Version 4 supported
This version of Silverstripe CMS is still supported though will not receive any additional features. Go to documentation for the most recent stable version.



This page details notes on how to ensure that we develop secure Silverstripe CMS applications. See Reporting Security Issues on how to report potential vulnerabilities.

SQL Injection

The coding-conventions help guard against SQL injection attacks but still require developer diligence: ensure that any variable you insert into a filter / sort / join clause is either parameterised, or has been escaped.


Parameterised queries

Parameterised queries, or prepared statements, allow the logic around the query and its structure to be separated from the parameters passed in to be executed. Many DB adaptors support these as standard including PDO, MySQL, SQL Server, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.

The use of parameterised queries whenever possible will safeguard your code in most cases, but care must still be taken when working with literal values or table/column identifiers that may come from user input.


use SilverStripe\ORM\DB;
use SilverStripe\ORM\DataObject;
use SilverStripe\ORM\Queries\SQLSelect;

$records = DB::prepared_query('SELECT * FROM "MyClass" WHERE "ID" = ?', [3]);
$records = MyClass::get()->where(['"ID" = ?' => 3]);
$records = MyClass::get()->where(['"ID"' => 3]);
$records = DataObject::get_by_id('MyClass', 3);
$records = DataObject::get_one('MyClass', ['"ID" = ?' => 3]);
$records = MyClass::get()->byID(3);
$records = SQLSelect::create()->addWhere(['"ID"' => 3])->execute();

Parameterised updates and inserts are also supported, but the syntax is a little different

use SilverStripe\ORM\Queries\SQLInsert;
use SilverStripe\ORM\DB;

    ->assign('"Name"', 'Daniel')
        '"Position"' => 'Accountant',
        '"Age"' => [
            'GREATEST(0,?,?)' => [24, 28]
    ->assignSQL('"Created"', 'NOW()')
    'INSERT INTO "MyClass" ("Name", "Position", "Age", "Created") VALUES(?, ?, GREATEST(0,?,?), NOW())'
    ['Daniel', 'Accountant', 24, 28]

Automatic escaping

Silverstripe CMS internally will use parameterised queries in SQL statements wherever possible.

If necessary Silverstripe performs any required escaping through database-specific methods (see Database::addslashes()). For MySQLDatabase, this will be [mysql_real_escape_string()](

  • Most DataList accessors (see escaping note in method documentation)
  • DataObject::get_by_id()
  • DataObject::update()
  • DataObject::castedUpdate()
  • DataObject->Property = 'val', DataObject->setField('Property','val')
  • DataObject::write()
  • DataList->byID()
  • Form->saveInto()
  • FormField->saveInto()
  • DBField->saveInto()

Data is not escaped when writing to object-properties, as inserts and updates are normally handled via prepared statements.


use SilverStripe\Security\Member;

// automatically escaped/quoted
$members = Member::get()->filter('Name', $_GET['name']); 
// automatically escaped/quoted
$members = Member::get()->filter(['Name' => $_GET['name']]); 
// parameterised condition
$members = Member::get()->where(['"Name" = ?' => $_GET['name']]); 
// needs to be escaped and quoted manually (note raw2sql called with the $quote parameter set to true)
$members = Member::get()->where(sprintf('"Name" = %s', Convert::raw2sql($_GET['name'], true))); 
It is NOT good practice to "be sure" and convert the data passed to the functions above manually. This might result in double escaping and alters the actually saved data (e.g. by adding slashes to your content).

Manual escaping

As a rule of thumb, whenever you're creating SQL queries (or just chunks of SQL) you should use parameterisation, but there may be cases where you need to take care of escaping yourself. See coding-conventions and datamodel for ways to parameterise, cast, and convert your data.

