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Suresh Ramani
Suresh Ramani

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at techvblogs.com

How to Secure Your Laravel Application: Get the Best Tips for Laravel Security

Laravel is certainly almost everyone's favorite PHP framework and an excellent developer's companion. It attempts to relieve the pain that comes with development tasks such as sessions, authentications, routing, caching, and many more.

It aims to make the development process as flawless as possible without necessarily tampering with the quality and functionality of the application. Laravel has been gaining significant popularity over the years. Today, it boasts over 1.5 million websites. Its key customers are in the technology industries, science, and education fields. The below chart will give you more details.

How to Secure Your Laravel Application: Get the Best Tips for Laravel Security - TechvBlogs

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Laravel Application Security

Although Laravel is somewhat secure, we all know the fact that no framework can be one hundred percent secure. Laravel is vulnerable to several security threats, such as injection flaws like SQL and LDAP injections, broken authentications, exposure of sensitive user data, weak access controls, security misconfigurations, cross-site scripting, and inadequate security monitoring, among many others. It would help if you took your time to pay close attention to such vulnerabilities, and learn how they work. Moreover, what are some of the best measures to protect yourself from such vulnerabilities?

Tips for Laravel Security

As a developer, you must focus on the security aspects of your Laravel application. This article has attempted to cover some security measures you can employ to protect your Laravel application.

1. Using HTTPS When Exchanging Sensitive User Data

If your server is running over the HTTP protocol, you must bear in mind that all pieces of information transacted on the server are done so in clear plaintext. It is hence easy for a hacker on the same network to intercept the pieces of information, read them, destroy or steal their content.

There is only one way we can apply to prevent this from happening. In addition, it is by having the servers run on HTTPS instead of HTTP. HTTPS is a secure protocol since it has robust encryption capabilities. All you have to do to make the HTTP-HTTPS migration is to buy an SSL certificate and install it on your web server. If you have already bought an SSL certificate, then you can leverage the many Laravel helpers to make the switch. For example, you can define the HTTPS filter to redirect the visitors to a secure route. To do this, you must use the following code snippet:

Route::filter('https', function() {
    if (!Request::secure()){
        return Redirect::secure(URI::current());
    }
});
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Developers have a multitude of SSL certificate options to use for their Laravel applications. If you are working on multiple subdomains then, a wildcard SSL certificate is the best option. Because of their ability to cover many subdomains in just a single certificate. Some of the best wildcard SSL certificates you can use include the EnterpriseSSL Pro Wildcard, Sectigo wildcard SSL, and the InstantSSL Premium Wildcard. Also, You can generate a wildcard SSL certificate from SSLForWeb.

2. Protect Your Laravel Application Against SQL Injections

A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection threat will occur when your Laravel application inserts an unfiltered and subjective user input in the Structured Query Language query. The arbitrary user inputs usually result from server variables or cookies. SQL injections come with severe impacts since they can modify unavailable data and hinder the normal functioning of the laravel application.

To safeguard yourself from SQL injections, you must consider writing complex and data-specific queries in the Structured Query Language queries. You can leverage the DB::raw technique to do this. However, you must be extra vigilant when using the DB::raw method so that you do not create vulnerable queries.

3. Use the Laravel Purifier to Enhance Security

Laravel purifier is an essential feature that will help in adequately fixing the code. It can also help to address the vulnerabilities that come with omitted HTML codes.

4. Escaping Content

One of the common and devastating threats that can target your Laravel application is cross-site scripting. Popularly known as XSS attacks, cross-site scripting attacks happen when a hacker succeeds in placing client-side JavaScript code on a page open for view by other clients. The most effective remedy to cross-site scripting is to ensure that a token is issued for every displayed content. You must then check the content every time the content is submitted. The concept of escaping content simply means that every unsafe character is replaced by an escape. The escape plays the role of telling the servers to interpret the characters as plain text and not as special characters.

5. Use Laravel Security Packages to Enhance Laravel Application Security

Laravel offers users several security tools and packages which they can use to enhance their security. For instance, the Laravel security component is an essential package. It provides enhanced security for Laravel objects. It also helps to integrate Symfony security core into the application. The Laravel security component also uses the voters feature that is needed to counter-check role-based privileges for different roles.

Laravel-ACL is another vital Laravel security package that is known for enhancing access controls by providing role-based permissions into the Laravel authentication front. It, therefore, helps to safeguard the Laravel application from security threats that come with unauthorized access. This security package also plays a significant role in helping to protect routes and CRUD controller methods in the Laravel application.

6. Data Filtration and Validation

For optimal data security, it is very crucial that all data is filtered and validated. One of the vital features of the Laravel application that can help with the data filtration and validation processes is the Eloquent ORM. This feature is known to utilize the PDO parameters that can go a long way toward ensuring that the Laravel application is safe and secure from SQL injections. One of the reasons why you will have to conduct data validation is that SQL faults can enter the application through any form of data.

7. Proper Management of PHP sessions

Another critical feature to focus on when dealing with Laravel security is proper management of the PHP sessions. Unprotected sessions can invite all forms of attacks, and changes in the state of Laravel applications can leave the entire application vulnerable to many attack factors. Therefore, it is crucial that all sessions become invalid and destroyed to protect the application from threats that come with session threats, such as password changes. Automatic session invalidation will be an excellent idea to help with the aspects of PHP session management.

8. Strong passwords Using Hashing keys

Passwords are essential aspects of all web development schemes. Although Laravel has employed perfect security features that help with strong user authentications, users also have a role to play in ensuring they remain as secure as possible. For instance, users should employ the Bcrypt and Argon2, which have strong hashing functions that will protect sensitive user data from infiltrations by unauthorized third parties. In addition, you must be keen to avoid using weak hash functions such as MD5 and SHA1.

How to Secure Your Laravel Application: Get the Best Tips for Laravel Security - TechvBlogs

Final Words

The Laravel framework and MVC and architecture make Laravel a perfect developer's option. I highly recommend it. However, like all framework and internet components, Laravel is vulnerable to several security threats. Users will have to remain vigilant at all times and put adequate measures in place to protect their Laravel applications from related threats. This article has covered some top tips one can apply to enhance Laravel security

Read Also: How To Optimize Laravel for Performance

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