Drupal 8 Security Best Practices & Hardening Modules

28 Apr 2023

Security is one of the most important considerations for anyone creating a website. Any site needs a reliable security system with a minimum number of vulnerabilities. Personal data must also be protected. Sometimes it is too expensive to deal with the consequences of avoiding an unpleasant situation. 
It is not the purpose of this article to discuss how useful and convenient Drupal is. We'll talk about steps you can take to improve your security. And now, let's look at some Drupal features that will help you to avoid various threats and security vulnerabilities.

Drupal security

By choosing Drupal, you can be sure of security because this CMS is considered one of the best in data protection. Drupal is trusted by government organizations, financial institutions, e-shops, and other websites that handle customers' sensitive information and personal data. 
Updates are constantly released, the system is constantly being improved, and Drupal effectively eliminates the top 10 OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) security threats. Drupal is the third most popular open-source CMS in the world. Drupal is constantly growing and developing, successfully fixing vulnerabilities and expanding the audience.

Login Filtering

Everyone knows that almost every website on the Internet collects user data. This is done for various reasons, and one of them is security. To prevent hackers from injecting SQL codes, some administrators exclude the words: “DROP,” “DELETE,” and “SELECT.” However, in this case, you restrict users' freedom, which can have negative consequences. Drupal provides the ability to use filtering and escaping. There is a special database for this. The functions allow you to filter and remove dangerous SQL codes, significantly increasing security.

Security depends on updates

Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities and new ways to bypass system security, which is why following updates are essential. The development team constantly looks for vulnerabilities and releases updates to fix them. Also, the feedback method with Drupal participants is used. Often updates contain security and bug fixes and new features that give you more options. We recommend you stay tuned and update your Drupal version and modules regularly. Many Drupal security issues can be avoided with regular security updates.


HTTPS is necessary today when personal data and password transfer can be at risk of capture. Many intruders make money by stealing personal data, bank card passwords, and other information. An SSL certificate is the encryption of data transmitted from the user to the server. Also, it gives a bonus - a positive impact on the SEO ranking of the site and higher positions in the search results. Google and other search engines will trust your site more due to the use of an SSL certificate.

CKEditor - safe and convenient editor

WYSIWYG HTML editor is not a security module but provides a secure environment for editing pages. CKEditor includes many convenient and efficient editing features. Regular security updates make the editor an important security element for your website. Starting with version 4, the editor has been completely rewritten; it has become even more convenient and faster. Also, it works much better with the text. The developers recommend switching to CKEditor 5 before the end of 2023, as CKEditor 4 will no longer receive security updates. CKEditor 5 will be available for Drupal 9.5 and Drupal 10.

Now let's talk about Drupal security modules.

Top Security Modules for Your Drupal Website

Security kit

This module allows you to eliminate many vulnerabilities and provides comprehensive protection at different levels. If you need Drupal 8 security hardening - use this module.
The Security Kit is built in such a way as to protect the website from the most common and dangerous problems, such as:

  • Sniffing (cross-site scripting);
  • Managing the internal XSS filter;
  • Prevention of content interception;
  • Clickjacking;
  • SSL/TLS - “man in the middle” and eavesdropping attacks can no longer harm your site.
  • And other features.

 Works with Drupal 6, 7, 8, 9 (Drupal 6 version is no longer supported).

Two-factor authentication

Today it is one of the most common methods for protecting a site. It involves sending a one-time password to a real mobile phone number that belongs to a real user. In addition to increasing the level of security, this helps restore access if the user cannot remember the password he entered during registration.

The module works with Drupal 7, 8, 9, 10.

Login and password protection

Login and password guessing is one of the oldest and most common hacking methods. This method can give access to the user's account and personal data. Username enumeration module prevention makes such a hack impossible. How does this happen? 
After each unsuccessful attempt to log in to the website, the user will receive an error message. After several unsuccessful login attempts, the status message will be disabled. It is the status message that helps the hacker guess the username. Next, the user (or hacker) will see the preview message and be redirected to the login form.
Remember - Drupal 6, and earlier versions don't support this module; if you haven't updated your website for a long time, it's a severe threat. Drupal 7 security best practices include that module, so don't forget to update the site. 
Works with Drupal 7, 8, 9.


