Shield Central Set For Its Debut Release!

Shield Security Central is the first and only one of its kind for the WordPress platform.

In a nutshell – it’s the only control panel that lets you manage all options of a WordPress plugin on all your sites at once, from 1 place.

That’s a bit of a mouthful. Basically instead of logging to every site each time you want to update settings, you use Shield Central. Set it once in Shield Central and push it out to your entire network in seconds.

And it’s set for release next week!

Busy? Here’s the TL;DR

Shield Central will be released next week and bringing huge improvements to WP security management. This technology wont be available anywhere else (at any price):

  1. All Options Management. Manage all Shield Security options on all sites in 1 control panel
  2. Automatic Security Upgrades – Shield Central will keep your Shield Security up-to-date for you. One less job for you to waste time on.
  3. Security Profiles – forget basic import and export. Profiles will standardise security configurations with ease across your entire portfolio!
    • You can create as many Security Profiles as you need, and apply them to as many or as few sites as you require. It’s completely up to you, and completely unlimited.
    • You’ll also be able to import options from existing sites to create brand new profiles!
  4. Audit Trail Review – Read the audit trails for your sites from the same control panel and quickly assess problems without access to the site.
  5. Remote Debug and No Lock-outs – Since you can add/remove Shield from iControlWP if you’re locked out, you can get back in easily. But it’ll never come to that. Why? Because you can change settings from here and turn off the block – e.g. remove your IP from the black list, for example! 🙂
  6. IP Whitelist Management – As with Shield Security itself, you can add specfic IPs to your site whitelists and remove IPs from the blacklist.
  7. On-Demand Scanning – Shield Security already runs the WordPress Core File Integrity scans for you. Now you can run it on-demand as you need.
  8. Priority Support – All Shield Central clients receive priority support for Shield
  9. More to come… this is just the very beginning. We will continue to grow the advantages of Shield Central to assist with scalable WordPress Security management. Watch this space!

For a few more details on some of these points, read on…

Why Shield Central? Let’s do the maths…

Suppose we release a new version of the Shield Security plugin, with a brand new option and you want it on all your sites.

Here are the steps you would normally have to take on one site:

  • Log into your WordPress admin :: 1 minute
  • Update the plugin :: 1 minute
  • Locate the option and change it, save it :: 30 seconds

That’s 2.5 minutes. Give or take – the speed of your hosting, two-factor authentication, Facebook distractions etc. can all slow this down.

2:30 minutes isn’t very long. Imagine you have another 10 sites. Now you’re looking at 25 minutes.

25 sites? 1hrs+
50 sites? 2hrs+
100 sites? 4hrs+

And bear in mind that this is just 1 option on 1 site. What happens if you decide that you want to tweak another option on all your sites? Maybe change the notification email? Or set the IP auto-block transgression limit to 5 instead of 10?

Managing the options of a plugin on WordPress is one of the least scalable activities for any site admin.

Saving time in management is just one of the massive advantages that Shield Central brings us.

What about just importing and exporting options?

We get asked for this option quite a lot, but we don’t like this option. Import/export sounds like it would help, but it doesn’t address the previous problem in any way.  You still have to perform the same number of steps.

Not only that, not all options are compatible with all sites. So you can only import options from Site A to Site B if the options “profile” works on Site B. How do you track that?  If you have staff that help you, how to do share that knowledge reliably?

The Solution To Import/Export: Security Profiles

Security Profiles lay the foundation for consistency and highly optimised security management.

You can now control exactly the options configuration and make them identical across any group of sites.

Security settings are a fine art. Not all rules are compatible with all site configurations and it ‘s our job as administrators to work out the correct mix of options – an options Profile.

If you have a bunch of sites that work with Profile A, and another with Profile B, you can keep 2 separate configurations for these groups. You update the options for A and B separately, and can roll them out to the sites in that group whenever you update that Profile. It’s entirely up to you.

With Shield Central you can create, maintain and deploy as many different Security Profiles as you wish. There is no limit.

In this way you can achieve a level of consistency across your entire portfolio that was practically impossible before now.

When can you get Shield Central and how much is it?

We’re looking to make Shield Central available on the iControlWP platform in the middle of next week: Wednesday 26th July.

Depending on your subscription plan Shield will be included or available an optional add-on to your package.

Shield Central will cost $20/month assuming you’re subscribing to one of our newer plans. If you’re on an older legacy plan, prices will vary, but you’ll be able to see the cost for adding Shield Central to your iControlWP directly from within the control panel.
(For a limited time only, we’ll be offering Shield Central included as part of the Control package.)

This is only the beginning

The Shield Central that we will release shortly reflects the Shield Security plugin in its entirety and will continue to do so.

We have big plans for Shield Security, Shield Central, and iControlWP. Our mission remains the same. To give you back time in your lives that has been stolen by the ever-increasing burden of website management. With so many things vying for our time and attention, surely we can do better than what we have today?  We definitely can!

We don’t need all these email notifications, scaremongering. The constant barrage of security warnings and threats can be overwhelming. We believe we can tame this beast, and it all started with iControlWP. Shield Security came next, and Shield Central is the next steps in that journey. (We have a few more to make… but that’s for another day 😉

As always, thank you for your support while we’ve been investing our resources into developing Shield Central.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Hi, thanks very much for this article.

    I came across your post last week and implemented the above steps on my blog but after two days of applying my flexible SSL certificate was still pending. I contacted their support and they explained the delay wasn’t from their own end.

    I later came across another article on Let’s Encrypt free SSL. I implemented the steps and it was like magic.

    The let’s encrypt SSL is active though will have to renew it every 3months.

    Thanks again for the great piece.

    View Comment
    • Paul G. says:

      Hi! Thanks for your comment and glad you got it working.

      I’d be curious to hear what was causing the delay? It might be useful for other people to know.

      And yep, Lets Encrypt is fantastic tech and easily the better option for setting up great SSL quickly.

      Thanks again!

      View Comment
  • Robert D. says:

    Paul this is amazing. I currently use your 2 stand alone plugins for all my sites. Now this will consolidate my robust management into 1 plugin. Keep it up!

    View Comment
  • Roy Randolph says:

    Hello Paul – Liking the changes you are making, nice work, happy to be one of your clients.

    In regards to your question “I’d be curious to hear what was causing the delay?”
    I do know from using the Let’s Encrypt cPanel plugin, that if the site you are setting up the Let’s Encrypt is behind a WAF (Web Application Firewall, like Sucuri or CloudFlare) the domain name can not be validated and the Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate will not be issued. So you need to deactivate the WAF before issuing the Certificate. The NEW Automatic cPanel FREE SSL Certificate in conjunction with cPanel and COMODO (which is really nice) also has the same restrictions. No sure if this is the same issue @Abdulwahab Suleiman was having.

    So, just FYI.

    View Comment
  • TwoCentsBob says:

    G’Day Paul;

    Just like to say even though I only use the free version, I have always found you to be professional and quick to answer queries. Keep up the great work and I hope that the free version remains as powerful as it is easy to use.

    Cheers Bob

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