What is security hardening?
Security hardening is an all-inclusive process that locks down configurations and settings of a particular software to their most restrictive level. This happens without affecting the functionality of the system. The main idea behind this is to reduce the attack surface – the points or vectors through which an attacker can attack the system being hardened.
How does security hardening work?
Security hardening can be applied to different systems. Since the process is very system dependent, the exact process will differ from one system to another.
When it comes to WordPress in particular, security hardening is a multi-faceted process. Among other things, it ensures everything is up to date, disables certain features, and enables more secure systems such as two-factor authentication. Read our definitive guide to WordPress security and hardening for more information about the steps you can take to harden your WordPress websites.
It is equally important to secure the underlying systems on which WordPress operates. Such systems include the web server, PHP, and Operating System among others. This is especially important if you are hosting WordPress on your own servers.
PHP is a core component of WordPress and in many ways its engine. This makes PHP hardening for WordPress an important part of WordPress security.
Similarly, hardening the WordPress web server can decrease exposure to attacks, leaving your website that much more secure.
The benefits of security hardening
Security hardening reduces your WordPress attack surface. This makes it that much more difficult for attackers to launch successful attacks. It is important to note that security hardening is not a set-and-forget process. Rather, it is an iterative process that needs to be run through every once in a while. This can help you ensure that you implement the latest best security practices as new vulnerabilities and security threats emerge.