Website security is extremely important and not giving it the right attention can affect your website in several ways. Many of us are aware of extreme cases of hacks that deface a website but we may not be so conversant with how exploitation could distribute malware through your websites and embark on email spamming campaigns and phishing through your websites without your consent. Poor security configurations can also cause brute force attacks and high load issues which web hosts frown at very seriously and could punish in several ways including a permanent suspension.
So, after putting in many efforts into designing your beautiful website, you should also never fail to take appropriate measures to secure the Website from attacks. Building an attractive website without security is a complete waste of time.
In this post, we consider Joomla website security. Joomla is the second most infected website platform according to SUCURI. Joomla also happens to be the second most widely used Content Management software after WordPress.
There are two ways you can protect websites from online threats.
- Cloud (hosted outside of your website) – It’s always good to have cloud-based security providers like Cloudflare, SiteLock, or SUCURI. They protect your site from their network edge and block the malicious requests coming to your web server/hosting.
- Plugins/Configuration (On your server/website) – protect your website with the extensions which you install within your Joomla.
Joomla Security Plugins
Joomla has a depository of quality plugins you can choose from. Here is a list of tested security plugins we can recommend for your Joomla website.
Protects you from intrusions and hacking attempts, RSFirewall! is one of the most advanced Joomla extensions out there. It has a bunch of security features, such as:
- Ability to add an extra backend password
- Block certain IPs
- Prevent brute force attacks
- Detects and deletes dangerous files that aren’t required
- Optimizes and repairs database
- Displays CAPTCHA during login when attempted too many times
- Blocks selected countries from visiting your website
- Checks and alerts you if certain important files are modified
There are a lot more features that you’d love to start using right away, so be sure to check this one out.
JSecure is an advanced security extension that intercepts unethical hacking attacks and provides all-round protection to your site. The simple user interface is designed to make the admin use all the parameters with ease and without having any detailed technical skills.
JSecure lists 16 key features going for it including the following:
1) Google Re-Captcha Security – jSecure Google Recaptcha feature provides secure authentication to the Joomla administrator system. jSecure Google reCAPTCHA feature protects your Joomla administrator access from spam attacks. It does this while letting your valid users pass through with ease.
2) Secure Image Authentication – Secure Image Authentication function adds a second layer of security of user authentication to your Joomla administrator system. Secure image authentication matches the MD5 hash value of the uploaded image with the stored image.
3) Spam IP Protection – This is a very useful online security feature. The Spam IP Protection feature blocks the access of spammers to your Joomla administrator system. Spam IP protection uses spam protection API to identify the spam IP and block them thereby protecting your website.
4) Country Block – Using the Country Block feature website owners can block countries from where their website’s joomla administrator section is attacked most.
5) Change Database Prefix – Changing the database table prefix is an easy way for an attacker to destroy your website. Our change DB prefix functionality prevents hackers from damaging the database by changing its prefix.
6) WHOIS Lookup Tool – Using the WHOIS Lookup tool website administrator can find out the domain’s name servers (DNS) information used for service
7) Email Scan – This feature allows website owners to blacklist spam email addresses in Joomla administrator. During user registration on the front end, these email ids are matched with the ones saved in the database. If it matches user is blocked from registering on the front end.
8) Multiple User keys – Using this feature a user can set multiple secret keys to different groups. Multiple secret keys can be set to different groups to whom you wish to grant access to your Joomla! backend without sharing your master passkey. The multiple User Keys feature is an important user authentication feature.
9) Form-Based Authentication – Form-based authentication is the first layer of user authentication security which allows a user to enter a secret key in a form instead of a URL.
10) Auto Ban IP Address – Auto Ban IP feature is used to block a specific IP address. This is an important website security protection feature that helps your website from spammers’ attack.
11) Component Security – Restrict access to other components installed on your site by setting passwords for them.
12) Access Graph feature – Detailed graph to show successful & unsuccessful login attempts on your site administration.
13) Master Password Protection – You can block access to the secure component from other users. Setting to “Yes”, allows you to create a password that will be required when any administrator tries to access the security configuration settings in the Joomla administration area.
14) Master Login Control – The login control feature restricts multiple users from logging into the site using the same username and password.
15) Admin Password Protection – Added password protection to add an extra security layer over the administrator folder using htaccess and htpassword.
16) Black Listed and White Listed IPs – Bans an IP automatically after some specific attempts for a particular time period from accessing the admin area.
A full-blown webmaster toolbox, Watchful Client, can perform a variety of tasks, like:
- Automatically updating your trusted extensions
- Backup your website
- Scan the entire website
- Generate a detailed report
- Monitor uptime
- Check SSL certificate
- SEO audit
And the good news is, most of the above offerings can be automated to save you a massive amount of time while being up-to-date and secure. It is rated 4.5/5 and has 29 reviews, out of which a majority of them are positive.
Hackers are everywhere throughout the internet, and the best way to protect your website from them is to tighten the admin area first. With AdminExile, you can do that with the utmost ease. You can restrict certain accounts from logging into your site and even detect brute-force attacks.
