1 hosting provider, which offers multi-level DDoS protection.
2. IPS (Intrusion Prevention systems)
These systems primarily detect DDoS attack behavior. Many security companies that provide security services develop these systems to identify illegitimate traffic patterns and filter them out. IPS systems detect data packets transferred on the internet and work to block any potential malicious activities.
3. Scrubbing and Blackholing
All incoming traffic is made to go through ‘scrubbing center’ before it could access any application or network.
The scrubbing centers are run by companies that specialize in providing DDoS mitigation services, and their services are quite expensive. However, if you happen to have been victimized by massive DDoS attacks that might affect your business negatively, then there is no choice left but to go with DDoS mitigation services.
You could implement all the measures in the world, but nothing works as efficiently as monitoring things with your own eyes. Some initial signs of a DDoS attack would include slow loading pages. In that case, you can take pre-emptive measures by blocking lousy IP addresses before the whole website comes crashing down.
Make it a point to run a thorough scan of all the main pages of the website. Anything out of place is usually a sign that something might be wrong and you must take precautionary measures to block out any suspicious activities. The same holds true for web performance stats which appear to have dropped for no reason. This might be suggestive that an attack has victimized you.
5. Run Regular Updates
Running regular updates is essential not just to protect the website from DDoS attacks but several other types of attacks too. It’s vital that your site remains up to date. The WordPress community releases regular platform version updates. Make sure to run those updates. Additionally, you must also be mindful of running server-side updates from time and again. Regular updates strengthen the security system of the platform.
6. Use Security Plug-ins
WordPress is undeniably a powerful content management and website creation platform, and you must come across countless themes and plug-ins available online. As an added security measure, you can use the security plugins. These extensions will assist you to monitor the DDoS attack attempts accurately and will also help you to prevent such hack attempts from happening on the site.
Project security is my favorite extension when it comes to website security. It comes with an integrated advanced Antivirus and Firewall mechanism.
7. Virtual Private Networks
VPNs are encrypted servers whose job is to hide the original website server. This type of masking makes it difficult for users to locate the origin of a website in a DDoS attack. The original purpose of the VPNs was so users could connect to the internet safely. However, today many sites utilize this method to offer an added safety protection.
VPNs also offer added protection by encrypting the website traffic which discourages the hackers from using tools that intercept and access the information exchanged.
8. Block XML-RPC
WordPress has inbuilt functionalities that block Distributed Denial of Services that send HTTP request. Be sure that your website has blocked out the XML-RPC. If multiple websites are targeting your site, it will be easier for your site to be affected by a DDoS attack.
9. Cloud Distribution Networks
CDNs or cloud distribution networks are another measures you can implement to avoid DDoS attacks. These networks do that by spreading the web traffic across several servers. In case a website is attacked by the DDoS attack, the traffic gets distributed across multiple services. The goal is to avoid the website from crashing.
CDNs also come with security measures like connect request limits, encryption, and CAPTCHAs to avoid DDoS attacks from happening. Though most of this services are paid, there is also a free option with limited functionality, such as Distributed Denial of Services.
10. Make a Plan
They say that prevention is better than cure. In line with that same philosophy, might we suggest having a plan ready in the event your website is attacked by DDoS?
You need to have a contingency plan for that. A plan should typically look like this:
- Start using all the necessary tools and technology that might help you handle the DDoS attack.
- Identify the IP address ranges and implement the necessary measures to avoid it from accessing the website.
- Change the IP address temporarily. This should derail the attackers for a while.
- Try talking to the web hosting company and see if they can implement any additional measures to help you out.
- If nothing seems to be working out, just shut down your website. This should encourage the attacker and get them to move on.
- Keep analyzing your website from time to time to see if you can prevent future attacks.
DDoS attacks can victimize anyone who is in the online arena. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself as much as you can to protect your website from malicious activities. Hopefully, the techniques and tips discussed above will offer you the protection that you needed.