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Key Security features of Yii Framework

Key Security features of Yii Framework

Yii is a high-performance PHP framework which is one of the best choices for developing Web 2.0 applications. It is fast, highly secure & professional framework with rich features like MVC, DAO/ActiveRecord, I18N/L10N, caching, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, testing and more. This framework reduces the development time significantly by reducing the CRUD actions.


Good security is vital to the health and success of any application. It will not be wrong to say that Security comes as standard with Yii. Security standards include input validation, output filtering, SQL injection, Cross-site scripting prevention and more.

Yii powered application has the following features making the app as secure as possible. Some of the features are listed below:


Authentication is the process of verifying the user’s identity. This works based on the identifier (e.g. a username or an email address) and a secret token (e.g. a password or an access token) to confirm the user. Authentication is the stepping stone of the login feature.

Yii has an extensive authentication framework which includes vivid components to support login. To use this authentication framework is simple, follow the below mentioned technical steps:

  • Configure the user application component;
  • Create a class that implements the yii\web\IdentityInterface interface.

The yii\web\User class raises a few events during the login and logout processes. The user responds to these events to implement features such as login audit, online user statistics and more.


Authorization is the process of verifying and permitting that the user has access and can work upon a certain part of the application. Yii provides two authorization methods:

  • Access Control Filter (ACF)

Access Control Filter (ACF) is a simple authorization method. It is used by applications that only need some simple access control, it is an action filter that can be used in a controller or a module. ACF works by checking the list of access rules when a user is requesting to execute an action.

  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) provides centralized access control. Yii implements a General Hierarchical RBAC which follows the NIST RBAC model providing the RBAC functionality through the authManager application component.RBAC usage involves two fundamental steps: The first one is to create the RBAC authorization data and the second step is to use this authorization data to perform access checks at various places, wherever required. Auth Clients in Yii also provides official extensions that allow you to authenticate & authorize using external services.

Working with Passwords

With the increasing brute force attacks that can reverse the aforementioned hashed algorithms, it now becomes mandatory for the developers to avoid the passwords to be saved as plain text. Yii provides increased security to this scenario by supporting one the best hashing algorithm – bcrypt. Yii provides two helper functions that help bcrypt to securely generate & check the hashes easily.

Cryptography Mechanism

The cryptography mechanism of the Yii framework is very strong to protect easy encryption of crucial data. For example, when the user is trying to reset the password via email, it follows a step by step mechanism of generating a token, saves it to the database, sends it to the user via email allowing the password resetting to be possible. It is important that data like this – token and other data be highly coded so that the attacker cannot guess, predict or decode it.
In such situations, Yii generates pseudo-random data and also provides a function to support the encryption & decryption of this data using a secret key. Yii also provided a function to confirm the data integrity & verify that the data does not tamper, which is essential in certain cases.

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Views Security

Yii implements the model-view-controller (MVC) design pattern and Views are part of this MVC architecture, widely adopted by the web programming. Basically, views are the code responsible for presenting data to end users. Views are usually created in terms of view templates which are PHP script files containing mainly HTML code and presentational PHP code.

It is important that you encode and filter the data coming from end users before a presentation while creating views that generate HTML pages. Otherwise, your yii enterprise application may be subject to cross-site scripting attacks. Cross-site scripting (also known as XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability often found in web applications. It enables attackers to inject client-side scripts into web pages which are viewed by other users.The effects of XSS vary in range from petty nuisance to significant security risk, depending on the sensitivity of the data handled by the vulnerable sites.

Security Best Practices

Following the Security Best practices, you can avoid the security threats while using a Yii framework. The security best practices work upon the fundamental principle of filtering all the inputs & escape all the output. Some of the general best practices involve: avoiding SQL injections, avoiding XSS, avoiding cross-site request forgery, avoiding debug info and tools in production, Using secure connection over TLS and secure server connections and more.

Yii framework is considered amongst one of the most result oriented, open source and secure framework. It is highly flexible with features of error-handling capacity, security against cyber-attack, plenty of structures and themes, smart caching system and many more.It helps to create modern web applications quickly and ensure they perform well. It works to streamline your web application and helps to ensure an extremely efficient, extensible and maintainable end product. CMARIX has experience of developing Yii enterprise Apps based on different concepts like eCommerce, booking systems and more with the help of highly skilled Yii PHP development company.

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Written by Jeegnasa Mudsa

Jeegnasa Mudsa is Executive Director at CMARIX InfoTech. a leading eCommerce development company with 15+ years experience. A blend of true Engineer and HR power house to run the Company Operations. Creative Director with in-depth experience of Technology and Human Resource domain. A people person and a compassionate Mother.

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