Why Do You Need a Drupal Firewall?


Why Do You Need a Drupal Firewall?More than 2% of online platforms are powered by Drupal, the actual number standing at over 2 million active sites. This makes security measures against rising cyber threats a key issue to be addressed. Hackers can utilize vulnerabilities and security risks that are unique to the Drupal platform and exploit them accordingly to achieve their goals at the Drupal user’s expense. However, malicious activities are not specific to any particular CMS so taking precautionary steps or setting up plugins or extensions is never too early.

This is where an effective Drupal firewall system steps in, with both basic protection measures and characteristic measures designed specifically for this CMS.

  1. Outdated themes or plugins

A good firewall should alert you to outdated themes, extensions, or plugins as outdated versions or poorly coded extensions can prove to be a breeding ground for malware or poorly executed code. Developers often initiate frequent updates when they identify threats of vulnerabilities within the system that needs to be patched up. Every moment after such a threat is detected and the update is delayed, you’re risking your platform’s security and its ability to stand against hacking attempts.

  1. Backups

Frequent backups should be taken in preparation for any adverse situation that requires clean versions of your site or modules and extensions, and these must be stored in a location ideally off the server. The firewall should provide an option for periodic backups such as this.

It is always best if you back up your site when installing a module or extension for the first time, as any changes or ripple effects to the core files can result in unexpected changes that cannot be reversed.

  1. Auditing each Drupal module

As useful as Drupal modules are for increasing the effectiveness of your site and its outreach to your desired customer base, it is equally possible that there are many hidden vulnerabilities and security risks hidden within.

Therefore, periodic evaluations of each Drupal module downloaded with detailed reports on its features and risks is an important step. The auditing can also make sure that your site is still in need of the specific module and the optimal solution for the problem in hand, choosing to delete it otherwise and protect yourself from any hidden loopholes.

Under the Drupal module depository, each module needs to be analysed:

  • If the module frequently presents issues and if there’s an alternative that presents fewer problems;

  • Monitor reports on bugs, the frequency of appearance, and the period between reporting and resolving them;

  • Regular maintenance done by the firewall in order to maintain a platform with bug fixes and periodic updates;

  • Maintain proper documentation so that it makes it easier to refer to past occurrences of problems and find out solutions or identify issues from an early stage;

  • Check if the module is being actively developed and check for alternative modules if not.

  1. Managing Drupal user accounts

The Drupal firewall should monitor all user accounts continuously to check that only those who are offered access privileges are able to enter, what kind of privileges they were provided, and if they are still performing the role that requires this level of access.

Most users are assigned default roles, but some have custom access such as:

  • Administration – this allows them to perform most actions on the site, including adding content and editing other users’ roles and permissions;

  • Access – read-only with no ability to modify content;

  • Create – add content but not able to modify it;

  • Maintain – both add and modify the content.

  1. Verify password strength

Strong login credentials are the beginning and end of the basic security strategy for any CMS platform. This is especially useful for staying protected against brute force attacks, which means the firewall system should ensure that passwords aren’t limited to those which are easy to remember, default versions, or containing predictable patterns.

There are usually provisions for limiting login attempts for protection against brute force attacks, since the automated bots try out multiple versions of the username and password combinations until they are able to access the site.

Users should be pushed to prepare passwords that contain lowercase letters, uppercase letters, digits, and special characters to form a minimum total of 10 characters.

  1. Limit Drupal access to authenticated URLs

Drupal security modules or firewalls should be able to offer you the option of blacklisting or whitelisting IPs that are allowed to access the login page. Only trusted sources can then bypass security measures and access the required pages.

You can also browse the option of setting up two-factor authentication methods which requires access to a physical device.

  1. Monitor all attacks and hacking attempts

Further reports on these incidents will help in identifying weak areas and increasing security.

These are a few features that a Drupal firewall should have – and Astra Security is one of those professionals who definitely consists of more than these. Check us out today!