PHP Security
3
Nov

How to Secure PHP and Prevent Attacks


Keeping a website safe and secure from external attacks and data leak is a priority for every web designer. Vulnerabilities are common during the web designing process and most of the time it happens without developer’s knowledge. PHP is a popular language for web development that is used to create dynamic interactive websites. But contrary to popular myths, PHP does more than that for a website.

PHP is a script language and interpreter originally derived from Personal Home Page Tools. PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is regarded as the most powerful server-side language in a web programming language. Furthermore, it is designed mainly for writing secure codes, and its configuration provides flexibility for making attractive webpages.

PHP is a perfect alternative to Microsoft’s Active Server Page (ASP) technology. PHP can be embedded within a webpage along with its HTML. Furthermore, before a page requested by a user is sent to the user, the web server will call on PHP to interpret and perform the operations called for in the PHP script.

What Can PHP Do?

There are three main aspects of web development where you can use PHP –

Server-side scripting:   Server-side scripting is a type of PHP code that is executed online before the data is passed to the user’s browser. It is simple to use and easy to understand because of which it is the perfect model for amateur programmers.

Command-line scripting: This mode is suitable for scripts made with Task Scheduler or cron. It is also perfect for single text processing.

Writing desktop application: Although PHP is probably not the best language for creating desktop applications, it provides an advanced web developer with numerous options.

Note: Everything you need for PHP is usually on your desktop. Furthermore, you can use it on all major operating systems, from Windows to Linux. It also supports lots of widely used servers, which means you will have options when using it.

The advantage of using  PHP is that both beginners and advanced programmers can use it without any problems.

Common Uses Of PHP

  • PHP can encrypt data.
  • It restricts users from accessing restricted pages of your website.
  • With PHP, you can add, delete, modify elements within your database.
  • PHP is used to access cookies variables and set cookies.
  • PHP can perform system functions such as creating, opening, reading, writing, and closing files.
  • like gathering data from files, saving data to a file, etc.

Benefits of PHP

  • PHP is open source and can support a large number of databases.
  • It runs on multiple platforms, which makes it convenient to use
  • PHP has low development and maintenance cost with high performance and reliability
  • You can connect PHP to almost every server and database.
  • It has an easy authentication and authorization system.

PHP Security

As stated above, PHP is regarded as the most popular server-side web programming language. However, with PHP’s popularity, it is important to enforce PHP security because there are many different vulnerable PHP applications out there.

Causes of Vulnerabilities

Most PHP vulnerabilities are caused by bad coding practices or lack of PHP application security awareness among the developers. This is why it is important to apply two key procedures when writing codes: validation and sanitization.

However, if you can implement both procedures for user data, you have to ensure that anything that is processed and executed is valid and meets specified criteria. Furthermore, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) plays a big role when applying PHP security procedures.

You can use a well-written reusable code to increase the system’s overall security and make sure the same data processing procedure is followed.

Top 10 Security Best Practices For PHP

  • Update your PHP version regularly.
  • Beware of XSS attacks (cross-site scripting).
  • Use prepared SQL statements.
  • Don’t upload all framework files to your server.
  • Always validate user input.
  • Limit directory access.
  • Verify your SSL configuration.
  • Use URL encoding.
  • Avoid remote file inclusion.

Get a Micro Degree in PHP Security

Adding security to an existing application can be expensive and cumbersome, but a data breach can prove costlier to an organization. Under the GDPR, the organization can be fined for about €10 million if you do not secure your customer’s data.

In this course, you will learn about the practical skills that you can use to develop a secure web application. You will get a practical approach to security for addressing all parts of your web application and ways to deploy it.

Who can pursue this course?

This course is suitable for PHP professionals who want to expand their awareness and knowledge of security principles. You will learn how to write better code, use tools that identify problems, and spot common problems during and after the web development process. This course is ideal for anyone who wishes to advance their career in PHP and enhance their skills.

Sources:

  1. https://codeinstitute.net/blog/what-is-PHP-programming/
  2. https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/PHP-Hypertext-Preprocessor
  3. https://www.acunetix.com/websitesecurity/PHP-security-1/

 

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