Introduction- the Need for Laravel Web App
Let’s face it. In a fast-moving world with competition prevailing in the market, the one thing we developers cannot afford to lose or waste is time. In the web and app development realms, time is gold. And so, we need an infrastructure to help us maneuver and keep up with the speeds our clients expect us to work with. And here is where Laravel comes into sight.
No web development framework is as elegant and expressive as Laravel. At least, that is what my experience with Laravel has taught me. This web development framework is built on the philosophy that the application development process should be as exciting as its usage. And this explains why Laravel usage has been surging over recent years. According to BuiltWith, Laravel is now used by 1,570,751 websites on a global scale.
From a cybersecurity perspective, Laravel is a notch higher than other frameworks. With the many Laravel security features, users are in a position to address a security loophole as soon as possible. But we all know that in the modern internet world where hackers are running riot and causing all forms of security breaches, nothing can be said to be 100% secure.
Broken authentication, exposure of sensitive data, broken access controls, inadequate logging and monitoring, and security misconfigurations are some of the common Laravel security issues you must know. You are responsible for ensuring that your Laravel framework is free from such issues. Below is a compiled list of Laravel security best practices you can follow to ensure utmost Laravel security.
Security Checklist Web Application- the Best Security Checklist for Laravel Web App
Below are few security checklist for web application that make an app robust and helps developers to secure it.
1. Get SSL Certificate for the Laravel App
The SSL certificate is one of the most vital tools for the Laravel application. I am sure you have met HTTPS and HTTP abbreviations while interacting with web applications. But did you know that the SSL certificate difference between HTTP and HTTPS? In simple words, HTTP websites lack the security, while HTTPS websites have SSL certificate means strong security.
SSL certificates offer security by initiating encrypted sessions. Unlike HTTP connections, where communications happen in a textual format, HTTPS communications happen via ciphertexts. Therefore, one will need a decryption key to access encrypted data. Hackers, eavesdroppers, prying eyes and other parties that do not mean well to the app and its data are thus locked up from communications.
For top security of your Laravel application, you will need to buy and install an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate is available at low price like single-domain certificate, cheap multi-domain SSL certificate, low cost wildcard SSL certs, all of which will play in favour of your Laravel security.
2. Ensure You Only Run-on Up-to-date Versions of PHP and Laravel
Some developers and website owners usually ignore the essence of running on up-to-date versions of PHP and Laravel. Apart from enhancing operational efficiency, the latest versions come to fix security vulnerabilities. Failing to make upgrades means you choose to leave with the vulnerabilities and that you are exposed to security issues. It also matters the time you conduct the updates. As a best practice, ensure you conduct the upgrade as soon as the new version is released.
3. Reduce Laravel Vulnerabilities from the Cross-Site Request Forgery
Cross-Site Request Forgery (commonly abbreviated as CSRF) is when a hacker tricks users or automated bots into taking harmful actions on web applications with which they have been authenticated. Attackers usually leverage email and messaging platforms that support image embedding. Therefore, you should stay vigilant at all times to prevent these attacks from occurring.
4. Use the Laravel Purifier to Boost Laravel Security
A Laravel purifier is a significant asset from the Laravel security perspective. It is a tool you must implement and use if you genuinely have the security of your Laravel application at heart. This tool helps to fix your code correctly. It is also suitable for handling omitted HTML codes.
5. Data Filtration and Validation
For the utmost security of your Laravel application, you need to filter and validate all data that comes your way. And thanks to the object-relational mapper feature of the Laravel framework, it is now easy to perform data filtration and validation. The object-relational mapper utilizes the parameter binding power of PHP Data Objects that also play a role in preventing SQL injections. One of the reasons why you should take the issue of data filtration and validation with utmost seriousness is that attackers target data packets and use them to transmit SQL queries.
6. Proper Management of PHP Sessions
Another vital aspect one must pay keen attention to in as much as Laravel security is concerned is invalidating PHP sessions. And this is especially important where the Laravel framework does not have adequate security measures and is vulnerable to attacks. Therefore, as a Laravel security best practice, you must destroy and invalidate all PHP sessions. You can leverage the automatic invalidation feature to save yourself from the challenging task of doing the invalidation manually.
7. Ensure You Implement the Laravel Authentication System
One of the most outstanding features of the Laravel framework is the Laravel authentication system. This system makes managing permissions easy and helps with user authentication tasks. However, it would help if you always kept in mind that the authentication system of the Laravel framework is not free from security faults. And one common fault is that it invalidates sessions whenever users log out. However, fixing this problem is not complex, as you will need to set the session timeout to 0 in all .env files.
8. Use the Rate Limiting Tool
One common technique attackers can use to destroy your Laravel web application is infiltrating the app with requests. The Laravel rate limiter is the tool you can use to address this problem. You can attach the rate limiter tool to a request, preventing the requests from exceeding the bare minimum. Attackers trying to infiltrate the Laravel web app with requests will not be able to do so when the threshold of hits per minute is reached.
9. Use Eloquent ORM to Prevent tour Laravel Web App from SQL Injections.
One of the most significant features of the Laravel framework is its eloquent ORM within its core framework. The eloquent ORM uses PDO binding to ensure that the Laravel web application is free from SQL injections.
The eloquent ORM helps with facilitating the handling of database records. It achieved this by representing all data held in the web application as objects. If you want to ensure that your Laravel web application is safe from SQL injections and that you have more sanitization, you should consider implementing this feature.
10. Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
Identifying application vulnerabilities is impossible until you do security testing on the application. Using the Static application security testing tool is an excellent approach to scanning through the source codes and framework of the application to point out potential security vulnerabilities and pull them out. SAST is a reliable and fast way of scanning through the application to point out security vulnerabilities.
Laravel is an excellent framework you will never regret working with. But you must stay awake to ensure it does not become a security threat and vulnerability hub. Therefore, it would be best if you worked extra more intricate to implement the measures explained herein to maintain Laravel web app security. Remember, one security best practice will not work well for you. You must consider implementing all the ten tips explained above. The more security measures you have, your Laravel web app will be more secure.