Written by Nilotpal Boruah
Django: Rapid Development without Compromising Security
Django takes care of web development without hassle. This is important as the increasing demand for internet usage among companies has vastly influenced the way businesses expand and this has increased the adoption of web applications from traditional models to cloud-based and grid models. Hence, business owners look for the best framework and language to commence a new software project and this is where Django comes in. In this blog, or call it a mini Django tutorial, we will dig deeper to understand more about it. We shall discuss Django, its features, Django’s security, versatility and support. After all, the risk is always better than regretting it later!
Meet Django: The new web framework
Django web framework, open-source and free to use, is a high-level python-based fully-featured server that encourages rapid development and clean pragmatic designs. It helps to create quality web applications quickly and efficiently with the collection of Python libs and suitable for both frontend and backend development. The Django web framework architecture is written in Python like in the development of this NLP-based automatic Market Research platform saving time and reducing workload to 1/5th of the existing manual system described in this case-study.
Reasons why Django framework is unique
There are many reasons why Django is the best Python web framework, for creating database-driven websites. It follows the DRY principle i.e. “Don’t repeat yourself”. This makes the framework time efficient which means it assembles your existing code like a Lego set. Some other noteworthy features of Django are simplicity, flexibility, and, reliability. Let’s dive into detail.
1. Full-fledged documentation
Django is the best open-source framework that offers a well-established library in multiple languages for the developers’ convenience. The developer can search for any function with ease.
2. Web framework on easiest language-Python
As mentioned above, Django is written in Python language. Python is the most popular and easiest language to learn in the market. Thus, making Django the most powerful yet easy framework to learn. With the basic knowledge of the Python language, developers can start developing with Django, thereby offering rapid development of the web applications.
3. Loaded with features
Django carries dozens of features to handle web development tasks easily. It has a customized admin panel, RSS feed, site map, and many more features which can be used for handling many complex tasks.
4. Suitable to all web application projects
Django helps to tackle multiple projects irrespective of its size and capacity. It is cross-platform i.e. it can handle projects based on Mac, Linux, or PC. Apart from this, it works with almost all the databases. Sometimes uses a single database for a project or multiple databases for a project at a time, as required.
5. Highly secured
Django’s web framework security is out of the box! It avoids common security issues viz, clickjacking, SQL injection, and, cross-site scripting etc. We have discussed Django security below. Let’s see it quickly.
Is it safe to use Django web application security?
Django doesn’t compromise on security. It is excellent for lazy developers who believe in procrastinating on some less important tasks for web development. These tasks reluctantly invite security vulnerabilities. Developers get the benefit of getting default security features. It prevents malicious injection by using its sanitized inputs for building web applications. It blocks SQL queries and injection attacks safely.
Here we shall discuss in detail about few of Django’s security features.
1. Cross-site scripting (XSS) protection
XSS is the term that is used for the class of attackers who injects client-side scripts by using the website into the browsers of other users. Thanks to the Django template, it protects, users against the XSS attacks by escaping specific characters that are “dangerous” in HTML.
Here is a simple demonstration of it.
- Begin with using the development server of the website (python3 manage.py runserver).
- Now open the website in any of the local browsers and log in using a superuser account.
- Navigate to the URL http://127.0.0.1:8000/catalog/author/create/ This is an author-navigate page. Now enter the name and other details of the new user and press submit to save the record. Once saved the text will come like
It is because of the XSS protections the alert() should not run. However, you can also turn off this protection feature. It is not automatically applied to all the tags.
2. Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) protection
CSRF attacks allow the attackers to use the credentials of the other users without their consent. The attackers might create an HTML file that may contain an author-creation form that is submitted once the file is loaded. The librarians might receive the file and suggests opening it. If the file opens, it submits the form with its credentials, and a new author is created. Now log in with your superuser account, after running the development web server. Copy the text above into a file and then open it in the browser. You’ll face a CSRF error. This is because of Django web app security.
3. Other Protections
The Django web security protects its users with SQL injection protection, Clickjacking protection, enforcing SSL/HTTPS, and Host header validation. SQL injection vulnerabilities let malevolent users administer arbitrary SQL code on a database irrespective of the user’s permissions. Django’s query models result in escaping SQL by the underlying database driver. A clickjacking attack is meant for a visible top-level site and routes malicious users to a hidden page beneath. It is used mostly in banking websites where the hijacker can capture the login credentials in an invisible <iframe>. Django contains clickjacking protection (X-Frame-Options middleware) that can prevent a site from being misused.
There are many protections and caveats that Django uses for protecting the websites. It is good for the perfectionist working under tight deadlines. Knowing how to implement Django will dramatically improve the security of web application and result in a healthier, more resilient project. You can also go through another absorbing blog on Django.
Published on 17/07/21
Web framework on easiest language-Python
Loaded with features
Suitable to all web application projects