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Spruce Up PHP Application Password Security?

PHP is the most popular programming language that is used for building websites and it is because of its high quality features and functionalities that it remains to be so popular among the developers. But one thing is that, when it was first crafted in the mid-1990s, password protection was not one of the features that PHP creators devoted their resources to. Earlier, it was considered as a safe platform and users need not worry about passwords. But with 20 years, it is almost impossible to create any web application that doesn’t include a password protected user account.

Spruce Up PHP Application Password Security?

Today, it is of utmost importance that the PHP programmers safeguard their accounts by using some latest security methods. The latest library makes use of several functions that are available to handle one-way password encryption by using some of the best and latest current practice methods. The features anticipate further security needs so that as the cyber attackers and hackers get more and more advanced, you can also stay ahead of the bad guys.

An in-depth introduction to some of the best library functions and how to use them best

Secure hashes:

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To protect your website, it is suggested to never store the user’s password in simple and plain text. Store it in an encrypted version of the password by using any encryption algorithm like a hashing algorithm so that it makes it impossible for anyone to access your account database and discover the users’ passwords. This step is not only to protect your users from any unauthorized person trying to gain access to the database, but it is also important to protect against people within your organization having malicious intent.

This is important because many people use identical passwords for multiple websites and anyone looking to gain access to email address and passwords will find it easy to access the user’s accounts or websites.

  • Cracking speed: You can choose to use numerous algorithms to create a hash. Two most commonly used algorithms in the past were MD5 and SHA-1. But both of them can be easily cracked and so it is important to use more complex hashing algorithms that can generate a longer hash, but also one that takes a longer time to be generated. It is by increasing the wait time to 1 per second, you can make the attempts even harder.
  • Rainbow tables: It is also very important to protect yourself against rainbow tables, which are reverse lookup tables for hashes. Someone having access to a hash can easily enter it to discover the password that was used to generate it. So, generating a rainbow table for a computational complex algorithm often takes a longer time. Thus, the appropriate counter measure is to add a salt to the hash. Salt is any phrase that is added to the password before you create the hash in the first place.

Cross Site Request Forgery:

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This is another area where you should implement CSRF tokens in order to improve the security of form submissions. These tokens are used to secure the forms in PHP, where a random token will be generated, which will be stored in the session and this will be stored through the form. It is after the form submission that the CSRF token of the form and the token that is stored in the session will be compared and if both the values match, it is only then that the form submission will be successful. In case of any mismatch, the form submission will fail.

Input validation:

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Most problems crop up if you are not sanitizing the user submitted data through URLs or forms. If you follow this step strictly, a lot of problems can easily be overcome with the applications that is related to security. Check if the input that is submitted is in the correct method.

“While accepting data from the website users, try to filter the data so that the user cannot submit any information or malicious code.”

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