Best Practices for Security in Drupal Website

By Akshita Rawat Mar 14, 2019

Enterprises - large and small - often rely on Drupal’s secure system safeguard against the most critical internet vulnerabilities. With its dedicated security team, a large professional service provider ecosystem, and one of the largest developer communities, it actually has the capability to do so and secure your enterprise against attacks. But upto what extent?

While Drupal CMS is undoubtedly secure with strong coding standards and rigorous community code review process, and there are several Drupal security modules out there, it still requires some effort on the part of teams that work on Drupal sites. Adherence to the best practices, and having a well-planned security strategy will help you be prepared for any kind of ransomware and phishing attacks, if they occur.

Here’s taking a look at the best practices to ensure security in Drupal website:

Develop a Security Plan

According to a report by Symantec, there was a 42% increase in new ransomware variants in 2018. So even though Drupal is implemented with the highest levels of security, assuming that it will always be foolproof and doing nothing about it isn’t a good idea. A basic security plan would involve:

  • Chalking out the applications in a hierarchical manner. Prioritize which applications to focus on first.

  • Categorizing your applications as normal, serious and critical. Reserve extensive testing for critical ones, and less intensive testing for normal ones. This allows you to make the most effective use of your company’s resources and will help you achieve progress more quickly.

This also ensures that the needs of every department are accounted for, and your bottom line is not compromised in the name of security.

Choose a Secure Hosting Provider

Website security needs to be a holistic approach. From choosing passwords, captchas, SSL certificates, to securing the server, everything needs to adhere to the security standards. Which is why, before you select a hosting provider, make sure that you do not compromise on the security standpoint. The right hosting provider will not only improve the speed and uptime of your website, but also ensure your website security.

In best case scenarios, Drupal-specific hosting provides you with server-side security patches and pre-emptive upgrades to match up with the new upcoming versions.

Always Upgrade to the Latest Version

More often, hackers are able to target the old versions since they are more prone to open vulnerabilities. So always keep your website updated to the latest Drupal version. Keep an eye out for the core updates (even the minor releases). And if you are too busy to do it, simply follow the Drupal security team on Twitter or through emails (newsletter).

Activate Additional Security Modules

Besides having a secure infrastructure, you can also equip your Drupal website with additional security modules. But adding all the modules can slow down the speed of your website, and may even make your website prone to vulnerabilities.

So what is key here is choosing stable and approved modules. Particularly for contribution modules, use only those that have a green batch. Those are the ones approved by the Drupal security team.

Define Permissions with User Role Access

One of the easiest ways to carefully and thoughtfully secure the administrative side is by setting user permissions.  

Through permissions in Drupal, you can govern and restrict user actions on the site, including viewing, editing content and changing configuration. Each permission covers one action or a small subset of actions. And any user will be able to grant permission in order to do the corresponding action on the site; since permissions are defined by the modules that provide the actions.

GDPR Compliance

With the implementation of GDPR, user data privacy is now an added note to security. So you need to ensure that your customer data is secure and protected. Every data collection step should involve the clear consent of the user, and data should be encrypted and secured in a place which is tough to locate.

Not complying with GDPR, can also put your business at significant risk. So it is in your interest that all the data collected is secure and subject to data security and privacy principles.

Backup your Website

Backups are yet another important element of security. In case of any unforeseen instance, a secure backup can save your data as well as reputation. It will cover the latest copy of the system and data that can be deployed to restore the information.

Web security is not just about saving the website from nefarious activities, such as phishing and other social engineering attacks, it is a proactive measure that you must take to make it difficult to break in.

Every business is unique, and it is always good to contact IT professionals who can evaluate your system and suggest best practices for your business. Our Drupal experts are just one click away. Drop a mail at to chalk out the best practices and secure your website.

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