WordPress is easy and folks love it. It’s offers a quick way to set up a dynamic website, along with sophisticated way to manage and create a large amount of content. Plus, it offers a super easy way to add functionality without having any need to write even a single line of code because there is a large community of developers who discover this platform each day and makes tons of free plugins.
But WordPress is quite easy to get hacked as well. When things are easy, malicious elements make their own way to get entered into a website, thus crippling its abilities to perform legitimate functions. From the past recent years, WordPress has been beleaguered by various types of security attacks. The reason being, the platform has been actively used by almost every website on the Internet, thereby making it an attractive target for the web bots.
The Hogwash Approach of Tightening WordPress Security
As we know that WordPress is free and extremely easy to use, but when it comes to strengthening its level of security, it’s something that probably not so easy to achieve. In fact, many people are often misled by the community itself because they often try to talk about WordPress security that isn’t an easy thing to get the grasp of. No doubt, the Internet is over burdened with thousands of “How to Secure WordPress” articles. Read them thoroughly, and you’ll notice none of them offer a solution that will actually help you achieve a desired level of security, rather they will confuse you.
You pick any of the article they will only emphasis on installing this or that plugin, or simply advise you to enable or disable some of the settings, or if you are PHP master, they will compel you to do some coding magic and your WordPress is secure. All in all, it’s a pretty good method to get you started, but it’s not enough. Security is not a one time effort but a constant one, which ultimately help you avoid becoming part of a major problem.
WordPress security should become an integral part of your business activity and procedures. Security level should be constantly evaluated and checked just like you keep an eye on your applications and other website processes. Businesses should understand a clear difference between securing a WordPress site and keeping it secure for a considerably long period of time.
Audit Logs and Log Files are a Valuable Source
WordPress security audit logs and log files are a good way of keeping a close check on the security of your website and alerts you immediately before they become a major issue. The plugins do this by keeping an audit log of all the users of your website, and logging the amount of activities they perform via the admin interface of your website.
The plugins keep a close track on the number of activities, including content editing, user accounts, plugins, themes, and the settings undertaken in the WordPress admin area. Although, the plugin performs an extensive range of security related functions, but they can also be totally customized as per your needs.
Not only this, but they also assist security professionals and system administrators to closely monitor the working of the website, its softwares, and applications. They also help them mitigate the effect of web attacks by identifying in advance the exploited area, so that they could immediately shut it down.
Log files are also very useful when you need to identify the extent of harm the hacker has caused to your website, so that it could be repaired as soon as possible.
Types of WordPress Audit Log Plugins
The WordPress repository is filled with a number of WordPress audit log plugins. Some of them are:
WP security Audit Log is a free plugin which is developed specifically to raise the security level of your website. The plugin is extremely easy to use and offers an effective way of monitoring the security of your website. It also keeps a security track of all the plugins, themes, settings, and upgrades of your website.
2. Audit Trail
The main objective of this plugin is to closely monitor the number of activities undertaken by each user including logins, comments, posts, pages etc. It also checks the number of themes changed, updated, and per user visit on a specific page.
Simple History is a dynamic plugin that goes far simply just informing about the user activity. The plugin works perfect in reporting about the activation and deactivation of different plugins, failed user accounts, widgets and much more. What is that makes this plugin so much powerful is its ability of monitoring the functioning of BBPress forum. Another great feature of this plugin is that it presents the audit log through the RSS feed, which can be accessed by a specific URL.
If you run a website that uses WordPress, it’s your responsibility not to let your website get trampled by the attacks perpetrated by the hackers. Make sure it is secure and efficiently allowing your users doing their desired job.
Author: Ben Wilson is a WordPress developer and editor at WordPrax Ltd.,PSD to WordPress theme service company providing niche WordPress services globally.