Regardless of the size of your organization, the security challenges with open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) security are the same. In the enterprise the issue stems not from the technology or existing processes, but the fact that security is slipping through our fingers. We’ve made it too difficult for our counter parts in marketing and sales, and where there is a problem new solutions step in to solve them. We see this being enabled by the explosion of cloud platforms like Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and technologies that easily work in those environments like open-source CMS applications.
As a community we have to do something about this. These activities stem from the perception that IT / Security is always going to say “no” or “make my life too hard” and I can’t help but think there is a better way to handle this. To do this, we have to be prepared to embrace technologies like open-source CMS application and be willing to silence our personal biases towards them (i.e., WordPress is insecure, which is grossly untrue). A good first steps is better understanding how these technologies might fit into existing governance and their associated security policies and tools.
Accounting for Website Security in The Enterprise
Open-source CMS web applications are no different than any other applications enterprise security teams are responsible for. The principles like Defense in Depth still apply, and integrating things like Prevention, Detection and Response solutions are just as critical. The difference being that in the enterprise, these aren’t new concepts, yet when it comes to open-source CMS applications they’re dismissed.
Compromises within the open-source CMS domain are achieved through two key areas: access control and exploitation of software vulnerabilities. Here are a few tips to help enterprises think through the security challenges they face: