WordPress corners the majority of the market share as compared to other popular CMS platforms. While its popularity attracts users to convert HTML CSS to WordPress or migrate websites from other formats, it is also a major target of attacks. The open-source character of the platform has enabled many beginners to build and operate a website easily. Such users are at a greater risk because of their limited technical knowledge about effective security measures.
The login page which is the gateway to a WordPress interface needs much more than a strong password. Introducing two-factor authentication in WordPress can be a good tactic to prevent unauthorized access to an interface. A simple method for adding the security feature to WordPress websites is being presented here.
What Is Two-factor Authentication?
The usual method of entering a username and password for accessing the interface falls under the category of single-factor authentication. There is only one step in the process of confirming a user’s identity. A two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to again confirm the legitimacy of the user before granting access. Usually, the process involves sending a security code to a registered device of the owner.
Access is granted only after the code is entered during the login process. Multi-factor authentication codes are generally sent to the phone of a user through SMS, voice call or app notification.
Why WordPress Websites Need Two-factor Authentication?
WordPress websites because of their large numbers are vulnerable to security breaches. The simple login process can be exploited by malicious elements to hack a website. Hackers try to employ automated scripts and other brute force attack techniques to break in an interface. The easy to use nature of the CMS attracts a large number of people with limited technical knowledge and skills.
These users can make errors like opening unsolicited emails which will expose them to security risks. A malware will be installed on their system which will then be used to access their login details. Cracking a password is not too difficult for rogue elements with superior technical knowledge.
The two-factor authentication method can help avoid such scenarios. It is easy to understand and simple to implement. Even if a hacker goes past the password, the verification code will still be required to complete the login process. This code will be sent to the device of the authorized user making it impossible for the cyber-criminal to access it.
What Is The Method To Add Two-factor authentication in WordPress?
There are various ways in which the security measure can be incorporated in WordPress websites. We will be explaining the method which involves using a popular and dependable Google Authenticator service. Let’s learn about adding two-factor authentication in WordPress using it.
Adding Two-factor Authentication In A WordPress Website With Google Authenticator
Google Authenticator uses a website and an app for incorporating the security measure in WordPress websites. Following is the step by step procedure for completing the process:
The Google Authenticator plugin must be installed on the website. Access the admin dashboard of your WordPress website and navigate to the plugins section. Click on the “Add New” option and enter the name of the plugin in the search field. The “Install Now” tab will be visible against it. Select it to install it in your WordPress website environment. Do not forget to activate the plugin after it has been installed.
Let’s see in detail how the settings of this plugin can be configured. The first option in the menu is to activate it for the selected website. The next option is “Force Use”. It lets you decide whether you want all authorized users including yourself to access the website through two-factor authentication.
There is also a field provided for website name which is how it will appear in the mobile app. As you move down the page you will come across security settings. Here, a limit for the maximum number of login attempts can be set.
You must now download and install the Google Authenticator app on your smartphone and configure its settings. When you open the app, an option for adding an account will be shown. You will be asked to either scan a barcode or provide a security key to continue with the process.
Go back to the settings of the plugin in your WordPress website. There you will see an option named “Secret”. The facility to generate a secret key or QR code is provided there.
Generate the QR code and scan it with the app using the camera of your smartphone. The app will now recognize the website. Go back to the plugin settings in the website and save all the changes by clicking “Active”. The process of adding the security feature is complete now. When you log in again after the current session, you will see an additional field for the verification code.
Website owners must add two-factor authentication in WordPress to introduce an extra level of security which will protect their interface from unauthorized access.