HomeTechnologyWeb Development6 Security Practices For Laravel Web Development That You Should Know About

6 Security Practices For Laravel Web Development That You Should Know About

Web development is the process of creating websites or web applications. It involves different aspects such as website design, web content development, server-side scripting, client-side scripting, and database management. Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework created by Taylor Otwell and intended to develop web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern. Some of its notable features are its expressive syntax, easy routing, powerful Eloquent ORM, and convenient migration system.

Laravel is considered one of the most popular PHP frameworks. It is also known for its security features. This article will discuss six security practices for Laravel web development.

Use HSTS Protocol for Sensitive Data

We all know about cybersecurity and the growing levels of cybercrime. One of the most common attacks is a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM). In this type of attack, the attacker intercepts the communication between two parties and can eavesdrop on or modify the data being exchanged.

Luckily, technology keeps evolving, presenting new, practical solutions. One of them is HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). According to WebCitz, US-based Laravel web and app experts, it is a security measure that tells the browser never to load a website using the insecure HTTP protocol and instead always use the secure HTTPS protocol.

In other words, it protects against MITM attacks by ensuring that all communications between the browser and the server are encrypted. All major browsers support HSTS, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

Only Opt for Powerful Cookies

Cookies are small text files stored on the user’s computer when visiting a website. They store user preferences, login details, and other data.

Most cookies are harmless and pose no threat to security. However, some cookies may contain sensitive information such as session ID, username, or password. These cookies are known as persistent cookies because they remain on the user’s computer even after closing their browser.

If these cookies are stolen, the attacker can access the user’s account. That is why it is important to only opt for powerful cookies that are encrypted and have a long, random string.

Update Your Packages, Plugins, and Modules Frequently

Laravel uses Composer to manage its dependencies. It allows you to declare the libraries your project depends on and installs them into your project.

One of the advantages of using Composer is keeping your dependencies updated. However, you can also update them manually by running the composer update command. It is essential to update your dependencies frequently because new versions often contain security fixes.

Use an HTML Purifier

Laravel comes with a built-in HTML Purifier that protects your application from XSS attacks. XSS attacks are a type of injection attack in which the attacker injects malicious code into a web page. When a user visits the page, the malicious code is executed on their browser.

The HTMLPurifier removes all malicious code from the input and allows only safe HTML code. It is important to note that the HTMLPurifier is not a silver bullet and cannot protect against all XSS attacks. Additionally, you should also perform input validation.

Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security used to verify the user’s identity. It adds a step to the login process. In addition to entering their username and password, the user also has to enter a code that is generated by a 2FA app.

2FA is an effective way to protect your application from unauthorized access. It is crucial for applications that contain sensitive data such as financial information or personal data.

Prevent SQL Injections By Avoiding Raw Queries

Prevent SQL Injections By Avoiding Raw Queries

SQL injection is an attack where the attacker inserts malicious code into an SQL query. You can use this malicious code to alter the data in the database or even gain access to sensitive information.

One way to prevent SQL injections is by avoiding raw SQL queries. Raw SQL queries are vulnerable to SQL injection because the attacker can insert malicious code into the query. Instead, it would help if you used parameterized queries or Laravel’s query builder.

Other Security Practices You Should Consider

In addition to the security measures mentioned above, you should consider a few other security practices. These practices will help you secure your Laravel application even further.

Integrate the Hash Password Method

When a user registers on your website, they will enter a password. This password is then stored in the database in plain text. This means that if the database is hacked, the attacker will be able to see the user’s password.

You can prevent this by hashing the password before it is stored in the database. Hashing is a process of transforming a plain text password into a random string of characters. Even if the database is hacked, the attacker will not be able to see the user’s password.

Focus on the Laravel API

If you are building a Laravel application that an API will use, it is essential to focus on the security of the API. The API is the interface that allows your application to communicate with other applications.

It would help if you used HTTPS for all communications between your application and the API. It would be best if you also used Laravel’s built-in authentication mechanisms to protect the API.

Consider Switching to the .env Parameter MAIL_DRIVER=log

If you are not using Laravel’s mail functionality in your application, you should consider switching to the .env parameter MAIL_DRIVER=log. It will disable the mail function and prevent any emails from being sent from your application. 

Use a Laravel Security Package

Several security packages available for Laravel can help you secure your application. These packages provide additional security measures such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and password reset.

There are several security measures you should take to secure your Laravel application. The main ones include using the HSTS protocol if your app deals with sensitive data, integrating powerful cookies, keeping the packages, plugins, and modules up to date, using an HTML purifier, implementing two-factor authentication, and avoiding raw queries to prevent SQL injections. You may want to look into other security practices, including using a Laravel security package and switching the .env parameter to MAIL_DRIVER=log. Following these security measures will help you create a secure Laravel application.

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