With the growth of online fraud, businesses, and online stores must ensure their website security. The website serves as the face value of business growth. Here, the Cloudflare Firewall Rule comes into play as a one-stop solution for safeguarding WordPress websites.
By enabling users to craft tailored security protocols, users can strengthen their digital defenses and prevent cyber-attacks. With Cloudflare Firewall Rules, certain types of traffic can be filtered and blocked to improve WordPress websites’ security. Thus, choosing the right cloud hosting providers that can integrate Cloudflare Firewall rules and operate businesses online seamlessly is essential.
Choosing a hosting provider wisely rules the stage to maintain WordPress security.
Read more about Cloudflare Firewall Rules to Enhance WordPress Website Security.
About Cloudflare Firewall Rules
Cloudflare Firewall Rules provide website owners with a simple and flexible way of filtering HTTP requests, giving them control over what requests they allow.
Cloudflare firewall rules beautifully integrate with Cloudflare tools, making it possible to combine several techniques into one cohesive scheme. If you want to block traffic from users matching a certain pattern, you can create just one rule instead of creating three or four separate rules.
Furthermore, they allow you to monitor site traffic and respond accordingly if threats arise continuously. By defining expressions, Cloudflare can figure out what it should look for when meeting certain requirements.
Importance of Choosing a Reliable Hosting Provider to Improve Cloudfare Rules in Boosting WordPress Website Security
Choosing a reliable hosting provider is essential to enhancing Cloudflare’s effectiveness in securing WordPress websites. Choosing a trusted hosting provider ensures that Cloudflare’s capabilities are seamlessly integrated to secure your website.
- It’s important to find a hosting provider that understands WordPress. With this insight, Cloudflare can seamlessly apply its rules to the host’s settings, facilitating optimal collaboration. As a result, security measures become more coherent and stronger.
- The quality of your hosting service is also essential for the efficiency of your WordPress site. As a result of the synergy between Cloudflare rules and a good hosting provider, which includes CDNs, page load times are enhanced, resulting in a better user experience.
- Reliable hosting providers contribute to identifying and mitigating potential threats. The hosting service works with Cloudflare to ensure that their combined security measures protect WordPress sites from various cyber threats.
Art of Mastering Cloudfare: Steps to Improving Web Security for WordPress
WordPress, the leading Content Management System, facilitates content creation, posting, and updating. Despite their recognition and popularity, they expose server vulnerabilities, which can cause data and security breaches.
Several Cloudflare features protect against these attacks but can also interfere with administrative tasks, such as logging in and uploading files. The right configuration can prevent attacks without compromising functionality. Here are three crucial steps to boosting WordPress website security.
1. Secure the Site Better
This step increases the security of the domain, resulting in additional interruptions while exceptions are being added. As a result, expect some administrative downtime throughout this process.
You can find more info in the developer documentation for each product or feature.
Managed Rulesets of Cloudflare
Rulesets of the WAF Managed Ruleset are designed to prevent attacks, and they are updated regularly. It is default for many rules to be enabled, but not all. The Cloudflare Managed Ruleset allows you to find any additional rules associated with your content management system that aren’t enabled and activate them.
Managing rulesets for free
With the Free Cloudflare Managed Ruleset, these managed rulesets are automatically deployed on all new Cloudflare sites. With this ruleset, false positives will be reduced for various traffic types. At present, these rules are included in the ruleset:
- Rules of shellshock;
- The rules are based on exploits that are very common in WordPress;
- The Log4J rules match the payload in URI and HTTP headers;
The OWASP Core Ruleset offers many customizability options, including anomaly thresholds, paranoia levels, and individual rules. Ensure that any XSS or SQL injection rules are enabled.
2. Bringing Back Administrative Functions
From the admin panel, you can use the principle of least privilege to audit what has been blocked and what has been allowed. If you have this information, creating precise exceptions will be easy. Check the following if the behavior does not match your expectations:
- There is no Rule that interferes with the WAF (such as a Page Rule that disables security).
- DNS records are proxied
Once you have enough requests logged in the Firewall Events section, take note of the changes in the Managed Rules section. By using this information, skip rules that exclude only administrative rules can be created.
Making Matches Between Incoming Requests
Ideally, this rule should cover as much ground as possible, especially without omitting the additional protections described below. Although the exact content will vary depending on the site, you may use the following fields:
- Source IP address
- There are cookies
- User Agent
- AS Num
The rule should only be applied to the admin area of your CMS. For example, you can set a parameter that says, ‘URI Path contains /wp-admin/’ with WordPress.
Considering each field is vulnerable to forgery, this does not constitute security. This strategy allows administrative functions only to be reactivated when necessary, while other tools (e.g., strong passwords for CMS logins!) guarantee security.
Remove Certain Rules from a Managed Ruleset
You need to add an exception to each rule using the information from your Firewall logs.
Afterward, create a rule for any ruleset preventing you from logging in.
Take note: If you run into problems with rules specific to a CMS, you may want to skip them for sections other than CMS-specific ones. You should follow the steps outlined above, enabling the Cloudflare Managed Ruleset to ignore any rules that you enabled earlier. A hostname, URI, or cookie is incompatible with any of the operators, such as does not equal, match, or contain.
Ensure that your Skip rules take precedence over your Execute rules.
3. Set Access Restrictions
The more secure your site, the easier it will be to protect public parts from attacks, increasing your chances of regaining administration permissions.
It is best to use Zero Trust Web Applications to limit access to your admin panel. Access can be restricted based on user rather than device, and very fine controls are available. Self-hosted web applications are easy to set up.
