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Introduction to Joomla Security:
Welcome to our guide for Joomla Firewall & Security Plugins.
Even with the recently reported arrests of the Russian ransomware group REvil, it is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting your website from online threats. For this reason, some of the world’s leading site-building platforms and site hosting providers already provide built-in security measures for websites created and hosted within their networks. However, are these enough to keep your site protected from malware and other online attacks?
Regardless how long you have been operating the Joomla website, optimising a best Joomla security can be a challenging task. To stay on top of the ever-changing compliance requirements and ever-evolving security vulnerabilities, we recommend you partner with the Sucuri team of experts who specialise in optimising business-critical websites and apps including Joomla site, and can take your site security to the next level.
In this feature, we will look into the five Best Joomla Security plugins. As with our other reviews, we made our choices based on each Joomla security plugin’s functionality, value for money, and effectiveness when it comes to protecting users’ websites.
What Exactly is a Joomla Firewall and Security Extension?
Joomla is a CMS-driven site builder and hosting platform that is considered by experts to be an excellent alternative to WordPress which has long been the CMS editor of choice of many site owners across the globe.
As with WordPress and other platforms, a Joomla firewall and security extension is an application built into the platform or a third-party Joomla security plugin. Specifically, it is voluntarily installed by the site owner or manager to protect their sites from the infiltration of malware or forcible entry by hackers. This is achieved through Joomla security plugin's real-time monitoring and features geared towards identifying and purging threats.
Our List of the Best Joomla Security Extensions and Plugins:
Here is our vetted list of the best Joomla firewall and best Joomla security extensions, including:
Akeeba Admin Tools: Best for hardening Joomla sites' security, Akeeba Admin Tools is a suite of tools for Joomla administrators.
RSFirewall: Best for protecting your Joomla site from hacking attempts, RSFirewall is a real-time Joomla firewall.
Brute Force Stop: Best for blocking brute force attacks, Brute Force Stop is a Joomla security extension that protects against login attacks.
Security Check: Best for identifying and fixing security vulnerabilities, Security Check is a Joomla security extension that performs regular security scans.
JomDefender: Best for safeguarding your Joomla site from malware and hacking attempts, JomDefender is a comprehensive security solution for Joomla.
How We Chose the Best Joomla Security Extension and Joomla Firewall:
Ideally, a combination Joomla firewall + best Joomla security plugin should include the following protective, preventive, and curative features. In addition, it must be able to execute Joomla security best practices. Therefore, the criteria for choosing the best security extensions for Joomla are:
- Joomla firewall and security plugins are capable of blacklisting and whitelisting to identify suspicious IP addresses. They can also confirm threats, and only allow authorised IP addresses entry into the system;
- Backend passwords;
- Scanning done by the best Joomla firewall/best Joomla security plugin is on a regular, real-time basis. This is to identify threats, ensure system integrity, and prevent permission errors within the system;
- Joomla firewall and Jooma security extensions can protect against brute force attacks. Specifically, this includes but is not necessarily limited to limitations for login attempts, monitoring of all login activities, as well as management of password use;
- The best Joomla firewall and Joomla security plugins keep a regularly updated malware database;
- Administrative management through limited access and specific permissions; and
- Active shielding against the insertion of malicious code.
Our Best Joomla Security Extensions and Plugins in Detail
Here are the top commercial and best free Joomla security extensions up close:
Akeeba Admin Tools
Described as the Swiss Army knife of Joomla utilities, Akeeba's Admin Tools comes in two versions: the free-to-use Core and the subscribers-only Pro Access.
While Core is freeware, it does an excellent job of fixing a site's file and directory permissions. This best Joomla security plugin also protects the administrator directory via strict password-only access, performs database maintenance on a regular basis (or you can set the schedule yourself), and allows users to migrate any links that may still be pointing to a previous (and now defunct) domain.
- Automated maintenance processes;
- File permission editing sans FTP or SSH
- .htaccess Maker
- Web Application Firewall
- PHP File Change Scanner so you can monitor PHP files for unauthorised changes;
- URL Redirect; and
- Single-click Database Optimisation
- Free to use edition has extensive features;
- Allows users to automate security processes;
- Reasonably priced premium edition
- Web Application Firewall only available for premium users;
- Core ware may be free, but technical support will get you billed per use;
- Technical support is only available for users running the extension with Joomla 3.10 and Joomla 4
Free plan available; Subscription to Pro Access will cost $57.02 (€50.00) annually
If you're considering Akeeba, do read their service terms page.
RSFirewall – Joomla Firewall & Security Extensions
Considered one of the most advanced security extensions developed for the Joomla platform, RSFirewall was specifically created to protect websites created with and/or hosted on it from malware and brute force attacks.
This Joomla 3 security extension was created and maintained by a highly skilled and experienced team of cybersecurity experts. Moreover, this particular extension is updated regularly with security updates, as well as a growing list of vulnerabilities and potential threats.
RSFirewall works specifically with Joomla 3.0.6, 3.0, and 4.0.
- Sitewide protection against remote code variation (RCE) vulnerabilities;
- Proactive real-time malware scanning;
- Strong password protection for administrative files;
- Regular file checking for core registry;
- Find and fix capability for unsecured file and folder permissions;
- IP address blocker for specific countries; and
- Auto-blocking of suspicious IP addresses regardless of location.