  • SQLSelect
  • DB::query()
  • DB::prepared_query()
  • Director::urlParams()
  • Controller->requestParams, Controller->urlParams
  • HTTPRequest data
  • GET/POST data passed to a form method


use SilverStripe\Core\Convert;
use SilverStripe\Forms\Form;

class MyForm extends Form 
    public function save($RAW_data, $form) 
        // Pass true as the second parameter of raw2sql to quote the value safely
        $SQL_data = Convert::raw2sql($RAW_data, true); // works recursively on an array
        $objs = Player::get()->where("Name = " . $SQL_data['name']);
        // ...
  • FormField->Value()
  • URLParams passed to a Controller-method


use SilverStripe\Core\Convert;
use SilverStripe\Control\Controller;

class MyController extends Controller 
    private static $allowed_actions = ['myurlaction'];
    public function myurlaction($RAW_urlParams) 
        // Pass true as the second parameter of raw2sql to quote the value safely
        $SQL_urlParams = Convert::raw2sql($RAW_urlParams, true); // works recursively on an array
        $objs = Player::get()->where("Name = " . $SQL_data['OtherID']);
        // ...

As a rule of thumb, you should escape your data as close to querying as possible (or preferably, use parameterised queries). This means if you've got a chain of functions passing data through, escaping should happen at the end of the chain.

use SilverStripe\Core\Convert;
use SilverStripe\ORM\DB;
use SilverStripe\Control\Controller;

class MyController extends Controller 
    * @param array $RAW_data All names in an indexed array (not SQL-safe)
    public function saveAllNames($RAW_data) 
        // $SQL_data = Convert::raw2sql($RAW_data); // premature escaping
        foreach($RAW_data as $item) $this->saveName($item);

    public function saveName($RAW_name) 
        $SQL_name = Convert::raw2sql($RAW_name, true);
        DB::query("UPDATE Player SET Name = {$SQL_name}");

This might not be applicable in all cases - especially if you are building an API thats likely to be customised. If you're passing unescaped data, make sure to be explicit about it by writing phpdoc-documentation and prefixing your variables ($RAW_data instead of $data).

XSS (Cross-Site-Scripting)

Silverstripe CMS helps you guard any output against clientside attacks initiated by malicious user input, commonly known as XSS (Cross-Site-Scripting). With some basic guidelines, you can ensure your output is safe for a specific use case (e.g. displaying a blog post in HTML from a trusted author, or escaping a search parameter from an untrusted visitor before redisplaying it).

Note: Silverstripe CMS templates do not remove tags, please use strip_tags() for this purpose or sanitize it correctly.

See for in-depth information about "Cross-Site-Scripting".

Additional options

For HTMLText database fields which aren't edited through HtmlEditorField, you also have the option to explicitly whitelist allowed tags in the field definition, e.g. "MyField" => "HTMLText('meta','link')". The SiteTree.ExtraMeta property uses this to limit allowed input.

What if I need to allow script or style tags?

The default configuration of Silverstripe CMS uses a santiser to enforce TinyMCE whitelist rules on the server side, and is sufficient to eliminate the most common XSS vectors. Notably, this will remove script and style tags.

If your site requires script or style tags to be added via TinyMCE, Silverstripe CMS can be configured to disable the server side santisation. You will also need to update the TinyMCE whitelist settings to remove the frontend sanitisation.

However, it's strongly discouraged as it opens up the possibility of malicious code being added to your site through the CMS.

To disable filtering, set the HtmlEditorField::$sanitise_server_side configuration property to false, i.e.

Name: project-htmleditor
After: htmleditor
  sanitise_server_side: false

Note it is not currently possible to allow editors to provide javascript content and yet still protect other users from any malicious code within that javascript.

We recommend configuring shortcodes that can be used by editors in place of using javascript directly.

Escaping model properties

SSViewer (the Silverstripe CMS template engine) automatically takes care of escaping HTML tags from specific object-properties by casting its string value into a DBField object.


use SilverStripe\ORM\DataObject;

class MyObject extends DataObject 
    private static $db = [
        'MyEscapedValue' => 'Text', // Example value: <b>not bold</b>
        'MyUnescapedValue' => 'HTMLText' // Example value: <b>bold</b>


    <li>$MyEscapedValue</li> // output: &lt;b&gt;not bold&lt;b&gt;
    <li>$MyUnescapedValue</li> // output: <b>bold</b>

The example below assumes that data wasn't properly filtered when saving to the database, but are escaped before outputting through SSViewer.

Overriding default escaping in templates

You can force escaping on a casted value/object by using an escape type method in your template, e.g. "XML" or "ATT".

