How To Use a Firewall To Boost Your Website Security Against Attacks

According to recent statistics, cyber losses have increased nearly six times worldwide in the past year. 

What does this mean for website owners?

Any website is at risk from the unseen danger of cyberattacks. You need to do everything possible to secure your website and personal information against cyber threats.

If you’re updating your small business cybersecurity practices or just refreshing your website, consider adding a firewall to help keep it safe from major threats.

Keep reading to learn:

  • What a firewall is and how it works to secure your website
  • Why a website without a firewall is at risk
  • Which firewall plugins to use

What a Firewall Is and Why You Need One To Secure Your Website

A firewall is network security software or a hardware device that acts as a filter to protect your website (or network) and private data from unauthorized access.

The main reason to use a firewall for your website is to protect it from malicious programs that could access it through the internet. 

A firewall works by analyzing a website based on predetermined rules. It monitors any attempts to access your website and blocks any data that doesn’t meet its set of criteria. 

When using a firewall for your website, only trusted IP addresses and sources can access it. A firewall only lets in the traffic it’s configured to accept.

For instance, you can configure a firewall to block traffic from specific locations and applications and allow only relevant and important data to pass through.

How You Risk Your Website Security by Not Using a Firewall

A built-in firewall in modern operating systems could give your website some basic security. But you will have more control installing a third-party firewall. Here are some reasons why you can’t go without a firewall if you want to secure your website.

Compromised Data

Without a firewall, your information is vulnerable to outsiders. It means you’re allowing someone else to control your website. You are at risk of hackers committing fraud or even deleting important information from your database.

Open Access

A website without a firewall accepts any connection available with nothing to detect threats coming to it. This could expose your website to malicious users.

Website Shutdown

Not having a firewall could allow attackers to crash your website and deny you access. Getting your website running again could cost you time and money.

Using Plugins To Protect Your Website

There are several firewall plugins available to secure your website. Here are two you might find useful.

Wordfence

Wordfence is the most popular WordPress security plugin in use today. This plugin offers both free and a range of premium services to help protect your website. 

Wordfence uses a web application firewall (WAF) that monitors your website’s overall traffic behavior and any attempted attacks on your website.

The plugin helps protect your computer against known web-based threats and keeps your data safe. This firewall also identifies and blocks targeted threats against the WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

Other features of WordFence include:

  • Protecting you from brute force attacks, keeping off password attacks, and giving alerts to create strong passwords.
  • Empowering you to set your blocking rules. You can block incoming traffic based on hostname, browser, IP, and IP range.
  • Monitoring your WordPress plugins to make sure they are updated against the latest security threats. This is available for premium packages.

Bluehost SiteLock

If you’re using Bluehost for your hosting services, you can also use SiteLock to reinforce your website security.

Sitelock is a web application firewall that inspects HTTP traffic and web applications on your website. Sitelock secures your website by:

  • Protecting your web applications from common hacks from cybercriminals, including cross-site scripting (XSS) susceptibilities, SQL injections, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.  
  • Keeping away targeted attacks from malicious visitors and protecting important website information. The firewall does this by blocking any potential loopholes that can open up to your website.
  • Improving your website’s load times through the content delivery network (CDN) feature. A faster loading website means visitors will want to spend more time on your website.
  • Providing PCI compliance, which is required for all companies doing online businesses involving credit cards.
  • Improving your credibility with search engines.

A firewall should protect your website from internal and external threats, and it should prevent malicious software from gaining access to your information. With other good security habits, a firewall strengthens your resistance to possible threats and keeps your data safe.

Are you ready to build a secure website? Choose the hosting services that WordPress recommends for website owners. Consider one of Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages today.

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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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