Outdated App Security

Outdated Applications & How You Can Protect Yourself

The Problem

Last month, the internet learned of the most recent Drupal exploit, which put end-users at risk for a severe compromise. The exploit was announced by Drupal could potentially lead to a malware infection or potential loss of data.   

Sadly this type of situation is an unfortunate, yet all too common, and completely preventable issue that we see our customers facing.  If you have an outdated website hosted in your GreenGeeks account, this puts your hosting account and data at risk, including the other software or websites in your account that are up-to-date.

Try to think about it like this; your website, whether it’s built using WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or another content management system (CMS), is similar to your car.  When you first buy it new,  it runs great and has all the latest features, but over time a car requires regular maintenance to continue to perform as expected.  If for example,  you fail to change your oil regularly, this may lead to issues with your engine. The same concept can be applied to your website with regards to updated software versions, as these often contain important security patches for known exploits. 

Keeping your site up-to-date is something every website owner should be mindful of, regardless of which CMS you choose to utilize.  

The Solution

With some CMSs, like WordPress, updating can be a breeze and can be configured to update automatically, while others like Joomla or Drupal require extensive manual adjustments for major versions.

GreenGeeks offers the Softaculous App Installer to assist with managing CMS installations, including backups and updates, but older versions must typically be updated manually.   These older versions can be readily exploited if not properly patched, and most providers of these applications will no longer provide support for deprecated versions. 

The exact upgrade steps for your CMS, i.e Joomla & Drupal will differ depending on your current version, and may require specific, in-depth detail.   Upgrading these installations is beyond the scope of what GreenGeeks can do, and advise consulting a developer for specifics. We can offer assistance with alternatives to using an outdated site, such as building a new website in a development folder, or securing the site using a password.

More information on upgrading Drupal and Joomla can be found at the links below:

https://www.drupal.org/docs/upgrading-drupal/upgrading-from-drupal-6-or-7-to-drupal-8-and-newer

https://docs.joomla.org/J3.x:Updating_from_an_existing_version

Regardless of which CMSs you use, we cannot stress how crucial it is for you to keep your software up-to-date, in order to ensure the security of your website & user data.   If you have any questions,  your friendly Support Team at GreenGeeks is always here to offer advice regarding your specific situation.

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