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8th Dec 2020

Drupal Security: The Best Practices to Follow

Drupal is known for its security. It’s community reviewed modules, in-depth testing and secure codebase make up this trusted platform. In fact, it’s so trusted that Drupal is the platform of choice for governments, universities and Fortune 500 companies. If Drupal is your chosen platform, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to ensure optimum security. In this post, we’ll detail the vulnerabilities of Drupal, best practices for security and what Drupal 9 will add to make it one of the most secure platforms in the world.

Vulnerabilities of Drupal

All CMS platforms encounter vulnerabilities, but Drupal’s security team is hot on the heels of any issues. In its security advisories page, Drupal’s security team lists breaches or vulnerabilities encountered so the community can act upon them. The complexity of Drupal’s software means it’s vulnerable to bugs, but the dedicated security team ensures users are notified and patches are released to remedy the issue quickly and effectively. 

Although it can suffer from vulnerabilities, it’s worth remembering the lengths Drupal goes to ensure the safety of its sites. If you’re in the process of deciding between platforms, read our key features of Drupal guide for more information.

How to secure your Drupal site

Stay updated

Make sure your Drupal site and modules are updated. Although this can require development to fix incompatibilities, the time spent resolving minor issues is worth the peace of mind your site security brings. 

Use data encryption

Your site should use data encryption to make sure data is securely protected. There are specific modules that can help with this, but as a first step, moving to https and installing an SSL certificate should be a top priority if you haven’t done these already. 

Choose the right modules

Your modules are a window to the core of your website, so make sure you trust them. Do your research on the most used, trusted and highly reviewed modules to minimise the chance of any breaches. 

Security modules are there to help

There are also specific Drupal security modules you can use to help secure your site. These modules provide an extra-layer of security, on top of the trustworthy Drupal core the designated security team maintains. From two-factor authentication to blocking code that could provide hackers with high-level access, the modules available can mitigate most security issues. 

Review your site admin

Although it can be a painstakingly slow and monotonous task, reviewing your site’s admin is important to decrease the chances of security vulnerabilities. Remove users who no longer work at your company, change passwords regularly and check logs for anything that seems out of the ordinary. Keeping on top of your admin is time well spent. 

Read a Drupal security best practices guide

To get full, in-depth insights on how to secure your Drupal site, why not buy a guide to walk you through the steps? This particular book by OpenConcept details how to secure your website when you’re first starting out. There are plenty of detailed resources to purchase that can provide you with a wealth of information. 

Involve an agency

For a time-effective solution, ask an experienced agency to get involved. An agency that works with Drupal solutions and understands Drupal security strategies can effectively protect your site from vulnerabilities. As a trusted development agency, we’ve worked with clients to get the best out of their site. Reaching and maintaining best practice site security doesn’t have to be a tiresome process, providing you work with a reputable, experienced agency. 

Drupal 9 release

After the long-awaited release of Drupal 9, site owners can now expect upgraded security and accessibility for their sites. For example, in a recent interview Drupal stated that “Drupal 9 removes deprecated code so you’re working with a smaller codebase”. Your outdated code won’t be a concern further down the line as it will be removed, reducing the chances of security breaches. 

Support for Drupal 7 will end in November 2022. This means that security updates will also terminate, leaving sites open to vulnerabilities and attacks. Upgrading to Drupal 9 will combine the benefits of Drupal 8 with new, improved security features and regular releases.

Drupal security best practices

The best practice tips we’ve detailed can help you achieve the highest level of site security. However, it’s vital they are regularly revisited to ensure your site and processes are up to date. If you’ve been struggling to maintain your site security, or you don’t know where to start, it’s worth giving us a call on 01865 422212 or sending us a message to see how we can help.

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