We don’t know if we faced a data breach or any kind of hack of our online applications until we find these details publicly exposed or disclosed ethically by a white hat hacker. Drupal as a back-end framework (open-source CMS platform) serves over 2.3% of all the websites worldover and requires a need of security to protect these huge number of websites against today’s cyber attacks. In 2019, a single data breach caused the leaking of the private information of at least 2.7 billion people, with their passwords and email addressed out in public for possible misuse. This is not the end, but it can be for your site with the right kind of protection.
The right kind of protection begins with securing your Drupal site, testing for potential vulnerabilities and loopholes, conducting test runs and identifying problems for preventing future problems with the help of the features available on the platform.
You can follow these below-mentioned steps to enhance security of your Drupal-based application/website.
For more info: https://www.getastra.com/drupal-firewall
Step 1. What problems do your Drupal platform face?
To know the problem of any hack situation, you should conduct a thorough search and identify the issue which allows you to move towards associated damages caused. This helps in setting a plan to deal with the issues in a few logical steps rather than sit on top of it with no concrete solutions at the end of it. Try and pinpoint the date of the attack and when the data was compromised so that you can access your previously backed up version of the site and further secure it.
If this is not a possible route of damage control, repairs can require more precision and careful scrutiny since you’d need to analyze closely the areas of damage and initiate specific restoration processes. If the damage is more spread-out, this requires a different approach to rebuild the entire website completely. This is, however, the only possible resolution because most hacking attempts are consistent and cannot be removed completely, either by hiding themselves or through more direct creation of accounts. It doesn’t have to be a long and painful process – most of your old assets can be used and existing content has potential based on older copies you’ve made.
Step 2. Make copies or take it offline
Most website owners and users of platforms such as Drupal abide by this method of creating offline copies of their content, especially since there is unpredictability concerning hackers’ actions. Choose devices like USBs or CDs that cannot have their data altered remotely. You can use these copies to rebuild and/or recover your site, therefore not requiring the entire process of recreation from the beginning or redesigning basic aspects. Whether or not you’re being hacked, it is always wise to create copies of your site in scheduled runs to save yourself from the headache in the long run.
Making these copies effectively moves your site to an offline status and this is helpful if you’re receiving indications that it is being used for malicious activities and distribution of malware by hackers such as sending spam or as an access point for future attacks. Offline version also helps in the long run by barricading your Drupal platform from any more security threats.
Step 3. So, what’s the sitch?
Further and robust analysis is required to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem to prevent further occurrences. The root of the attack lies in the manner in which your site was compromised – was it your content management system (CMS), a quick switch in your content, or the old way of spam emails? Were there any recent notifications or signs that login information was stolen by illegally accessing your CRM or marketing automation solution? A single point of vulnerability is all it takes for the hacker to access your content and wreak havoc, and the compromising of credentials remains the single biggest source of worry in terms of data breaches.
Technical hacks can also occur quite easily which, on Drupal, usually means the modification of PHP files (e.g. index.php) or any other code files to insert a virus, or any even using the php.module to change a block or node’s behavior.
Also, remember to use password managers so that you can avoid using the same password multiple times, the most common phenomenon that leads to such hacking incidents.
Step 4. Rejuvenation and Repair
To get back on track, the efforts and the time required depends on the mode of reparation that you’ve chosen. Be it repairing and rebuilding manually all on your own from scratch or taking up those platform-as-a-service solutions that allow the building of security levels around your website and applications, there are different ways you can go about the entire process. If you are choosing the latter option, platform providers provide infrastructure to meet every customer’s specific needs in accordance with compliance requirements like PCI or HIPAA, while providing options to rebuild your site before relaunching it.
Completely sealed off from the rest of the internet, the test environment allows your site to flourish and stumble around as much as needed without fearing consequences. In this way, you can ensure there are added layers of production to keep your Drupal security accurate.