Avoid Disasters By Keeping Detailed WordPress Logs

by Mansoor Ahmed Khan  July 12, 2017

You choose a managed WordPress hosting provider over a non-managed one for peace of mind. Because you do not want to stay hassling with configuring and maintaining your server, all the components that make up an optimized and a secure web server. You just need to install WordPress, focus on your business, and let us do the rest.

Beside a secured hosting server, you need to monitor WordPress with WP Security Audit Log Plugin.

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What Cloudways Does for WordPress Security?

As a managed WordPress hosting provider, we do a lot of things behind the scenes to ensure your WordPress website runs as smoothly as possible. We have firewalls protecting your websites and blogs, we randomly generate strong credentials for all the new applications you install and much more. But security is not a one-time solution. It is a never ending process of:

Hardening > Monitoring > Testing > Improving and Repeat

Continuous Security and Monitoring

One of our continuous security measures is monitoring and analysing the logs. All network services, such as Apache and Nginx web servers keep a record of everything that happened. For example, they keep a record of who requested what, when and from where.

By keeping an eye on the log files we can understand what is happening in the system. You will notice attacks and learn what attackers are targeting, or what type of vulnerabilities they are trying to exploit. By being able to understand what attackers are doing, we can better protect our network and your WordPress websites.

Monitoring Your WordPress Websites and Blogs

We do a lot for you to ensure the security and smooth running of your WordPress websites and blogs, but you have to do your share. As a managed WordPress hosting provider we can tell what’s happening on your server, but we cannot tell you if a hacker guessed a WordPress user passwords. We can also let you know if someone is attacking your website, but we cannot tell if a logged in user is doing anything that he should not be doing. Therefore, you should keep a log of everything that is happening on your WordPress.

Introduction to the WP Security Audit Log Plugin

WP Security Audit Log

The WP Security Audit Log plugin is a free and easy to use WordPress plugin that once installed keeps a record of everything that is happening on your websites and blogs in a WordPress audit trail. It is also the most comprehensive WordPress audit log plugin. In fact, you can also build a WordPress Intrusion Detection System with the plugin.

Do You Need to Keep a Log of What Happened on Your WordPress?

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The answer is a yes! Whether you manage a single user website or a multisite network with thousands of users, a WordPress audit trail is crucial to the security and success of your website. WordPress security audit log plugin is not just about monitoring the productivity of your colleagues and employees, but can also be used to:

  • Ease WordPress troubleshooting: We’ve all been there! The website stopped working and it “wasn’t any of the other users”. In such cases you can use the audit trail to track back the changes that took place on your WordPress website, thus finding the source of the problem.
  • Identify suspicious behaviour: Someone is scanning your website, or trying to login to your WordPress website at some odd hours from countries which you do not typically receive traffic from? Find out early to prevent such suspicious activity.
  • Meet strict regulatory compliance requirements: Many businesses, especially those selling online products are required by law to keep a log of all the changes that happened on their website. By using the WP Security Audit Log plugin, you ensure that your business website meets such regulatory compliance requirements. As a result, avoid being fined or having the license revoked.
  • Monitor your customers: If you have a WordPress agency, you must have felt the need to keep a track of what your customers are doing. So when they break something, which they frequently do; you can fix it straight away without having to do any forensic and detective work.
  • Catch WordPress hackers red-handed: No security solution is perfect, and in some unfortunate cases even the very secure websites can be hacked. But it is not all doom and gloom. As long as you can catch the hackers red-handed at an early stage, you should be able to prevent their attacks. By keeping an audit log you can be notified if something suspicious happens on your WordPress website, for example, when a new user is created, when a user logs in for the first time, or when a user’s password is changed.
  • Quickly find and close down the security hole the hackers exploited: Similar to the above, hopefully, you will never need this. Though when you keep an audit log, should your website be hacked you can use the audit log for forensics, and find out what the attackers damaged. The more information you have about the attack the easier it is to also find and fix the security hole that the hackers exploited.

Get Started Now: Keep a Log of What is Happening on Your WordPress Websites and Blogs

As you’ve seen in the article we are doing a lot for the security of your server and WordPress websites, but cannot cover all the areas. You need to do your fair share of work too. Get started today. Install the WP Security Audit Log and it will automatically start keeping a record of all the changes that happen on your WordPress.

Here is a short video guiding, how you can monitor a WordPress site.

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About Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Mansoor Ahmed Khan is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways.

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