Template (see above):

    // output: <a href="#" title="foo &amp; &#quot;bar&quot;">foo &amp; "bar"</a>
    <li><a href="#" title="$Title.ATT">$Title</a></li>
    <li>$MyEscapedValue</li> // output: &lt;b&gt;not bold&lt;b&gt;
    <li>$MyUnescapedValue</li> // output: <b>bold</b>
    <li>$MyUnescapedValue.XML</li> // output: &lt;b&gt;bold&lt;b&gt;

Escaping custom attributes and getters

Every object attribute or getter method used for template purposes should have its escape type defined through the static $casting array. Caution: Casting only applies when using values in a template, not in PHP.


use SilverStripe\ORM\DataObject;

class MyObject extends DataObject 
    public $Title = '<b>not bold</b>'; // will be escaped due to Text casting
    $casting = [
        "Title" => "Text", // forcing a casting
        'TitleWithHTMLSuffix' => 'HTMLText' // optional, as HTMLText is the default casting
    public function TitleWithHTMLSuffix($suffix) 
        // $this->Title is not casted in PHP
        return $this->Title . '<small>(' . $suffix. ')</small>';


    <li>$Title</li> // output: &lt;b&gt;not bold&lt;b&gt;
    <li>$Title.RAW</li> // output: <b>not bold</b>
    <li>$TitleWithHTMLSuffix</li> // output: <b>not bold</b>: <small>(...)</small>

Note: Avoid generating HTML by string concatenation in PHP wherever possible to minimize risk and separate your presentation from business logic.

Manual escaping in PHP

When using customise() or renderWith() calls in your controller, or otherwise forcing a custom context for your template, you'll need to take care of casting and escaping yourself in PHP.

The Convert class has utilities for this, mainly Convert::raw2xml() and Convert::raw2att() (which is also used by XML and ATT in template code).

Most of the `Convert::raw2` methods accept arrays and do not affect array keys. If you serialize your data, make sure to do that before you pass it to `Convert::raw2` methods.


json_encode(Convert::raw2sql($request->getVar('multiselect')));  // WRONG!

Convert::raw2sql(json_encode($request->getVar('multiselect')));  // Correct!


use SilverStripe\Core\Convert;
use SilverStripe\Control\Controller;
use SilverStripe\ORM\FieldType\DBText;
use SilverStripe\ORM\FieldType\DBHTMLText;

class MyController extends Controller 
    private static $allowed_actions = ['search'];
    public function search($request) 
        $htmlTitle = '<p>Your results for:' . Convert::raw2xml($request->getVar('Query')) . '</p>';
        return $this->customise([
            'Query' => DBText::create($request->getVar('Query')),
            'HTMLTitle' => DBHTMLText::create($htmlTitle)


<h2 title="Searching for $Query.ATT">$HTMLTitle</h2>

Whenever you insert a variable into an HTML attribute within a template, use $VarName.ATT, no not $VarName.

You can also use the built-in casting in PHP by using the obj() wrapper, see datamodel.

Escaping URLs

Whenever you are generating a URL that contains querystring components based on user data, use urlencode() to escape the user data, not Convert::raw2att(). Use raw ampersands in your URL, and cast the URL as a "Text" DBField:


use SilverStripe\Control\Controller;
use SilverStripe\ORM\FieldType\DBText;

class MyController extends Controller 
    private static $allowed_actions = ['search'];
    public function search($request) 
        $rssRelativeLink = "/rss?Query=" . urlencode($_REQUEST['query']) . "&sortOrder=asc";
        $rssLink = Controller::join_links($this->Link(), $rssRelativeLink);
        return $this->customise([
            "RSSLink" => DBText::create($rssLink),


<a href="$RSSLink.ATT">RSS feed</a>

Some rules of thumb:

  • Don't concatenate URLs in a template. It only works in extremely simple cases that usually contain bugs.
  • Use Controller::join_links() to concatenate URLs. It deals with query strings and other such edge cases.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Silverstripe CMS has built-in countermeasures against CSRF identity theft for all form submissions. A form object will automatically contain a SecurityID parameter which is generated as a secure hash on the server, connected to the currently active session of the user. If this form is submitted without this parameter, or if the parameter doesn't match the hash stored in the users session, the request is discarded. You can disable this behaviour through Form::disableSecurityToken().

