How to Prevent and Stop DDoS Attacks on Your WordPress Website
While WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world with the best feature and secure codebase, it is not protected from malicious DDoS attacks. A DDoS attack will slow your website and with time make it inaccessible. These attacks are targeted towards all websites. The best thing is there is a way to stop these attacks and even prevent them.
Why do DDoS attacks happen?
The first thing you need to understand is why the DDoS attacks happen. There are so many motivations. The main ones are:
- Technically savvy individuals who are bored attack your website because they find it to be adventurous.
- People try to make a political point
- Groups targeting sites from a certain region or country
- Blackmail to collect ransom money
- Specific attack to a business or service provider
DDoS attacks are aimed at crashing a targeting system. They are not like Brute Force Attacks which are aimed at breaking into a system by guessing passwords. Even so, this does not mean DDoS attacks cannot damage your website. Damages caused include:
- Loss of business because of the inaccessibility of the business website
- Bad user experience and damage to brand reputation
- High cost of customer support as you try to answer services about the disruption
- Cost of mitigating the attack by hiring a security service
With that in mind, let’s now take a look at the steps you can take to stop and prevent DDoS on your WordPress website. The good news is that it is easy to distinguish DDoS attacks.
Remove DDoS or Brute Force Attack verticals
WordPress is very flexible. Using third-party tools and plugins you can add new features to your website. To achieve this WordPress makes available APIs which enable third-party services and plugins to interact with WordPress. The problem is the APIs can be exploited in DDoS attacks. Hackers use the APIs to send tons of requests which in turn slow your website. Disabling the APIs will reduce these requests. You need to do the following to prevent DDoS attacks:
- Disable XML RPC in WordPress
- Disable REST API in WordPress
Disabling the XML-RPC and REST API will only offer limited protection. For more protection against DDoS attacks you need to activate the Website Application Firewall (WAF). This is without any doubt the easiest way to block suspicious requests. Your WAF will serve as a proxy between incoming traffic and your website. Smart algorithm is used to detect suspicious requests and it will block them before they get to your website.
Sucuri is the best security plugin and firewall you can use to keep your website safe. It will catch DDoS attacks in time. It costs $20 per month (paid yearly) to use Sucuri. Cloudflare is another great firewall you can use. It is a more expensive option.