I have been looking at securing my WordPress installations for myself and clients a lot recently, and one of the new tools I have started using to do this is Wordfence WordPress security and anti malware.
It is a plugin which has a number of tools such as software firewall to block IP addresses and users which are carrying out malicious actions such as trying to brute force your admin area password for example where if it detects a number of incorrect attempts to login it will ban the IP address of the offender, effectively stopping them from accessing your website.
It also emails you about all login attempts, any malicious activity it detects and blocks, detected exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware.
WordFence features a realtime malware scanner which will scan through your file system of your website looking for known exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware, and will email you if it finds any.
It also has a number of website caching options to speed up your website as well under its performance options you will find caching options which can speed up your website by 2 to 3 times normal loading times, and if you make use of their own falcon caching engine it claims between 50 – 60 times loading times speed increase!
This plugin is rapidly becoming an essential part of any installation of WordPress I setup now, and is in my list of default plugins to install, in terms of security and keeping hackers out it is invaluable!