It is also recommended to limit form submissions to the intended HTTP verb (mostly GET or POST) through Form::setStrictFormMethodCheck().

Sometimes you need to handle state-changing HTTP submissions which aren't handled through Silverstripe CMS's form system. In this case, you can also check the current HTTP request for a valid token through SecurityToken::checkRequest().

Casting user input

When working with $_GET, $_POST or Director::urlParams variables, and you know your variable has to be of a certain type, like an integer, then it's essential to cast it as one. Why? To be sure that any processing of your given variable is done safely, with the assumption that it's an integer.

To cast the variable as an integer, place (int) or (integer) before the variable.

For example: a page with the URL parameters requires that ''Director::urlParams['ID']'' be an integer. We cast it by adding (int) - ''(int)Director::urlParams['ID']''. If a value other than an integer is passed, such as, then it returns 0.

Below is an example with different ways you would use this casting technique:

public function CaseStudies() 

    // cast an ID from URL parameters e.g. (
    $anotherID = (int)Director::urlParam['ID'];
    // perform a calculation, the prerequisite being $anotherID must be an integer
    $calc = $anotherID + (5 - 2) / 2;
    // cast the 'category' GET variable as an integer
    $categoryID = (int)$_GET['category'];
    // perform a byID(), which ensures the ID is an integer before querying
    return CaseStudy::get()->byID($categoryID);

The same technique can be employed anywhere in your PHP code you know something must be of a certain type. A list of PHP cast types can be found here:

  • (int), (integer) - cast to integer
  • (bool), (boolean) - cast to boolean
  • (float), (double), (real) - cast to float
  • (string) - cast to string
  • (array) - cast to array
  • (object) - cast to object

Note that there is also a 'Silverstripe CMS' way of casting fields on a class, this is a different type of casting to the standard PHP way. See casting.


Don't allow script-execution in /assets

Please refer to the article on file security for instructions on how to secure the assets folder against malicious script execution.

Don't run Silverstripe in the webroot

Silverstripe routes all execution through a public/ subfolder) by default. This enables you to keep application code and configuration outside of webserver routing. But since this was introduced after the 4.0, there's a fallback .htaccess file in place which allows you to set the webroot to the project root. Don't rely on this, since it increases your security surface.

.htaccess <- fallback, shouldn't be used
public/ <- this should be your webroot
    secrets.yml <- this isn't routed if public/ is your webroot

Don't place protected files in the webroot

Protected files are stored in public/assets/.protected by default (assuming you're using the public/ subfolder). While default configuration is in place to avoid the webserver serving these files, we recommend moving them out of the webroot altogether - see Server Requirements: Secure Assets.

User uploaded files

Certain file types are by default excluded from user upload. html, xhtml, htm, and xml files may have embedded, or contain links to, external resources or scripts that may hijack browser sessions and impersonate that user. Even if the uploader of this content may be a trusted user, there is no safeguard against these users being deceived by the content source.

Flash files (swf) are also prone to a variety of security vulnerabilities of their own, and thus by default are disabled from file upload. As a standard practice, any users wishing to allow flash upload to their sites should take the following precautions:

  • Only allow flash uploads from trusted sources, preferably those with available source.
  • Make use of the AllowScriptAccess parameter to ensure that any embedded Flash file is isolated from its environments scripts. In an ideal situation, all flash content would be served from another domain, and this value is set to "sameDomain". If this is not feasible, this should be set to "never". For trusted flash files you may set this to "sameDomain" without an isolated domain name, but do so at your own risk.
  • Take note of any regional cookie legislation that may affect your users. See Cookie Law and Flash Cookies.

See the Adobe Flash security page for more information.

ADMIN privileged users may be allowed to override the above upload restrictions if the File.apply_restrictions_to_admin config is set to false. By default this is true, which enforces these restrictions globally.

Additionally, if certain file uploads should be made available to non-privileged users, you can add them to the list of allowed extensions by adding these to the File.allowed_extensions config.


Silverstripe CMS stores passwords with a strong hashing algorithm (blowfish) by default (see PasswordEncryptor). It adds randomness to these hashes via salt values generated with the strongest entropy generators available on the platform (see RandomGenerator). This prevents brute force attacks with Rainbow tables.

