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Secured Website Part 1 – Content Security Policy Setup (CSP)


When securing a website, there are multiple steps and factors one must consider. One of these steps and the purpose of this article is setting up a Content Security Policy (CSP). CSP is a computer security standard with the purpose of preventing attackers from polluting a website with malicious resources. What CSP does is that it enables a webmaster to whitelist (on the server side via .htaccess) trusted resources that make part of the website he is controlling. In other words, CSP is like a website firewall which can be configured to only allow resources from specific hosts to be loaded into the website.

For part 2, see Secured Website – Content Delivery Networks (CDN).

To setup a good Content Security Policy could prove challenging for a website that has many outside resources being used like: content delivery networks for javascript, embedded videos and outside hosted images.

As seen in the CSP section of the perfect .htaccess setup article, there are numerous resources on building and testing the Policy. After browsing those examples and then some our conclusion was set: information on CSP is not consistent due to the nature of browsers not atomically parsing contents of the Policy. In other words, browsers don’t all support the same features of CSP and some can ignore/break if they can’t interpret the contents of the CSP.

Though the information on formatting wildcards is not 100% accurate we do recommend Scott Helme’s tools for creating a CSP and checking it.



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