April 17, 2023 by Paul G. | Blog, Releases, Shield Pro, Shield Security, Updates

WP Shield Security PRO – Release 18.0

ShieldPRO 18 introduces our first ever exploration into the potential of Artificial Intelligence in powering WordPress Security.

As we’ve discussed previously, we’ve built an all-new WordPress PHP Malware Scanner that’s powered by Artificial Intelligence and which will learn and improve over time, with exposure to more and more malware.

We’re incredibly excited about the potential of this technology, and after months of development and testing, we’re finally ready to let it loose into the WordPress wild.

Artificial Intelligence isn’t the only thing to ship with ShieldPRO 18, so please read on to discover everything that’s new.

#1 AI-Powered PHP Malware Scanner for WordPress

Our mission with Shield Security has always been to automate and have our security software make as many intelligence security decisions as possible.

The reason is simple: the more decisions that can be made automatically, the less work that you, as the WordPress admin, have to do.

The less administrative work you have to do, the more you can focus on your website and your business.

MAL{ai} is our latest technological advancement in this mission. Previously we’ve had our CrowdSec Intelligence integration, our own Automatic IP Blocking system and Crowdsourced Hashing of plugins and themes.

We see it as just the beginning and as we refine the Malware scanning process, our ability to detect malware on your WordPress sites can only get better.

#2 Scan The Dark Corners of WordPress

We’ve often been asked:

“Why doesn’t Shield scan the WP Content directory or the WordPress root?”

The reason for this is simple. In order to scan any file you have to know both what you’re looking at, and what you’re looking for.

If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of files in the root of your WordPress website. Not just WordPress files, but many other non-WordPress files, too. Now imagine you have a scanner looking at these random files – what is it supposed to do with a non-WordPress file, that also doesn’t appear to be malware?

What should Shield do? Should it alert you? Should it delete it? What if it’s critical to your site?

Now multiply this over 10,000 websites and 100,000,000 files.

There’s no way for Shield to really know the answers, and so we’ve never dived into this area, until now.

To help with this, we’ve created a new file scan label (“unclassified”) and a new “File Scan Areas” option so you can tweak whether you want Shield to look at these areas or not.

Bear in mind that if you turn on these new file scan areas, you’ll likely get many, many more file results. If you don’t want them appearing in your results, just turn off the options.

With this new development we’ve ensured that Shield now searches absolutely everywhere on your WordPress site for files that shouldn’t be there. You’ll have the power to examine them all quickly, or, ignore them if you wish. The choice is entirely yours.

Please note that over time as we develop this further, we’ll improve our ability to automatically filter out certain files we know are usually in certain locations, and are likely to be safe.

#3 Major UI Improvements

The plugin has seen further UI enhancements in many areas. Most notable are the scan results tables, the activity logs and traffic logs.

Our aim has been to make the data presented more palatable to the eye and make better use of the space available. It’ll feel a bit cleaner and bit more compact. As always, we hope you’ll love it, but we’re always open to your feedback.

#4 Security Overview: View as Free or Pro

We’ve gotten some great feedback with our Security Overview dashboard.

The purpose of the dashboard was always to create a visually appealing display of all your security issues on your site. Nothing more.

At the time of its design, it was technically quite difficult to separate ShieldFREE features from ShieldPRO, so if you were running the free version, you would get lower security grades as you were never able to apply certain ShieldPRO features to increase your score.

This has caused some frustration, which has been highlighted to us a number of times. With this release of Shield you can niw toggle between a security analysis for ShieldFREE only features, or that for ShieldPRO.

In a sense, the security analysis when running under ShieldFREE mode isn’t entirely accurate, but it’ll at least give you a good guage of whether you’re taking advantage of all the free features or not.

#5 Further Code Improvements

ShieldPRO 17 saw some major changes in the codebase after our switch to PHP 7.2+. With that release established, we have now been able to do even more code cleaning. Just with the way WordPress upgrades work under the hood, we have to be very careful with serious code changes and it usually requires multiple versions to complete all the cleaning.

Comments, Suggestions and Feedback

We’re very excited about our Artificial Intelligence-powered securtiy release and we know that this is just the beginning of what we can do.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback so please do feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.

Hello dear reader!

If you want to level-up your WordPress security with ShieldPRO, click to get started today. (risk-free, with our no-quibble 14-day satisfaction promise!)

You'll get all PRO features, including AI Malware Scanning, WP Config File Protection, Plugin and Theme File Guard, import/export, exclusive customer support, and much, much more.

We'd be honoured to have you as a member, and look forward to serving you during your journey towards powerful, WordPress security.

Try ShieldPRO Today →

ShieldPRO Testimonials
@rcsmith's Gravatar @rcsmith

Great product/excellent support

I have been using Shield for a couple of years now. Previously, I had been using another of the “big” security plug-ins, but it became increasingly bloated and less effective over time. I tried Shield and have been VERY impressed with its functionality and with its support the few times…

@jayh1969wp's Gravatar @jayh1969wp

Excellent Piece of Software

I absolutely love everything about this piece of software! The coder has put a lot of serious thought into it’s design. You get constant updates and Customer Service is A+++! This plugin is a MUST HAVE if you run a WordPress Site!

@tkscreative's Gravatar @tkscreative

Well… Now this is a thing!

Started using this to build a website for my wife’s company. And now I keep trying to think of something else I make a site for. Love Worpress

@webpro360's Gravatar @webpro360

Great plugin

Have used Shield Security for WordPress now for many years on several dozen websites. I’ve always been very happy with its ease and effectiveness. Highly recommend this plugin for your WordPress site’s security.

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