Is Astra Security Right for You?
Is your website secure? Do you know that one malware attack can wreck your online business by shutting down your entire website? This is where a WordPress security suite like Astra comes in.
As long as the internet exists, cybersecurity is a subject that will continue to dominate the conversation. An in-depth survey reveals that over 40,000 websites are successfully hacked every day, while up to 1,400 vulnerabilities are reported daily. At least one very serious vulnerability was discovered in 86 percent of websites.
One million new malware threats are issued every day. The trend around cyber threats and breaches continues to grow every year. Nearly 33 percent of shoppers hold back in online purchasing because of uncertainty or lack of trust in some websites due to security concerns.
Most of these websites belong to small and medium-size enterprises. This is contrary to the common belief that only big organizations get their sites hacked. If you don’t want to be part of these statistics, you should opt for a security suite solution like Astra.
Below is our review of the Astra Security Suite plugin. We will look at what Astra is, what it offers, and whether it does what it is designed to do effectively or not.
What is Astra, and What Does It Do?
While somewhat new to the WordPress security plugin field, Astra has made a splash. This security suite is an all-in-one solution that is making waves with WordPress users. It is a WordPress plugin that offers firewall protection, security audits, malware scanner, and community security for running bug bounty programs.
Brief History of Astra Security Suite
Astra Web Security is a privately held U.S. and India-based web application security and solutions company backed by Techstars. They founded the company in 2013 and currently fluctuate between 11-50 employees.
Astra Web Security offers holistic website security solutions through real-time malware monitoring, malware removal, threat protection, and website protection services.
They offer this service through their flagship product, Astra, which brings together extensive features and automated/manual penetration testing tools. Users can carry out comprehensive vulnerability assessments and also proactively respond to threats.
The Astra website states that the plugin stops up to 1 million or more threats on its customers’ websites every day. The VA/PT product is said to have uncovered up to 100,000 vulnerabilities in client apps.
The Astra Security Company has impressed many users with its services and has received several awards. This includes an award as ‘The Most Innovative Security Company’ which was presented by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi. Later, Astra also won the French Tech Ticket Program from France’s government in order to expand in Europe.
Things to Consider Before Buying Astra
Every website needs a powerful security solution that can withstand the large-scale attacks launched by cyber-crime syndicates and kiddie hackers.
If you are a small or medium-sized business and your website is not secure, you are setting yourself up for failure. Research has shown that up to 86 percent of websites showcase at least one vulnerability. And over 40,000 websites are hacked daily. With one million new malware threats released every day, you cannot take chances with your website’s security.
The good news is, you don’t have to rob a bank in order to secure your website. Astra is completely compatible with PHP-based sites and websites built on Content Management Systems (CMS) like:
Astra will protect your website from bots, hackers, and against cross-site scripting, SQL Injections, local file inclusion, bad bots, remote file inclusion, and much more.
Before buying Astra many customers mentioned that ease of installation and deployment, customer support, reports and notifications, intuitive dashboard, efficient management of features, and the fact it was a complete security suite which helped them make their final decision to purchase.
According to them, Astra ticked all the boxes, making it a simple decision.
Key Features of the Astra Security Suite
If there is one feature that attracts thousands of small business owners looking to secure their websites from threats, it is the intelligent Malware Scanner that is embedded in the Astra.
First, the scanner is not only intelligent but super-fast. The first scan you run will take approximately 20 minutes, which is just enough time for Astra to learn everything it needs to know about your website.
Subsequent scans, however, take less than 10 seconds!
It gathers additional information after every malware cleanup. This means it is always more intelligent than the previous malware cleanup.
Astra’s scanner automatically cleans up your website and gets rid of malware with just one click. The scanner intelligently identifies malware and then replaces it with a clean or malware-free version of the core website file. This action is referred to as ‘one-click hack cleanup,’ which some other malware cleaners don’t have.
Website Security – Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)
Astra includes a Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing tool as part of the security suite that provides comprehensive and in-depth security audits for your website.
They carry this out via an optimized mix of automated and manual techniques. The security audit includes:
- Black box and White box testing
- Static and Dynamic Code Analysis
- OWASP Top Ten
- SANS Top 25 testing
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
The Web Application Firewall is a feature that saves you from threats like LFI, SQLi, bad bots, XSS, spam, etc., in real-time. This feature dutifully reports all potential infiltration trials with practically zero false alerts.
What makes Astra Security Suite unique from others in the market is that it does not require you to change your DNS. The installation of firewalls is pretty straightforward and can be done by you, even if you are not tech-savvy.