When you configure a web application, you must authenticate users to grant them access to restricted content. As a default, multifactor authentication is conducted via email:
Custom WAF Rules with mTLS
Although designed to authenticate appliances that cannot log in, mTLS is also a form of multiple-factor authentication.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Save the client certificate and key to your device when you create a client certificate.
- Put the certificate in the key storage of your computer. If you have a macOS Keychain, you can perform the steps in Test in the browser.
- Ensure that the correct host is added to mTLS.
- Under SSL/TLS > Client Certificates, go to Create mTLS Rule.
- Whenever incoming requests match, include the URI path of the publicly accessible content to limit its scope. Otherwise, public content won’t be accessible.
- Without a verified client certificate, your admin panel blocks all user requests.
- Choose Deploy. By creating this WAF custom rule, requests for admin sections will be checked for valid client certificates.
Important: If you’re having trouble verifying your certificate, open the page in a private tab. If it is successful, your browser may cache a previous successful TLS state.
Limiting the number of requests per second can protect your login page against brute-force attacks. The rate limit for matching requests can be set, including the action to be taken if exceeded.
How Cloudflare Firewall Rules Maximize Enhancing WordPress Website Security to the Next Level?
WordPress Vulnerabilities Customization
As an open-source, the WordPress platform is susceptible to various vulnerabilities. With Cloudflare Firewall Rules, these vulnerabilities can be addressed precisely. It’s possible to set rules to block SQL injection attacks, a common attack vector against WordPress. Adapting to the characteristics of these attacks, Cloudflare Firewall Rules provide an additional layer of protection.
Getting Rid of Suspicious Traffic Patterns
The Cloudflare Firewall Rules allow for distinguishing suspicious traffic patterns and blocking them. It’s especially important for WordPress sites susceptible to automated attacks. Set up rules to detect anomalous traffic, and WordPress will be protected from threats before they can compromise its security.
Combating DDoS Attacks
An increasing number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks threaten the availability of websites. Using Cloudflare Firewall Rules, DDoS attacks can be detected, and protection measures can be implemented. By doing this, WordPress websites stay online even when malicious sites try to take over servers.
Choosing the Suitable WordPress Hosting
The best way to maximize the functionality of Cloudflare Firewall Rules is to team up with a reliable WordPress hosting company. Hosting providers that specialize in WordPress reinforce Cloudflare’s security attributes, optimizing performance and enhancing security. With Cloudflare Firewall Rules, hosting services become the basis for a unified defense strategy.
What are the Steps to Add Rules to the Cloudflare Firewall?
The Cloudflare Web Application Firewall (WAF) safeguards WordPress sites against threats common to Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress.
Cloudflare allows users to add firewall rules from the Firewall menu->Firewall Rules tab. When you add a rule, it takes effect almost immediately. Here are a few steps to add Cloudflare firewall rules you might find useful for enhancing WordPress website security:
XMLRPC.php should be Blocked
A very rarely used API interface for WordPress is a major target for many attacks.
This file can become CPU intensive when bombarded with requests, and on a shared host or in a low-resource environment, it may throw errors 502 and 504.
Spam Prevention and Bot Blocking
The Cloudflare website contains a list of trusted bots that can be allowed access to your website. With Cloudflare firewall rules, you can block all or just a specific type of requests from bots not listed. Alternatively, you can specify specific URLs or conditions to check to make a more specific rule.
Make the WordPress Login Page Captcha-Enabled
Typical WordPress sites receive between 1000 and 10,000 brute-force login attempts daily.
When a captcha message is displayed to visitors hitting this page or visitors visiting this page from outside the site’s country of origin, password brute force attacks are greatly reduced, reducing the hosting provider’s workload.
Rules for IP Access and Rate Limiting
Adding IP access and rate-limiting rules to Cloudflare firewall rules can provide additional traffic monitoring functionality. It’s easier to create a rule simply by checking one condition as opposed to having multiple conditions.
With IP access rules, traffic can be filtered by IP address, country, or Autonomous System (AS) number. Moreover, Cloudflare firewalls help protect your website from malicious traffic by preventing IP addresses from making repeated requests to a particular URL.
Cloudflare Firewall Rules: How To Test Them
Upon setting up your Cloudflare Firewall Rules, you should review them to ensure they work.
Go back to the Overview section of the firewall and select Firewall Event Activity Log. An overview of firewall events and their details can be found there.
Depending on how much traffic you receive, checking your firewall rules may take some time. Check the activity logs of Cloudflare and Google Analytics to see if there’s anything off before resuming Cloudflare.
It is essential to watch out for block and challenge events. Once challenge and block events appear on the list, review them to determine which bots have been blocked without a valid reason or which harmful bots are permitted. Firewall rules should be set up in a way to allow positive traffic to pass through.
Cloudflare Firewall Rules are crucial to securing WordPress websites. These rules provide complete protection from evolving cyber threats through customized security policies, continuous threat detection, and scalability. While Cloudflare Firewall Rules are effective, their effectiveness gets boosted when choosing a reputable website hosting company.
If you are not finding a suitable WordPress hosting provider, WeWP is here to assist you with best-in-class hosting services. We have a great range of hosting solutions, allowing you to choose from the best hosting plans in line with cutting-edge website security.With WeWP, you can never go wrong in choosing to host solutions as we tick all the boxes, from WordPress hosting price to quality services and high-security standards. Contact us and choose from the best range of hosting service plans and benefit from a dedicated cloud server.