Joomla is the second most popular CMS platform used for websites, but also the second most vulnerable to online security threats and hackers. While these reasons can’t be finalized, most Joomla installations are left vulnerable due to bad hosting, misconfiguration issues, or improper code leaving vulnerabilities through third-party extensions.
Joomla Login Security
Therefore, to protect your site and content, here’s a couple of steps you can follow, to increase aspects like Joomla login security, among others. We advise you to use the Joomla firewall for the proper security. You can get one from here: https://www.getastra.com/joomla-firewall
- Using strong login details
Strong credentials remain ever Joomla user’s first and final security resort. Most individuals leave it at the default ‘admin’ username and password. So, make sure to implement a strong password – with alphanumeric characters, special symbols and capital letters – that isn’t commonly used so that automated bots aren’t able to find them easily. If the issue of remembering such passwords remains, you can always utilize the services of a password manager.
- Protect your administrator login
For further protection, you can place a password in the admin login area – this can be done manually by creating the ‘.htaccess’ file under the administrator directory; more details are given in the Joomla documentation.
- Use a web application firewall
A web application firewall has the purpose of acting as a filter and monitoring for HTTP applications. You can either install one on the server yourself or use one among the cloud-based solutions. The benefits of using WAF include protection from brute force attacks, backdoor and DDoS protection, spambot protection, code injections like SQL, etc.
- Installing SSL certificate
SSL certification is crucial to protecting the communication and exchange of information between your site visitors and the website itself. For this, you need to encrypt this using SSL. While it is most essential to those with eCommerce sites and ones that use payment gateways, using an SSL certificate and running on HTTPS increases the site’s overall security by providing maximum protection to your username and password, as well as the credentials of all those who use the platform. Otherwise, the dangerous alternative means that these important login details are sent as simple text over the internet, leaving them open and vulnerable to online hackers for misuse.
Obtaining and installing SSL certification has now become easier and free as well. After the installation process, you can also test the configuration and improve the SSL configuration also.
- Update Joomla and its extensions.
Regular updates to the Joomla site and all its extensions are the most important part of maintaining security. Most updates released on the Joomla open-source platform contain the respective security fixes to the site, so make it a point to never skip these. Joomla also has an inbuilt checker for the latest versions released as updates, providing notifications respectively of any new releases on the extensions.
But before you update, always make sure to form a back-up in a secure location, preferably offsite (like your computer’s hard drive).
- Increase the security level of the PHP configuration
Joomla uses the PHP language, so for increasing security, you can change a couple of PHP directives in the php.ini file.
For example, ‘expose_php’ hides the PHP version to the response headers so that attackers are not aware of all the loopholes or vulnerabilities hidden in the older version. ‘Open_basedir’ dictates the PHP to whitelist the given directories, so it prevents hackers from accessing other parts of the file system, potentially planting backdoors (here, you need to make sure to include all the directories that PHP has access to, including the temporary file upload directory and the storage location of all your sessions).
- Restrict the file and directory permissions
Incorrect file permissions can be the root of most problems on Joomla – always make sure to grant ‘write’ access only to the files and directories that absolutely need it, such as the upload and cache directories. Lock-down everything else after the required list of extensions and templates is installed.
Under Joomla, the permissions look like this – directories should be set to 0755 (written in only by owners while others can read and execute them), files for 0644 (owner can write, others can only read), PHP set to 0444 (nobody can write).
Avoid 777 permissions as much as possible because it opens your files for viewing and modifications by anyone, especially necessary if you are using shared hosting.
- Don’t install too many extensions
Try to test the extensions and in a staging or local environment to ensure their stability; also make sure to uninstall all extensions if they are not being used. This is because more code will only compromise your situation if there are loopholes or vulnerabilities that hackers can manipulate.
All of these are steps that can be regularly followed and adhered to for ensuring the security of your Joomla platform – they only cover the basic instructions and further customizations should be done in accordance with your Joomla requirements.