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Web Security Development Techniques

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Security: a many pronged word

Security. This word has many meanings, depending on how you look at things. For some people security means that others should not be able to see the data you are sending or storing. For some others this means making sure you know who is using your system and determining what actions they can perform with it. Sometimes it means ensuring the data cannot be changed in transit. Here we will look at all the different meanings of security and discuss 10 rules you should always adhere to.

  • Non-disclosure
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Data-tampering
  • Security testing is different
  • Applying STRIDE
  • The Ten Immutable Laws of Security


So how do you keep prying eyes from your data? Encrypting data ensures that only the intended receiver of the data can understand it. So how does this work? We will look at symetric keys versus asymtric ones. We will also look at the most used encryption algorighms, what role certificates play and describe how TLS and HTTPS work.

  • Encryption
  • Symetric keys
  • Asymetric keys
  • Hashing
  • Digital Signatures
  • Certificates
  • TLS and HTTPS


Authentication is about identifying who the user of the system is. In this chapter we look at the different authentication mechanisms and their application.

  • Knock knock... Who's there?
  • Windows integrated
  • Username and password
  • Tokens
  • Impersonation and delegation


Once you know who the user is, you can start to enforce rules on who can do what. These days the main way of implementing authorization is role or claims based.

  • Role based security
  • Claims based security

Modern web authentication and authorization

OAuth and OpenID Connect are protocols that allow authorization to take place between different parties, but they are not that easy to understand. Until the end of this chapter...

  • Delegating authentication to FaceBook, Twitter, etc...
  • Understanding OAuth 2, OpenID Connect
  • OAuth fundamentals: Authorization Code Grant, Implicit Grant and Client Credential Grant

Using Azure Active Directory to add authorization to your application

Active directory allows you to logon to the enterprise, but these days people inside the organization are not necessarily using devices known to your enterprise, such as smart phones. Azure Active Directory is just the thing, having built-in OpenID Connect and OAuth. Here we will look at protecting your web site and web API resources using AAD.

  • What is Azure Active Directory?
  • Registering your applications and apps
  • Using the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL)
  • Protecting a WebAPI service with OAuth 2

Web site security threats and defences

To better protect yourself against attacks, you should first learn what kind of attacks are common. Once you understand these attacks we can look at defending against them.

  • OWASP - Top 10 security issues
  • Injection - Never trust user input!
  • Broken authentication and session management
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • Insecure direct object references
  • Security Misconfiguration
  • Sensitive data exposure
  • Missing Function Level Access Control
  • Cross Site request forgery (CSRF)
  • Using components with known vulnerabilities
  • Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards
  • Denial-of-Service

Security best practices

How can I make my application more secure? Start by applying security best practices! Simply applying these security best practices will prevent many common exploits.

  • Good access control
  • Running with least privilege
  • Storing (or better yet - not) secrets
  • Don't tell the hacker anything
  • Allow long password/passphrases
  • Disable tracing and debugging before deploying ASP.NET apps
  • Generating good random numbers
  • Understanding Canonical representations

Cyber security is becoming an increasingly important topic for organizations. The quantity and importance of data entrusted to web applications is growing, and defenders need to learn how to secure them. Imagine your organization making the news, not because of some new world-changing product, but because of a data-leak containing all your customer's data, including personal information and credit card data! As a modern web developer mastering these skills is important because you cannot afford not to!

This course takes you through the different security threats and defenses and learns you hands-on how to apply them to ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API. Among others, you learn how to authenticate with OpenID Connect and Azure AD, protect your API with OAuth2 and secure your company data with proper encryption techniques. This course provides in-depth, hands-on experience securing your web-based applications.

This course is meant for developers that have experience with ASP.NET MVC and want to make the world a safer place through applied security best practices.

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