Plugin-based firewall: The moment we are born, we humans are under security. We are fed, kept under a shelter called home and we are given more layers of protection as we grow up to become someone important (like armed guards). Similarly, a website needs several security layers. One such layer is a firewall. It takes action to strengthen a website and has in place reinforcements for when hackers attempt to get into a website.
To protect a website, there are various types of firewall available. They were trained to deal with various kinds of risks by taking different kinds of steps. There is also a cloud-based firewall and an automated firewall supported by web hosting, in addition to the plugin-based firewall. It is possible to mount and customize a plugin-based firewall from your WordPress website, much like any other plugin. It intercepts requests made to your site and tests if the request is legitimate or malicious, which is what it does. Every one of these firewalls comes with its own combination of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s try them out.
Advantages of Using a Plugin-based Firewall:
Difficult to Bypass
The firewall remains on the website’s server, which ensures that the website serves like a personal bodyguard. A guard who doesn’t ever leave your side. The firewall defends your site at the network level from a distance. They’re like a guard that defends you from the door outside. They’ll cause you harm if hackers manage to penetrate the guard and into your room. But if an armed guard is right next to you, then hackers hacking into your room will have to negotiate with the guard first before they enter the site.
Tailored for WordPress
The fact that plugins are partially responsible for the success enjoyed by WordPress is no mystery. Plugins help you conveniently build websites which are constructed specifically for WordPress. That is one of the beauties of using a plugin for WordPress. Like every other browser, plugin-based firewalls are unique to WordPress, making them simple to use and easy to customize. In a network firewall, certain tasks, such as protecting a certain WordPress archive, are often difficult to execute.
Easy to Configure
You don’t have to reach out to anyone with a plugin-based firewall to customize the tool. You can quickly activate or disable it from your website dashboard since it’s a plugin that sits on your site server. It saves time that you can now spend working to better your website and business.
Disadvantages of Using a Plugin-based Firewall:
Not impossible to Bypassed
Whenever anyone submits a request to your site, the request goes through the firewall that decides if it is a legitimate or malicious request. But the thing is, hackers will always find a way to circumvent the firewall and connect with your web server directly.
Relies on Security based on signature
The firewall uses signature-based security, much like a lot of malware scanners. This suggests that the firewall balances the request to a variety of known malicious requests or requests that are known to cause damage to the pages they access when someone sends a request to the web server. Hackers are clever and creative now. They send challenging requests that have not been detected before and are thus not considered as dangerous by firewalls.
Can’t Protect Against User Issues
Firewalls can help secure the login page for WordPress, but they can’t protect you from user problems, such as a bad username and password. Hackers can brute force into your site quickly if your passwords are not secure enough (check out how to construct a strong password). And there is all that can’t hinder a firewall. Certainly, some firewalls block users from accessing the WordPress login page after 3 failed login attempts in succession. But if a bot was brute forcing its way in and in the second attempt was able to guess the correct (and apparently weak) password, the firewall would do little. The firewall will not safeguard the website in such situations, which is why diligence on the part of website owners is necessary. Protection is a general measure, where site owners would have to be interested in taking the appropriate precautions.
Can’t Protect Against DDoS
WordPress does not have a built-in DDoS attack security feature, and in comparison, the plugin firewall can not provide protection either. That is when a hacker floods a website with so much traffic that allows the website to slow down or even shut down, for those who are ignorant of what a DDoS attack is. This is a means for a page to be taken down. In this case, network-based firewalls are more effective so they can filter malicious traffic before reaching your host. For DDoS threats, the plugin-based firewall is basically worthless.
Since the plugin firewall is located on the website and uses the resources of the site to run its feature, it appears to slow down the site. Each time anyone makes a request for your website, the firewall of plugins evaluates the request using the tools of your site to slow down the site.
Over to You
The type of security you need depends on whether or not you are going to use a plugin-based firewall. It’s safer to stop plugin-based firewalls if your site is under DDoS attack. In the other hand, if you need security from attacks by brute force, then firewalls for plugins are suitable.
You must first learn what kind of typical hack attempts are being made on your site and understand what kind of security measure your site needs. That said, the safest way to reduce a website’s vulnerability is to take several steps (what we call ‘layered defense’) where the firewall functions along with a variety of other security measures to provide a WordPress server with full protection, such as site hardening, routine upgrades, frequent backups, etc.
To allow this step, one can use various tools (basically plugins) or one can use a robust WordPress protection plugin like MalCare, which offers a lot of features along with a firewall. In pursuit of weak IP addresses, the firewall monitors hundreds of thousands of online websites (basically IPs that are known to cause harm to websites they visit). This labels them and keeps them from reaching the website. And there is a measure against brute force attacks where CAPTCHA is allowed after 3 consecutive failed login attempts. Find out all about the WordPress firewall on MalCare from here.