For Drupal Security Updates, A Third-Party Provider Can Help Keep Sites Safe and Free Up Time for IT Teams

By Elizabeth Clor

Drupal is one of the most popular and trusted content management systems out there. This robust, open source platform powers some of the largest and most sensitive websites in the world, thanks to its customizable and secure offering—which is constantly being improved upon by its active community. 

While Drupal has come to be known for comprehensive and frequent security updates, manually performing these updates can prove to be challenging, time-consuming and expensive for IT teams. Depending on how a Drupal website or application is being managed—for example, using dependency tool Composer—security updates could become even more complex. 

For many users, strict constraints in Drupal make it harder for website managers to apply their own security updates. Or, these IT teams are too busy to manually track the deluge of security releases from Drupal’s security advisories webpage and email list. However, applying these updates is critical, as any delay can result in compromised websites and millions of dollars of damage. 

From navigating Drupal modules complexities to staying up-to-date with the latest security patch, a third-party Drupal support partner can ensure a website stays secure.

Applying Drupal security updates isn’t straightforward

Drupal’s software benefits from an active security team of developers working to identify, announce and resolve potential security issues. However, Drupal’s robust security protocols can only be effective in protecting a website if the latest updates have actually been applied. 

Unfortunately, Drupal users can’t apply security updates automatically (Drupal says the feature could come soon)—but even if they could, an IT team would still need to make sure the latest update works with a website’s existing modules to avoid a crash. Still, if automatic updates were available today, they likely wouldn’t fit into many Drupal users’ development workflows as these teams can prefer to control updates in their own software release pipelines. 

So, what are the other options? To avoid laborious manual tracking, some Drupal users have turned to tools such as Drush and Composer. However, each has its drawbacks—chief among them being that both tools require added configuration and server work. Other Drupal teams have enabled the Update core module with security-focused settings, but similarly, this can have a negative impact on website performance, causing slow load times if the user doesn’t understand Drupal modules dependency. 

But there’s still another option better suited for many IT teams: enlisting the help of a trusted professional to manage security updates.

Enlist a trusted partner to take care of important Drupal security maintenance 

Just like a car, a Drupal website requires routine maintenance. While the car owner can manage changing the oil and airing up the tires, the more important upkeep tasks—like servicing the brakes—are best handled by someone with car maintenance knowledge and experience. 

A third-party Drupal support partner can more effectively perform important security maintenance to ensure a website is running smoothly and securely. Contegix’s team of Drupal experts have a detailed understanding of the application’s modules, where potential vulnerabilities could exist and what solutions should be used to address such issues. In addition to applying the right security updates as soon as they’re needed, general support from Contegix’s experts is available 24/7 to assist with any issue in Drupal. 

A support provider like Contegix also comes prepared with Drupal hardening expertise. This offering takes a step beyond security updates and outfits a Drupal application with additional protections, like website file monitoring capabilities, malware and virus protection and proactive security patching to locate the vulnerabilities that haven’t been exploited yet. 

For IT teams who are not currently updating Drupal with each security patch, a Drupal support partner can be a helping hand that not only guarantees security updates are applied, but takes more proactive measures to safeguard a website against malicious attacks before they ever occur. 

To learn more about how Contegix can help optimize website security and performance, please check out our BlackMesh Drupal Services.