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Victor Ocnarescu
Victor Ocnarescu

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Quick security wins for your Next.js app

Let's secure your next Next.js app (pun intended) in 3 minutes or less using HTTP response headers.

I will not go into details about every HTTP header used below. This Web Security Cheat Sheet from MDN is a great place to start learning about these.

However, I will point out that these headers provide some form of protection against cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.

Using custom headers

Let's see some code!

First, let's create a new file headers.js with every header used in the app. This way we'll keep our project structure clean and DRY.

module.exports = [
  {
    key: 'X-DNS-Prefetch-Control',
    value: 'on',
  },
  {
    key: 'Strict-Transport-Security',
    value: 'max-age=63072000; includeSubDomains; preload',
  },
  {
    key: 'Server',
    value: 'Apache', // phony server value
  },
  {
    key: 'X-Content-Type-Options',
    value: 'nosniff',
  },
  {
    key: 'X-Frame-Options',
    value: 'sameorigin',
  },
  {
    key: 'X-XSS-Protection',
    value: '1; mode=block',
  },
  {
    key: 'Referrer-Policy',
    value: 'same-origin',
  },
  {
    key: 'Permissions-Policy',
    value: 'geolocation=*', // allow specified policies here
  },
];
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Now that we have a single file for all our HTTP headers, we need to include them in the next.config.js file.

const headers = require('./headers');

module.exports = {
  // append this at the bottom of your next.config.js file
  async headers() {
    return [
      {
        source: '/(.*)',
        headers,
      },
    ];
  },
};
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This will apply the defined HTTP response headers to all routes in your application, as seen in this Vercel guide.

I have included these security headers in my Next.js starter template on Github. It has plenty of cool features I hope you'll like.

Closing thoughts

You can scan your app for possible vulnerabilities using this awesome tool. And if you have a Next.js app and forgot to secure it, now is the perfect time.

Something missing? Disagree with something from the article? I would love to hear your opinion in the comment section below.

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