Practical Guide to Secure Joomla Websites

Practical Guide to Secure Joomla Websites

The popularity of Joomla grows day by day as an open source CMS (Content Management System).

Besides the popularity, more and more individuals and businesses of all sizes start to rely on this open source CMS and get their products and services through the online.

In fact, more than 2.5 percent of websites are now running on a Joomla CMS. The latest research by SUCURI reveals that - Joomla is the second largest CMS downloaded over 68 million times and the second infected website platform.

The bad guys or hackers may try all kinds of hacking methods to attack your site or bring down your site. These range from remote file inclusion to cross-site scripting to the ever-popular SQL injection.

As the admin, you have the responsibility to ensuring your Joomla site is properly patched, updated and secure.

A properly configured instance of Joomla CMS on a properly configured server is about as secure as any other off-the-shelf solution.

In today's post, I am going to discuss the best practices to secure a Joomla website. Let's dig into it!

Best Practices to Secure Your Joomla Website

Use the Latest Version of Joomla & Extensions

Website owners don’t upgrade or maybe forget to upgrade to the latest version in most of the times, which creates a significant risk.

Almost in every release, Joomla has fixed some security issues. So if you don't upgrade to the latest version means you are keeping some vulnerability on your website.

Use Strong Password for Secure Administrator Login

In most cases, people leave the default administrator account as the user name to “admin” and a silly password which is easily guessable and creates the biggest risk.

If you are keeping the default “admin” and a guessable password, you subconsciously helping the hacker in their job.

Delete Unwanted & Unsecured Extensions

Joomla is open source CMS and as an administrator, you may install many modules or extensions to try out new functionality in your site.

It’s good to improve the functionality, but the bad thing is when you install a low-quality extension that will create flaws in your site.

So, delete the extensions, which you are not going to use.

Take Backup Regularly

Backup is the life-saving process. In case of, when things go wrong, backup is probably one of the quickest and best way to restore your online business operations.

You should host your website in a reliable hosting company like SiteGround, who provides a good backup plan. Along with hosting backup, you may use an extension like Akeeba backup.

Monitor your Joomla Site

If your website goes down or defaced then how do you know?

Use the StatusCake tool which monitors your website and notifies you through the email, slack or SMS when if website is not reachable.

This is a free tool and you can take necessary actions immediately if needed.

Use a Powerful Security Extensions

Use a powerful extension that can fight against spam, known vulnerabilities, and known attacks like brute force attack, SQL Injections.

There are many and security extensions available for Joomla in the Joomla extensions directory. Amongst them, R Antispam, Incapsula, and Security Check are best and effective ones. You may use one from these.

Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication is an extra security layer that requires not only a username and password from the user but also require something that only, and only, that user has on them.

It will be a piece of information only the user should know or have immediately to hand such as a physical token or a random generated OTP (One Time Password).

OTP is a six numeric digit code that generated by cryptographic functions in a short interval. Even if the hacker will get your Joomla administrator username and password, they would still require the OTP to logged in the system.

If you want to enable the Two-Factor Authentication, it requires Joomla 3.2.0 or higher version.

The steps to enable Two-Factor Authentication:

  • Step 1: Login to the administration panel
  • Step 2: Click on Components >> Post-installation Messages
  • Step 3: Click on Enable two-factor authentication
  • Step 4: Install a Google Authenticator compatible client for your device

Use SSL Certification

Use SSL certificate on your site and force Joomla into SSL mode.

Before enable SSL mode be sure that you have configured SSL certificate for your site’s domain, or you will not be able to enable this feature.

When you use an SSL certificate on your website, it will encrypt the user’s username and password before sent to your server over the internet.

Read our blog post to know - How To Enable SSL On Joomla Website?

Last Words

If you follow these steps, the chances to be hacked your Joomla website is decreased and your site will be more secure than past. And you’ll be able to recover your site quickly than ever if it will be hacked.

I hope this helps you! Share your tips with us if those are not listed here.

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