Security is todays most important cross-cutting concern of an application and an enterprise IT-landscape. We seriously care about security and give you detailed guides to prevent pitfalls, vulnerabilities, and other disasters. While many mistakes can be avoided by following our guidelines you still have to consider security and think about it in your design and implementation. The security guide will not only automatically prevent you from any harm, but will provide you hints and best practices already used in different software products.

An important aspect of security is proper authentication and authorization as described in access-control. In the following we discuss about potential vulnerabilities and protection to prevent them.

Vulnerabilities and Protection

Independent from classical authentication and authorization mechanisms there are many common pitfalls that can lead to vulnerabilities and security issues in your application such as XSS, CSRF, SQL-injection, log-forging, etc. A good source of information about this is the OWASP. We address these common threats individually in security sections of our technological guides as a concrete solution to prevent an attack typically depends on the according technology. The following table illustrates common threats and contains links to the solutions and protection-mechanisms provided by the devonfw:

Table 46. Security threats and protection-mechanisms
Threat Protection Link to details

A1 Injection

validate input, escape output, use proper frameworks

SQL Injection

A2 Broken Authentication

encrypt all channels, use a central identity management with strong password-policy


A3 Sensitive Data Exposure

Use secured exception facade, design your data model accordingly

REST exception handling

A4 XML External Entities

Prefer JSON over XML, ensure FSP when parsing (external) XML

XML guide

A5 Broken Access Control

Ensure proper authorization for all use-cases, use @DenyAll as default to enforce

Access-control guide especially method authorization

A6 Security Misconfiguration

Use devon4j application template and guides to avoid

tutorial-newapp and sensitive configuration

A7 Cross-Site Scripting

prevent injection (see A1) for HTML, JavaScript and CSS and understand same-origin-policy


A8 Insecure Deserialization

Use simple and established serialization formats such as JSON, prevent generic deserialization (for polymorphic types)

JSON guide especially inheritence, XML guide

A9 Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities

subscribe to security newsletters, recheck products and their versions continuously, use devonfw dependency management

CVE newsletter and dependency check

A10 Insufficient_Logging & Monitoring

Ensure to log all security related events (login, logout, errors), establish effective monitoring

Logging guide and monitoring guide

Insecure Direct Object References

Using direct object references (IDs) only with appropriate authorization


Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

secure mutable service operations with an explicit CSRF security token sent in HTTP header and verified on the server

CSRF guide


Escape newlines in log messages

logging security

Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards

Avoid using redirects and forwards, in case you need them do a security audit on the solution.

devonfw proposes to use rich-clients (SPA/RIA). We only use redirects for login in a safe way.

Advanced Security

While OWASP Top 10 covers the basic aspects of application security, there are advanced standards such as AVS. In devonfw we address this in the Application Security Quick Solution Guide.


Dependency Check

To address the thread Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities we recomment to use OWASP dependency check that ships with a maven plugin and can analyze your dependencies for known CVEs. In order to run this check, you can simply call this command on any maven project:

mvn org.owasp:dependency-check-maven:6.1.5:aggregate
The version is just for completeness. You should check yourself for using a recent version of the plugin.

If you build an devon4j spring application from our app-template you can activate the dependency check even easier with the security profile:

mvn clean install -P security

This does not run by default as it causes some overhead for the build performance. However, consider to build this in your CI at least nightly. After the dependency check is performed, you will find the results in target/dependency-check-report.html of each module. The report will also be generated when the site is build (mvn site) even without the profile.

Penetration Testing

For penetration testing (testing for vulnerabilities) of your web application, we recommend the following tools:

Last updated 2023-11-20 10:37:01 UTC