10 Steps to Drupal Website Security

Nov 22, 2018
Steps to Drupal Website Security

Drupal is a PHP-based, open-source content management system (CMS).

Because of the strength it possess in building high-quality websites and its ability to meet user requirements, Drupal remains a leading CMS in 2018.

A primary advantage of Drupal is its online security. It protects users’ personal data from hackers, eliminates spam and prevents spam bots from crawling the website. Industry research shows that Drupal has one of the lowest vulnerability percentages (2%). To keep your Drupal website secure, let our drupal help team of web professionals to take care of it.

Because cybercriminals pose a danger to any digital platform, website security is the number one concern that should be addressed by any website owner. Most of a website’s serious vulnerabilities occur due to the use of contributed modules. As long as contributed modules or themes cannot be avoided, it is vital to learn how to add more security to a digital platform. Discover what to expect from a web development team for Drupal website security.

How to Secure Drupal Website?

  • Keep Drupal CMS and its Modules Up to Date.

An easy way to reduce your security vulnerabilities is by keeping your Drupal modules version up to date. Hackers usually target outdated platforms, so you must not lag behind. You can always contact Drudesk to get the latest version of Drupal CMS and its modules and be sure of your Drupal website security.

  • Create Website Backups.

In the event that your website becomes compromised, maintaining regular backups will allow you to quickly restore all the damaged data. Our team at Drudesk can easily backup your website. For example, we use Backup and Migrate module. Key features include:

  1. Backup/Restore multiple MySQL databases and code
  2. Backup of files directory is built into this version
  3. Add a note to backup files
  4. Smart delete options make it easier to manage backup files
  5. Backup to FTP/S3/Email
  6. Drush integration
  7. Multiple backup schedules
  • Set up a Firewalls.

Firewalls can be used to provide additional protection over the web server. A firewall is set up on a website to ensure that the connection accepts requests only from trusted parties. It can also be useful to use firewall rules to restrict outgoing connections from the Apache user.

  • Use Secure Connections.

You should always ensure the security of your connections. Use SFTP encryption if your web host provides it, or SSH. Keep in mind that whenever you work from public places, you are not using trusted networks.

  • Check Files Permissions.

To protect your website, you should use the correct file permissions. Each file has different permissions which allow people to read, write or modify them. If your permissions are too loose, it could be a signal for hackers to compromise your platform. However, if they are too restrictive, permissions could break your Drupal installation. That’s because modules and Drupal core must retain their ability to write to certain directories.

Drupal has clear documentation on securing file permissions and ownership.

  • Block Access to Important Files.

Restrict the access to some important files like authorize.php file, upgrade.php file and install.php file via .htaccess. By doing this, no one but you and developers will be able to enter the core files of a website.

  • Check out the Database Security.

Aside from checking files permissions and blocking access to important files, additional measures can be taken to improve the Drupal database security.

Database security settings can be very specific depending on the chosen database server. Drupal gives an option for selecting between different databases. Out of the box, there is an option for MySQL, SQLite or PostgreSQL. Besides, Drupal supports popular MySQL forks such as MariaDB and Percona.

Much depends too on where you keep the database. The most secure approach is to install the database on the same server as your website. However, this can have an impact on the system’s performance as a whole, and server admins may decide to move the database onto a separate server.

After finishing with server environment configuration, we will check to see whether your infrastructure is robust enough and test its resilience to a DoS attack.

  • Choose a Reliable Hosting Provider.

Make sure your choice of server supports Drupal CMS. Opt for a reputable hosting provider, even if it costs more. You never know what other websites share the same hosting server with you. Nonetheless, Google knows and associates you with them. This could mean dire consequences if any of these websites gets hacked. All the other platforms on that server (yours included) will be taken down. A hosting provider must also perform regular backups and fixes.

  • Enable HTTP Secure (HTTPS).

HTTPS is a protocol which encrypts HTTP requests and their responses. To secure the connection between the user and the server, you must install SSL certificate on the server. This will prohibit hackers from crawling the information transferred between the server and the user. Apart from the Drupal website security, SSL certificate also helps you rank higher in search engines.

HTTP security headers provide an additional layer of security for Drupal websites by reducing attacks and security vulnerabilities. They usually require only a small configuration change on your server. These headers tell the browser how to treat your site’s content.

  • Use Smart Usernames and Passwords.

Create unique and complex usernames and passwords. This is one of the most straightforward ways to increase your Drupal website security. Sequential or repeated numbers and birthdays are easy to remember, but are even simpler to crack! Remember that there are pervasive bots always crawling the web in search of opportunity. Believe us, you’ll end up regretting the choice of a memorable (but far less secure) password when rescuing your website from hacker attack.

Some Security Modules for Drupal Website.

There are a lot of useful security modules that will meet all your needs. Here is a list of some of them:

  1. Hacked!
  2. Security Kit
  3. Security Review
  4. Paranoia
  5. ClamAV
  6. Secure Permissions
  7. Password Policy
  8. Secure Login
  9. CAPTCHA Module
  10. Two-factor Authentication (TFA)
  11. Shield
  12. Session Limit

Contact Drudesk to get these modules deployed on your platform and ensure your Drupal website security.

Think of Drupal Website Security Today

We always follow these ten steps to secure Drupal websites. If you are not familiar with the inner structure of your platform, or just don’t have enough time to keep an eye on your website’s security, choose a monthly website maintenance plan.

A website maintenance plan is a perfect security solution as you can be confident that a team of professionals will perform regular check ups and updates. Utilize a Drupal support service to continuously monitor and safeguard your site. The alternative may end up costing your business a lot of money.

If you have any concerns regarding your Drupal website security, don’t hesitate to contact Drudesk for assistance or support.

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