Along with the improved protection engine, Oliver Slid, Patchstack‘s founder and CEO, announced new protection modules, advanced hardening for WordPress, changes to the generic OWASP protection module, and a new way for users to create custom rules.
A big focus of the release was on performance, as Oliver explains in the announcement:
With this update, we keep pushing the boundaries to bring you the most performant application security for WordPress. For example, the new engine can parse and understand JSON-based firewall rules and is able to determine if specific parameters are present before continuing to process the rule conditions.
This and many other fundamental upgrades to the Patchstack protection engine has made it approximately 10 times faster compared to our old engine (which was already the most lightweight compared to the competition).
In testing, the new engine was able to run through 100 rules within a single request between 0.11 and 2 milliseconds (depending on the version of PHP), improving a benchmark that was already one of the fastest in the industry.
A new App Store-like experience
The update is described as a “new foundation on which we can continue innovating and bring the WordPress ecosystem the security its users deserve”, with the introduction of new security models being offered via an app store-like experience. This gives users better control over what they deploy on their sites, based on what they need.