Ivana M. Janakieva October 6th, 2021

Best Laravel Security Features to Secure PHP Apps

Laravel was designed to meet different requirements, including event processing and authentication mechanisms for MVC architecture. It also has a software package manager who can manage configurable and expansive code with the massive backing of database management.

With its brief and stylish features, Laravel has attracted substantial attention. Whether specialist or newbie, they will think of Laravel for the first time when developing PHP projects.

Laravel does all it can to facilitate the situation for you; it means that lots and lots and tons of work are carried out in the background to ensure you are living comfortably. Unfortunately, all the “magic” features of Laravel seem to work only with code layers that need to be enhanced when running apart.

What made Laravel become the most widely used PHP framework?

Scalability and modularity

Modularity and code scalability are at the core of Laravel. In the Packalyst directory that contains about 5500 packages, you can find the files you wish to add. The goal of Laravel is to enable any folder you would like to see.

Program interfaces and microservices

Lumen is a Laravel micro-framework focusing on rationalization. With its more significant interaction, you can easily and quickly develop microprojects. Lumen incorporates with minimum effort all critical aspects of Laravel. By copying the code for the project Laravel, you can relocate the entire framework.

Authentication

Laravel comes with local user authentication, and you can retain users with the “Remember” choice. For example, it also helps to display if it is an active presence for specific additional parameters.

Integration type

Laravel Cashier can encounter all of your necessities when developing a payment platform. In addition, a user authentication system is also synchronized and integrated. So you don’t need to be concerned about how the billing system can be integrated into the process.

Laravel Main Features

Increased productivity – Cache

A caching solid system can be created for your application. You can make adjustments to the application load to allow the most satisfactory experience for the user. By default, file system level caching is enabled. However, you can modify this behavior patterns by using non-SQL databases such as REDIS, Memcache, or APC. They store data in pairs of “key-value” and do it in the RAM server. Because of this, the time of access to the data is significantly reduced, and developers can cache any data. For the developer, the main thing in this art is to correctly invalidate the cache and remove obsolete data when it keeps changing.

Open source and a large community

A Laravel-based product from many supporters is easy to maintain and find developers for your project to develop. There are platforms like Adeva where you can get in touch with the best of the best developers out there. Then, you can use the open-source which enables anyone to upgrade the framework and its applications to third parties.

MVC architecture

By following the MVC architecture, a clear separation between the three abstract layers of the application is achieved: model, controllers, representation.

They become independent of each other and can be used separately. This helps avoid situations where fixing some bugs in the logic breaks old workings and leads to even more bugs in multiple places. Unfortunately, it is difficult for anyone to consider all the connections and foresee where and what their new code may negatively affect. So, the only proper solution is to get rid of these connections.

Eloquent ORM

The Laravel object-relational mapper (ORM) is known as Eloquent and is one of Laravel’s best characteristics because it allows seamless connections to the database and data model of choice.

With Eloquent, Laravel eliminates all obstacles to the interaction and composing of complex SQL queries for data access in your dataset.

Artisan CLI

Another essential aspect of Laravel is the Artisan CLI or command line. It allows you to generate or modify any part of Laravel from the command line, eliminating the need to navigate through folders and files.

Without having a database client installed, you can even interact directly from your command line with Artisan with your database via Laravel Tinker.

Automatic pagination

You can understand the value of having the pagination sorted by a built-in framework if you have ever had a problem with paging in your applications. By building automatic pagination, which comes out directly from the box, Laravel solves the pagination problem. This feature is one of the most well-known and removes you from the effort to solve the mystery of pagination.

High security

There are three major security issues: SQL injection, cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and XSS.

What is a SQL injection attack?

SQL injection is a very old, unusual vulnerability. Persons with less experience can avoid SQL injection risk. Let’s look at a classic case first: users often type in when logging in.

$sql = “select * from user where username = ‘” + userName “” and passwd = ‘” +userPassword + “‘”;

Under normal circumstances, it will explain: select * from user where username = ‘admin’ and passwd = ‘mima’, but unfortunately hackers will also write SQL statements, hackers enter the username and password by typing: user named admin ‘or 1 = 1-‘, the password is empty, the SQL spliced at this time is: select * from the user, where username = ‘admin’ or 1 = 1-‘ and passwd = ‘ ‘.

1 = 1 is always authentic; the last one: the following SQL will be commented out, and the administrator user will be logged incorrectly. The principle is that simple.

How to break the hacker’s injection attack after understanding the principle? Most often, keyword checks are carried out in the layer of business logic. If it contains SQL keywords, like * or, select, delete, etc., it will be replaced; the most effective way is to use SQL variables for the query.

The framework is guarded in this situation by ORM, which by definition eliminates the risk of “raw” SQL queries and restores all parameters during their renovation. In addition, anything that can harm the data is removed from them. 

A simple way to find injection points

1. Find a web page with a URL from the query string (e.g., look for URLs with “id =” in the URL).

2. Send a request to this website and change the id = statement with an additional single quote mark (e.g. id = 123 ‘).

3. Check the returned content and look for “sql”, “instruction”, and other keywords (this also means that specific error information is produced, which is very bad in itself).

4. Is the error message indicative of the incorrect encoding of parameters sent to SQL Server? If so, the attack may occur on the website by SQL injection.

What is CSRF?

An attacker carries out illegal operations (such as the transferor publication) by cross-site requests as a legitimate user. The CSRF principle is to rob the identity of a user through the use of a browser cookie or server session. 

This is solved by screening the forbidden HTML tags and outputting the screened string as plain text without executing it.

The primary means of preventing CSRF is to identify the identity of the requestor, primarily in the following ways:

  • Adding a token to the form
  • Verification code
  • Verify the Referer in the request header (the anti-pilot link mentioned above is also used in this way).

Token and verification have unique consumption qualities so that, in principle, they are the same, but the verification code is a misuser. When this is not necessary, do not use the verification code lightly. The current method of many internet sites is to use a verification code that offers a great user experience after submitting a form several times without success.

Nearly everyone understands the verification code, but it prevents the logging engine from crashing brute forces and prevents CSRF attacks effectively. The code of verification is the shortest and most efficient method for countering CSRF attacks. But it’s not possible to enter verification codes for all user operations using verification codes. Verification codes may only need to be entered for a few essential functions. But HTML5 is being developed. Only with canvas tag, the front end too can realize the verification code features for CSRF.

What is XSS?

It is an attack method in which malicious scripts are injected into web pages to execute malicious scripts in the user’s browser when the user browses the web page.

There are two types of XSS attacks:

The first one induces users to click on a link embedded in malicious scripts to achieve the attack objective. For example, many attackers currently use Weibo forums to post URLs that contain malicious scripts.

The other one is when a malicious script is sent to the attacked website database. The malware script is posted from the database onto the execution page when the user browses the web page. The first version of the QQ mailbox was used as a platform for continuous scripting of cross-site attacks.

To protect your website from this attack, you must update it frequently. In the WordPress core, in plugins or themes, the vulnerabilities used by hackers to inject malicious code are found. That’s why all these components are so essential to be regularly updated. These updates address the vulnerabilities discovered to date.

Ivana M. Janakieva

Ivana is a Content Editor at Adeva, producing well-researched content in the web development field with a mission to provide reliable information to web developers and CTOs in their research activities.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *