Most websites and applications these days have some kind of security requirement. If you are allowing people to log in, or if you’re storing personally identifiable information (PII), you’ll want to implement some kind of security for your site.
In this chapter, we’ll be discussing HTTP Secure (HTTPS), which establishes a foundation on which you can build a secure website, and authentication mechanisms, with a focus on third-party authentication.
Security is a big topic that could fill up an entire book itself. For that reason, the focus in this book is going to be leveraging existing authentication modules. Writing your own authentication system is certainly possible, but is a large and complicated undertaking. Furthermore, there are good reasons to prefer a third-party login approach, which we will discuss later in this chapter.
The first step in providing secure services is using HTTP Secure (HTTPS). The nature of the Internet makes it possible for a third party to intercept packets being transmitted between clients and servers. HTTPS encrypts those packets, making it extremely difficult for an attacker to get access to the information being transmitted. (I say very difficult, not impossible, because there’s no such thing as perfect security. However, HTTPS is considered sufficiently secure for banking, corporate security, and healthcare.)
You can think of HTTPS as sort of a foundation for securing your website. It does not provide authentication, but it ...