Dashboard and Reporting
Astra comes with a user-friendly Dashboard. You will have access to the statistics of attacks in the form of ‘Threat Analytics.’
You can also monitor the admin area login via the Dashboard and receive emails every hour with the summary of logins right in your Dashboard. The Dashboard is available in all major languages.
Community Security Solution
Not every hacker out there is looking to deface your website or take it down. Astra understands this and will allow hackers or anyone for that matter, that discovers a vulnerability to report it to Astra Web Security and be recognized by placing their name in Astra’s Hall of Fame.
Under the policy of this program, anyone who discovers the vulnerability will not publicize the bug found on your website. Instead, they will report the bug or vulnerability to Astra. You can find here the guidelines for the program here.
Additional functionalities of the Astra Security Suite:
IP and Country Blocking
With one click, you can whitelist or blacklist an IP or country or even whitelist specific parameters.
24×7 Real-time Protection
Astra has a rock-solid firewall that protects your site from XSS, spam, SQLi, bad bots, etc. Only real users looking for value or products/services you sell will get access to your site.
Brute force Protection
Hackers make repeated attempts at infiltrating websites, so you must do everything you can to prevent that. Astra allows you to frustrate hackers’ efforts using the brute force protection feature.
Bad Bot Protection
Astra efficiently protects your website from bad bots like ad bots, data scrapers, and spam bots. However, good bots like search engine crawlers are granted access to your sites.
Astra allows you to see the profile of the attacker trying to hack your website. You can see the attacker’s IP address, country of origin, and the browser used to perpetrate the hacking attempt. This will enable you to take the necessary preventive measures.
Astra efficiently keeps track of up to 60+ security engines every day in order to check if your site has been blacklisted because of vulnerabilities or security issues.
Excellent protection from bots specifically developed to create spam accounts on your website. These bots can also spam comments, but Astra’s spam blocker forbids them.
Suspicious Login Alerts
Astra’s firewall tracks and blocks all suspicious or unauthorized login attempts in real-time. You will also have access to user-friendly tools to blacklist accounts when required.
Search Engine Bot
Astra monitors popular search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo in order to see if they have removed your site because of security errors.
Astra recognizes users that visit your website with malicious intentions and blocks them before they can cause damage.
Block and Control Extensions
Not all extensions are good for your website. This feature allows you to control the file extension you want and block out those you don’t like or want.
Prevention of Malicious Uploads
Astra scans and then analyzes every file that is uploaded to your website. After that, it will automatically block all malicious uploads.
File Upload Scanning
Astra recognizes the importance of file uploads. You can, therefore, control what your website visitors can upload to your site. This is to prevent the uploading of malicious content so that your business is not disrupted.
You can also control the exact file sizes and extensions that can be uploaded to your website.
Set Upload Size Limits
Swiftly stop or prevent the uploading of large files to your site without your consent. This will help you save valued server resources and prevent a service disruption.
- Clean and easy-to-understand Dashboard.
- Great customer support.
- Central management with excellent features.
- A helpful team manually reviews your site to find any malicious code and will even send you a well-documented report of what happened.
- Users can easily blacklist IPS, mostly from previous attacks.
May not be capable of detecting some malware attacks that slip through.
Occasionally throws a false positive.
Lack of other platforms for notifications
Some functions don’t seem to work as expected.
Malware scan and removal require a manual selection.
Need More Proof
To confirm the effectiveness of the Astra Security Suite, we scoured the internet in order to find Astra security reviews. Here are some reviews we came across:
Website security is big business, and any organization that does not focus on securing its website could eventually run into trouble. Hackers are searching for weak sites every day, and they make repeated attempts at sabotaging websites of small, medium, and large organizations.
This could severely disrupt your business if those hackers succeed in hacking your website. Prevention, therefore, is much better than cure. So you need to look for a user-friendly website security suite solution like Astra.
Many business owners love Astra Security Suite because it suits almost every business’s needs. On-demand Malware Scanner, Website Firewall, etc., are just a couple of features that come with this website security solution.
The vision of this web security company is to make website security super-simple for businesses. This is why Astra is trusted by big brands like Ford, Gillette, African Union, Oman Air, and others.
When you sign up for Astra, you automatically get their security techies on your side. And the tech wizards will help you with your website security. They are always available in order to ensure your business runs smoothly and not bothered by any security issues.
If you are looking for a lasting web security solution that you can also manage easily, devoid of hundreds of buttons that make you feel you are in the cockpit of a Boeing 747, this may be the right option for you.
Check out Astra Security for yourself and let us know what you think.
Check out the rest of our plugin reviews for WordPress.