Everyone knows what it is because CAPTCHA is used almost everywhere. This module can take different forms, but the essence is the same. CAPTCHA prevents bots from entering the site and requires the user to confirm entry by answering a question or selecting a picture. By connecting this module, you can not be afraid of spam bots. 
CAPTCHA module works with Drupal 7, 8.

Drupal Security Review

Actually, we can speak about Drupal security website audit because this module checks the site and identifies vulnerabilities. Drupal Security Review is very popular because it allows you to detect many problems, such as:

  • Protection against incorrect access configuration;
  • Fishing protection;
  • Registration of erroneous login attempts;
  • Prevention of information disclosure;
  • Checking the file system;
  • And much more.

Experts recommend checking your website once every three months, and if you work with bank card data and a lot of personal data, you should check once every two months or even once a month. The full list includes dozens of different security checks.
The module works with Drupal 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Password strength policy

Surely, everyone sometimes creates a password for an account on a website or social network. Often you might notice that there are rules for creating passwords in each system. This helps improve password security and prevents users from creating passwords that are too simple and easy to crack. Also, the Password Strength module has many other options to configure, which gives you almost endless possibilities to create different configurations. There are versions for Drupal 8 and Drupal 7. The version for Drupal 8 consists of submodules:

  • character types;
  • uppercase;
  • lowercase;
  • length;
  • digital;
  • letter;
  • Letter/digit (Alphanumeric);
  • punctuation;
  • user name;
  • delay;
  • digital placement;
  • history (looking for recent duplicates and comparing new passwords with old ones).

This module also has an expiration feature. After a certain period, the user will have to change the old password. You can also set a user lockout - the user will be locked out after the password expires. Of course, this module is one of the Drupal 7 security best practices, and in Drupal 8, you can use it as a plugin.
Works with Drupal 7, 8, 9, 10.

Drupal login security

Drupal website development will be incomplete if you don't secure the login. Drupal login security is one of the most popular and effective modules. It protects Drupal core from intruders and frequent login attempts. After several unsuccessful attempts, access will be blocked. The website administrator can even block the IP address. Blocking can be temporary or permanent.
Also, the Drupal login security module sends an email with a message about failed login attempts. If an attacker tries to log into the site as an administrator, after unsuccessful attempts, he will see a message with a false login error. So it will be unable to find out the real reason for the login failure. The site administrator can set the allowed number of login attempts, deny access to a specific user, or block an IP address. This greatly enhances the security of the website.
The module works with Drupal 7, 8, and 9.

Automatic session termination

Another important module that will significantly increase the security of your website is automated logout. The module can be configured for a certain period of inactivity, after which the user's session will be automatically terminated, and a forced logout will be performed. This Drupal security module also includes a Java mechanism that allows users to stay logged in even after long work hours. The main thing is that there is no longer inactivity that causes the session to end.

Works with Drupal 7, 8, 9, 10.

Flood control

If users use flood, this should be prevented. The flood can be different and even include a flood when you try to enter a password or username. The module allows you to set various variables, for example, limiting the number of attempts to enter the site and flooding in interactive correspondence within the website; the administrator can also delete user IDs and block IP addresses. To do this, the administrator will have access to the flood table.
Works with Drupal 7, 8, 9, 10.

Session limit

This module has a positive effect on the security of your website. Using this module, the administrator can limit the number of simultaneous sessions per user. How does it work?
A separate session is created for each computer from which you log in. The administrator can configure the maximum number of simultaneous sessions. If the user exceeds the allowed number of simultaneous sessions, the system will restrict the ability to sign in.
For example, the session limit is 2. This means you can log in from two home computers; if you try to log in from your work laptop, you will have to log out from one of your home computers or cancel the login attempt from your work laptop.
The module works with Drupal 7, 8, and 9.

In conclusion

We tried to describe the most effective and popular modules that will help you increase the security of your website. Before installing any module, make sure that your Drupal version matches the module's version. There are many more safety and security modules. It is impossible to describe each module in one article, so we tried to choose the best ones.
Also, pay close attention to the security enhancements we've described. These features are not related to security modules but play an essential role, including more efficient website administration.