CakePHP Security Tips and Tricks!

No matter what your project is about, security is the first thing that you need to take care of. Especially when you are making use of different third party facilities and integrating your website with different resources to serve your audiences, you need to make proper provisions against the ever-rising security threats.

The Security Component in CakePHP helps you define different aspects of security on web. It comes with just anything and everything you need to address your CakePHP security needs and put the best idea across to build a strong and authentically resourced website.

Cakephp Security

With just right kind of element and codes placed in well, you can work on the technique that best protects your website from any sort of internal or external risks.

Firstly, before you actually start using Security Component functionality, make sure you use $components = array (‘Security’, ‘Auth’) in the array so you can extend its functionality in the other components as well.

Now the next thing is if your core.php config file has security level set on medium or high, by adding Security Component, all the forms will have hidden field added containing a hashed token specific to the form it has been embedded in. With each form submitted the token attached to it is checked for validity. If the validation criteria are not met, the request is denied and a black hole (blank) page is returned. You cannot frequently change the hashed token for its value as it is attached for validation purpose. However, if you find any such need for it, you can always do that by altering the defined value in the Security Component.

All this is good enough to manage your form processing request but it can’t deter all CSRF requests. This can be however addressed easily by just adding a single line of code below to your controller’s before Filter () method: $this->Security->requireAuth(‘action_name’)

With this, the system would instruct the Security Component to add another hidden field with a token, which will itself refresh on each page being loaded. This would allow, or rather force the user, to load the page while form request is being submitted. This would allow only a valid token to be submitted with the page load. Still in case you don’t find your app secured enough, you should choose to go to next level by assuring yourself by adding another few lines of code within your controller’s action:

$key = Security::generateAuthKey ();

$this->set (‘safe’, $key);

$this->Session->write (‘safe’, $key);

Or alternatively adding this code sequence in your view

echo $this->Form->create(‘Post’);

echo $this->Form->hidden(‘safe’, $safe);

echo $this->Form->input(‘title’);

echo $this->Form->input(‘content’);

echo $this->Form->end(‘Submit’);

Further, you would be able to make your application more stable from the safety point of view by using requirePost(), enabling specific resources that are needed to disallow or filter invalid requests allowing safer processing at the back-end. Go for Recaptcha if you are looking to have even cleaner and safer entries.

All these safety validation codes just take a few minutes of time to get implemented and you can see your CakePHP web application doing wonders in terms of safe content processing, response generation and application reporting. Go ahead, make use of the fool-proof safety measures for your website, and get the best security standards enabled on your application. Play smooth and safe!