Moreover, if in case you’ve forgotten your key, you can get it back using their Lost Key Recovery option. One of my favorite features has got to be the Stealth Mode, which detects any signs of security risk and prevents it.
Believe it or not, sometimes the unusual spike in your traffic isn’t because of humans. It’s because of bots, and they aren’t good for your server, speed, and bandwidth. Thankfully, this extension called BadBot Protection can completely get rid of this problem. It can detect and block “bad” bots and only keep the good ones that are necessary.
It can also:
- Prevent content scraping
- Prevent theft and fraud
- Prevent cyber attacks
- Optimize the website for the highest performance
- Reduce spam
It is safe to say that BadBot Protection is your all-in-one website guardian.
Stop Bad Bots
Stop Bad Bots, SPAM bots, Crawlers, and spiders. Table with more than 4.600 bad bots included.
Bad bots consume bandwidth, put SPAM in your comments and contact form, slow down, overload your server, and can hack your server, steal your content, and look for vulnerabilities to compromise your server.
Stop Bad Bots is completely self-contained and does not need to connect to any outside API or service. No DNS, API, or Cloud Traffic Redirection. No Slowing Down Your Site!
You can manage it (include new bots or deactivate bots) from your Joomla site panel.
No .htaccess or robots.txt is required.
This tool doesn’t block Google Bot and Microsoft (Live) bots.
Remember that intelligent student in your class that has figured out every single way of scoring well? JomDefender is a lot like that. It can dissect every single move of hackers beforehand and help you protect your website.
It can add a new layer of passwords in the admin area, deny specific IPs, and even check suspicious files. Besides, you can also optimize your page for loading time and disable plugin functionalities.
Antispam by CleanTalk
If you’ve been a website owner for a long now, you know the amount of spam you receive on a daily basis. Too much spam means the degradation of the image of your website, and we don’t want that. Thankfully, Joomla has an extension to tackle this, and it’s called Antispam by CleanTalk.
It can block any type of spam, including comments and registration. If you have a ton of spam already on your website, you can check for that and clean it with ease.
Another very useful feature is the ability to determine whether the email address used to register/comment is legitimate or not, helping you cut down on automation bots.
It is super easy to install, and you can enjoy 24/7 support in case of any doubts or problems.
Admin Tools Professional
Your admin area is the door to accessing your website, either by you or by hackers. Keeping that in mind, developers at Akeeba came up with this extension called Admin Tools Professional that’ll help you tremendously tighten the security around your admin area. It can:
- Filter bad language
- Block/allow certain IPs
- Prevent attacks and exploits like SQL Injection
- Block selected countries
- Disallow installation of extensions
- Automatically block IPs that are known to offend repeatedly
With one single subscription to this extension, you can use it on as many websites as you want.
As the name hints, Eyesite literally keeps an eye on your website to check if any files were added, deleted, or modified. Since this task is nearly impossible to execute on our own, this extension becomes a must-have for all website owners.
Once the scanning process is done, Eyesite will alert you by email whenever it finds any suspicious activities. You can even view the current status and history of the file changes if needed.
No Right Click, No Copy
Plagiarism is everywhere these days, and many people are looking to rip off your content to be used on their website/project. In order to prevent that from happening, you can use No Right Click, No Copy extension to disable the ability to right-click and select text. You can also disable the action of the keyboard shortcut “CTRL + A.”
You can either use it on all pages or only the selected ones, depending upon your requirements.
Antivirus Website Protection
Antivirus Website Protection by SiteGuarding is to prevent/detect and remove malicious viruses and suspicious codes. It helps you to discover backdoors, Trojan horses, worms, adware, spyware, etc.
It sounds like a good deal for FREE.
Security Check web firewall helps in protecting against more than 90 attack types, including SQLi, LFI, XSS, and Session protection.
It’s a perfect single component to provide Login protection, Access & Site security.
SecurityCheck is a security suite that lets you manage entire Joomla extensions centrally and offer the following protections.
- Web Application Firewall – protection from more than 90 types of vulnerability attacks, including SQL, LFI, XSS, etc.
- Default page redirection if an attack is detected
- Session protection
- Vulnerability scanner
- .Htaccess protection
- File manager
When using Joomla extensions or plugins, bear in mind that some of them may not work well for your website due mainly to your website version or PHP settings. There are other reasons that could cause errors for your website after the installation of a plugin.
It is important to note that you must check the functionality of your website after installing an extension or a plugin to be sure it has not broken your website. If you find any errors, simply uninstall the plugin or find a way to undo the action. If it becomes difficult to fix the error from the Joomla admin backend, you can go through cPanel to delete the files manually and see how that addresses the problem. If the problem persists, contact your web host for help.
I hope the above extensions help you to secure your Joomla site from online threats. Along with the extension, you should also consider implementing cloud-based WAF, such as SUCURI, for comprehensive website protection.