One of the most recognizable names we have been fortunate to support, List25 was Co-Founded by Syed in 2011 and has since accumulated more than 1.7 million subscribers. By delivering unique and often peculiar content, List25 has secured its place in the top 1% of all YouTube channels and is among the world's top 100,000 most popular websites.
Per Statsheep.com, List25 currently ranks an impressive 675th among all (500+ Million) YouTube channels and boasts more than 300 million channel views. To provide some perspective with regard to growth, at the time of our interview with Syed (less than a month before publishing this article) List25 was ranked 696th.
Syed came to know about Sucuri in connection with another site he had, and shortly thereafter became connected with some of the early members of the Sucuri Security team. During List25’s stages, Syed enjoyed a positive experience using the Sucuri monitoring service.
We had monitoring running on our site and it helped us harden the site. It would report anytime a vulnerability was found or something suspicious was found.
Hardening a website is beneficial to defending vulnerable access points and is an essential element in compromise prevention. However, the manual process involved in hardening can be intricate. In fact, we have a series of blog posts dedicated to maximizing your website hardening efforts.
Prevention does not end with hardening, however, and security threats can change and permeate. Unfortunately, the threat to List25 was pervasive and it grew. Because List25 had become such a large brand garnering millions and millions of page views, the site was frequently attacked by intruders who attempted DDoS, brute force, botnet and other attacks. Each attack can lead to a security risk and every security risk could become disastrous for the business. That fact called for additional solutions to be explored.
Prior to using Sucuri, Syed directly addressed website security problems for List25 on his own. Plugin Updates, CMS Updates and Traffic Monitoring are a few of the many variables that should be managed to maintain effective site security. Syed would block IP ranges to prevent attacks, complete updates and work to combat potential or existing threats. An article on WPBeginner.com outlines the various plugins List25 uses for security. This information should provide better context for the time required to perform plugin updates when necessary. The time required to finish all the necessary work would range from 20 minutes to a full day or more in some cases. During the time Syed still managed and mitigated site threats, he recalls the increasing frequency and severity of the hits to his website.
Once or twice a week we would get attacked.
However, along with the site’s growing popularity, Syed decided to make two major changes to the business.
I have several different businesses running and having to pay attention to the server side of things on List25 (which is not my specialty as I am a business owner not a system admin). I needed a team and a product like the firewall Sucuri offers, which automatically blocks anything malicious. Because of the popularity of the site, List25.com, we cannot afford the site to go down. We changed hosting providers and then turned on the Sucuri Web Application Firewall layer that sits on top at the DNS level.
In addition to peace of mind, Sucuri was able to provide measurable benefit to the List25 organization and to Syed. A recent 30 day sample showed that the Web Application Firewall, CloudProxy, blocked more than 40,000 malicious requests; a significant increase from the one or two attacks per week the site experienced previously. Additionally, List25 benefited from single-click hardening. A process by which Sucuri’s scripts work to harden a website in the simplest (and most effective) way possible. Most importantly, List25 has not had to use the remediation (site clean up and recovery) services as the prevention efforts on their part has been immensely successful.
It is super, super secure. Since I’ve done that I haven’t needed to log into my server because I haven’t had any issues. Before using Sucuri I had to mitigate these attacks myself, but now that I’m using Sucuri I don’t have to do any of that and that is a big stress reliever for me.
When factored out over time, if a monthly average of 40,000 attacks have been prevented over the 2+ years List25 has rested behind Sucuri’s Firewall it would equate to more than 1 million potential attacks successfully blocked. Nullified. Though they certainly exist, some website security values remain challenging to measure, i.e. branding, PR, Marketing. However, other metrics are more easily visible and offer clear insight into Sucuri’s effectiveness in the WordPress security space.
Overall, Syed noted that Sucuri was able to save him approximately 5 to 6 hours per month. An approximate valuation of his time would place his earnings around $2,500 per hour. Consequently, he has saved between $12,500 and $15,000 per month by taking advantage of the security services Sucuri offers. Keep in mind, this is in time-savings alone. The numbers/statistics for this case are self-evident. There is a direct relationship between Sucuri’s security services and the time and money Syed and List25 saved. A fact for which Syed himself remains very grateful.