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Joomla Security Best Practices – 15 Tips to Keep your Joomla Site Secure


In the day and age of highly sophisticated technology, many organizations are under the impression that because they’ve implemented all the latest innovations, their Joomla site is resilient to any kind of cyber attack. But the question is: are the measures good enough? Is modern technology implementation enough to protect the privacy and confidentiality of data? 

Unfortunately, not! And the recent attack on the Federal Depository Library Program’s (FDLP) website is proof. Despite being built on Joomla and despite having all security measures in place, the US Government Publishing Office site was hacked – which proves that when it comes to Joomla security, there is still a vast scope for improvement. 

We recommend you to read our blog on coding secure Joomla extensions where we have mentioned the common vulnerabilities and their fixes in Joomla.

Here are a few tips to keep your Joomla site secure: 

  1. Follow basic security practices. Use robust login credentials with uncommon passwords to make it difficult for hackers to gain access to your Joomla site. If possible, incorporate two-factor or multi-factor authentication to improve security posture further. 
  2. Customize, but don’t overdo it. It is natural for you to want to customize your Joomla site based on the needs of your business. But when extending your site, make sure to use only trusted third-party extensions that comply with standard security requirements. 
  3. Delete unused and unwanted add-ons. Joomla makes it very easy for you to install as many modules and extensions as you want. Therefore, constantly revisiting your add-on list is important to delete unused, unwanted, and insecure add-ons and maintain the functionality of your site. 
  4. Have strong access control measures in place. You might want to provide seamless access to your Joomla site to all your users. Despite the temptation, build strong access control measures that only allow authorized and approved users to edit or share content. 
  5. Use appropriate file permissions. In addition to access control, having appropriate file permissions is a great way to restrict read, write, and execute access to Joomla files and folders. 
  6. Restrict access to the admin page. Another measure you can take to improve the security of your Joomla site is by restricting access to the admin page. Make sure to password-protect the admin page and allow only users from your IP address to access the admin page. 
  7. Implement a robust firewall. Having a robust firewall in place is a great way to constantly monitor access, ensure a basic level of cyber protection, block malware, and viruses and keep hackers out of your network. 
  8. Install SSL certificate. No matter what kind of Joomla website you have, installing an SSL certificate can protect your confidential data, affirm your identity, comply with the required regulations, and improve end-user trust. 
  9. Periodically backup data. Have a reliable disaster recovery strategy in place, so when things go wrong, you can quickly and easily restore your site – without impacting business operations or customer experience. 
  10. Implement powerful security extensions. There are several security extensions available in the market that can help you improve the security level of your site. Implement them on your Joomla website to fight against spam, known vulnerabilities and common brute force, SQL injections, and DDoS attacks. 
  11. Harden PHP. Given that Joomla is built using PHP, hardening it is a measure that is highly recommended. Hardening PHP can allow your Joomla site to operate in a safe mode, which means better management of permissions and stricter rules for editing. 
  12. Make your site search-engine friendly. Security is no longer just your headache; search engines, as well as customers today, demand a high level of security. Making your Joomla site search-engine friendly requires you to take certain security measures, so it becomes difficult for hackers to install malicious code, glean credit card data or pull down your site completely. 
  13. Ensure secure hosting. Irrespective of whether you are hosting the Joomla site on your internal data center or in a private or public cloud, make sure necessary security measures are implemented that reduce the likelihood and impact of an attack. 
  14. Update and patch. Since Joomla constantly works towards improving the level of in-built security, make it a habit to implement the latest updates and patches to safeguard your Joomla site from new and improved attacks. 
  15. Monitor. Monitor. Monitor. Irrespective of the precautions you take to enable and ensure the security of your Joomla site, monitoring the site 24/7 is indispensable. Use tools for continuous monitoring, get alerts the minute an anomaly is spotted and take immediate corrective action. 

Given the fantastic capabilities, Joomla is one of the most downloaded content management systems in the world. Unfortunately, it is this popularity that also makes Joomla vulnerable to attacks and breaches. Embracing best practices is the only way you can protect your Joomla site against attacks and ensure the safety and security of your business and your customers.

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