Drupal 8 Is More Secure- Here Is How

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The advent of Drupal 8 is no less than a milestone in the Drupal world, which contributed to its never ending supremacy in the web design and development. With more than 200 new features and enhancements, Drupal 8 is all set to woo the webmasters, administrators, authors, developers and most importantly the users. It is currently reckoned as the widely used and popular open-source CMS available for doing extensive web development processes.

Since it is an open source platform, one cannot deny of the security jolts it has been facing directly or through other components. There are assumptions that Drupal source codes are vulnerable to security flaws as they are available free to use. This means that the websites developed using these codes are sensitive to potential hackers and security issues.

But how to check the security issue? The simplest answer to this obvious question is to comprehend inbuilt security into the core. Securing a software or product after it has been built is not impossible but yes, it is difficult and not that fruitful. Drupal 8 is trying to include more security by default.

Major Reasons Contributing To Drupal 8 Security

HTML generation using Twig Templates

Using Twig templates is quite popular among themers and site authors. It allows easy separation of business logic and presentation to simplify the validation of third party themes/presentation work. But remember, twig does not allow you to access Drupal API or run SQL queries. Moreover, Drupal 8 has twig auto-escape feature that automatically marks unsafe strings and escapes them using htmlspecialchars(), a PHP function.
This auto-escaping function will prevent many of the XSS vulnerabilities that get introduced in site themes & custom modules unintentionally.

Use of PHP as input format in core discontinued

Drupal 8 does not use PHP input format in the core. This means it is no longer important to access the administration login in order to run arbitrary PHP commands or codes on the server.

Improved content entry and filtering

The introduction of WYSIWYG is a boon to Drupal core’s usability and which is why it is introduced on Drupal 8 with some extra improvements. It effectively prevents the execution of unfiltered HTML format. Moreover, the users are allowed only to use images local to the site, thus preventing CSRF i.e cross-site request forgery and different other attacks.

Route definitions include automatic CSRF token protection

Some of the links (GET) requests that lead to destructive change in configuration or action should be protected from CSRF with the help of user-specific token placed in the query string. It should be checked before beginning with the process. This improves the security and functioning by automatically running the process already forgotten. The developers no longer have to specify the system path using CSRF token.

By default Clickjacking protection enables

This might be a small change for some, but significant. By default, Drupal 8 sends X-Frame-Option i.e SAMEORIGIN header to all the requests. This keeps site protected from being saved inside the iframe on different domains.

CSP supports core JavaScript API

The compatibility to the inline JavaScript forms the #attached property in the Drupal that renders API was removed. Moreover, the Drupal JS variables of settings get added to the JSON data which is loaded into a variable instead of being delivered as inline JS. This is supposed to be the last time inline JavaScript is used by Drupal 8, but for now the developers can use CSP (content security policy) which is a new web standard used for interacting per-site restrictions to browsers and resolving XSS and other major vulnerabilities.

Top 5 Drupal Modules That Makes Site More Secure

Here are top modules which can be actively used by site owners to make their website more secure and optimized.

CAPTCHA

This is one of the most intuitive and highly secure modules for Drupal that includes a challenge or general test for anyone who enters content on the website. This is done to ask if the user is a robot or a human being. All types of invalid responses are eliminated/ removed using some techniques of Captcha.

Taxonomy Access Control Lite

This module helps in preventing the content which should not be read by other users or group of users. The site owners get control of restricting/limiting the views of data to their site using this module.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

This plugin can be easily integrated with any type of LDAP and it helps in authorizing, the user authenticating & provisioning along with access to the feeds. It helps in leveraging and optimizing the security levels of Drupal by building barriers like query and server configuration storage.

AES Encryption

AES encryption is the best encryption method which is used to encrypt legal and confidential documents. This is majorly used by site owners and developers allowing a user to access the password in simple text form. Developers get user-friendly API using this plugin by setting the ‘aes_encrypt’ and ‘aes_decrypt’ functions.

Secure Pages Hijack Prevention

This module effectively prevents cookie hijacking, thus preventing hackers from accessing your web SSL pages. Remember SSL pages are capable of transmitting private and confidential documents. Once you have installed this module with any of your pages, get assured of the security of your login information and its data.

These above-mentioned modules are specifically designed to fortify the security of Drupal. Using these modules, you can easily safeguard your content and manage its accessibility. This helps in keeping your website safe and protected from unwanted malware attacks.

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