- Allows users to block suspicious IP addresses from high-risk countries;
- Real-time scanning allows users to stay abreast of potential threats;
- Offers security options for different budgetary limits
- No free edition;
- Documentation is scanty making it a bit hard to set up and use at first;
- Refund policy is sketchy as the developer will charge a 10 per cent termination fee
Annual rates run between $56.98 (€49.99) for a single website and $193.77 (€169.99) for multiple websites
If you're considering RSFirewall, do read their service terms page.
Brute Force Stop
As its name states quite plainly, this security extension monitors and prevents brute force attacks on user websites. Brute Force Stop checks every failed login attempt, logs it into the database, and prevents further access into one's Joomla site from the detected IP address.
Users may configure the IP block to be permanent or temporary (essentially banning entry within a specific time frame.) Brute Force Stop will also advise users as to how many failed login attempts were noted within the day.
Essentially freeware, this security plugin is open source and allows savvy developers to make custom features to enhance its functionality to protect their websites.
- Regular cleanup of failed login blog;
- Adaptive delay function against distributed attacks;
- Active user notifications, including password reset reminders;
- *.htaccess-enabled blocking function; and
- Comprehensive blocking against malware, suspicious scripts, and brute force attacks
- Its open-source nature allows more tech-savvy users to modify the system to suit specific needs;
- Highly responsive technical support;
- One of the easiest to download and install
- Some features can be challenging to use;
- Initial configuration process is somewhat complicated;
- Some features stop working over time
Securitycheck – Joomla Security Extension
The Securitycheck Joomla security extension actually comes in two versions: the standard Securitycheck suite which offers medium-grade protection for websites and Securitycheck Pro, a global site protection suite that allows real-time protection and monitoring without compromising the speed and performance of the site.
The beauty of this particular extension is that you have the option to buy the entire suite for maximum protection. Alternatively, you can create a custom protective suite for your site by buying each of its features piecemeal.
Both Securitycheck and Securitycheck Pro are compatible with Joomla 3.0 and 4.0. However, the latter has retained an edition compatible with the much earlier Joomla 2.5 release.
- Web firewall tested against over 90 potential threats and attack patterns;
- Support for IPv6;
- Blacklisting and whitelisting capabilities;
- File manager;
- Session protection mode; and
- Backend events recording.
- Offers the most extensive site security available regardless of version;
- Allows users to buy features based on their specific requirements;
- One of the most reasonably priced all-in site protection packages available
- Certain key functions such as protection against session hijacking are only available with Securitycheck Pro;
- Users may have trouble logging in if the extension isn’t regularly updated to its latest edition so always update it;
- While you can buy features as needed or as you find convenient, buying them piecemeal can actually be more expensive than buying the all-in package
Securitycheck’s core extension is downloadable for free, while the all-in package for Securitycheck Pro will set you back by $120 per year; Individual features range from $9.00 to $50 annually; Securitycheck Pro J25 for Joomla 2.5 costs $9.95 per year, but do take note that it will lack some features already included in the current releases.
If you're considering Securitycheck, do read their service terms page.
JomDefender – Joomla Firewall & Security Extensions
JomDefender’s developer, CorePHP, refers to this specific Joomla security extension as the first line of defence against Joomla hackers.
Essentially a shielding plugin, jomDefender's key virtue is that it was created specifically for the Joomla platform. It is designed to patch the most common vulnerabilities within the application/site editor and management suite, but also adds several other layers of protection to keep attackers at bay.
JomDefender is freeware and also has the advantage of being easy to install, configure, and deploy. That said, it's just the thing for those who have just started building and managing websites using Joomla.
- Generator Tag Delete;
- Joomla Whitelabeler;
- HTML Whitespace Removal;
- PHP Header Replacer;
- CSRF Login Prevention;
- File Integrity Check;
- New Admin Password;
- I.P. Address Deny;
- I.P. Address Allow;
- Change Caching Mechanism;
- Page Execution Timer;
- Page Load Time Optimizer;
- Administrative Override;
- Joomla Compatibility Tested; and
- Live Support Desk.
- It’s freeware, so it’s definitely a great choice for those with tight budgets or limited means;
- Extensive selection of features to ensure optimal site protection;
- One of the easiest to install and deploy security extensions for the Joomla platform
- Not officially listed in the Joomla Extensions Directory;
- The last technical update made to the extension (based on the developer’s official website) was three years ago – and that can be a source of concern;
- Only compatible with Joomla 2.5 and 3.0
Conclusion and Recommendations to Best Joomla Security Extensions and Firewalls:
Having optimal site protection is a priority for anyone who owns or manages a website. In the case of sites created with Joomla, the five Joomla firewall and Joomla security extensions we have presented in this feature will certainly be a great help.
However, you may have noticed that we have specifically noted the Joomla versions which are compatible with these extensions. After all, it won’t help to download and install an extension only to find that it doesn’t work with the version you have.
Finally, if you are finding that optimising a best Joomla security too challenging then it is best to partner with Sucuri who specialise in optimising business-critical websites and apps including Joomla site taking your site security to the next level.
What are some proactive best practices for Joomla security?
There are plenty of best practices you need to do to keep your Joomla sites safe. including: Updating passwords regularly Setting strong usernames Never using names or common identifying information in usernames or passwords Don't use your mobile number in your username or password
Why do I need to update Joomla security extensions?
If you don't upgrade your website with the latest Joomla security extensions, you might run the risk of being vulnerable to cyberattacks.
That's all for now:
If you've read all the way through this list of Joomla firewall and Joomla security extensions, we are thankful. We hope you can now answer the question of what are the top Joomla security plugins! We have a large collection of articles, guides, and comparison reviews of eCommerce solutions, web hosting providers, as well as website builders, and more! Feel free to check them out;