Strong passwords are a crucial part of any system security. So in addition to storing the password in a secure fashion, you can also enforce specific password policies by configuring a PasswordValidator. This can be done through a _config.php file at runtime, or via YAML configuration.

From Silverstripe CMS 4.3 onwards, the default password validation rules are configured in the framework's passwords.yml file. You will need to ensure that your config file is processed after it. For Silverstripe CMS <4.3 you will need to use a _config.php file to modify the class's config at runtime (see _config.php installed in your mysite/app folder if you're using silverstripe/recipe-core).

Name: mypasswords
After: '#corepasswords'
      MinLength: 7
      HistoricCount: 6
      MinTestScore: 3

# In the case someone uses `new PasswordValidator` instead of Injector, provide some safe defaults through config.
  min_length: 7
  historic_count: 6
  min_test_score: 3

Configuring custom password validator tests

The default password validation character strength tests can be seen in the PasswordValidator.character_strength_tests configuration property. You can add your own with YAML config, by providing a name for it and a regex pattern to match:

    contains_secret_word: '/1337pw/'

This will ensure that a password contains 1337pw somewhere in the string before validation will succeed.

Other options

In addition, you can tighten password security with the following configuration settings:

  • Member.password_expiry_days: Set the number of days that a password should be valid for.
  • Member.lock_out_after_incorrect_logins: Number of incorrect logins after which the user is blocked from further attempts for the timespan defined in $lock_out_delay_mins
  • Member.lock_out_delay_mins: Minutes of enforced lockout after incorrect password attempts. Only applies if lock_out_after_incorrect_logins is greater than 0.
  • Security.remember_username: Set to false to disable autocomplete on login form
  • Session.timeout: Set timeout to attenuate the risk of active sessions being exploited

Clickjacking: Prevent iframe Inclusion

"Clickjacking" is a malicious technique where a web user is tricked into clicking on hidden interface elements, which can lead to the attacker gaining access to user data or taking control of the website behaviour.

You can signal to browsers that the current response isn't allowed to be included in HTML "frame" or "iframe" elements, and thereby prevent the most common attack vector. This is done through a HTTP header, which is usually added in your controller's init() method:

use SilverStripe\Control\Controller;

class MyController extends Controller 
    public function init() 
        $this->getResponse()->addHeader('X-Frame-Options', 'SAMEORIGIN');

This is a recommended option to secure any controller which displays or submits sensitive user input, and is enabled by default in all CMS controllers, as well as the login form.

Request hostname forgery

To prevent a forged hostname appearing being used by the application, Silverstripe CMS allows the configure of a whitelist of hosts that are allowed to access the system. By defining this whitelist in your .env file, any request presenting a Host header that is not in this list will be blocked with a HTTP 400 error:


Please note that if this configuration is defined, you must include all subdomains (eg www.) that will be accessing the site.

When Silverstripe CMS is run behind a reverse proxy, it's normally necessary for this proxy to use the X-Forwarded-Host request header to tell the webserver which hostname was originally requested. However, when Silverstripe CMS is not run behind a proxy, this header can still be used by attackers to fool the server into mistaking its own identity.

The risk of this kind of attack causing damage is especially high on sites which utilise caching mechanisms, as rewritten urls could persist between requests in order to misdirect other users into visiting external sites.

In order to prevent this kind of attack, it's necessary to whitelist trusted proxy server IPs using the SS_TRUSTED_PROXY_IPS define in your .env.


If you wish to change the headers that are used to find the proxy information, you should reconfigure the TrustedProxyMiddleware service:

    ProxyHostHeaders: X-Forwarded-Host
    ProxySchemeHeaders: X-Forwarded-Protocol
    ProxyIPHeaders: X-Forwarded-Ip

At the same time, you'll also need to define which headers you trust from these proxy IPs. Since there are multiple ways through which proxies can pass through HTTP information on the original hostname, IP and protocol, these values need to be adjusted for your specific proxy. The header names match their equivalent $_SERVER values.

If there is no proxy server, 'none' can be used to distrust all clients. If only trusted servers will make requests then you can use '*' to trust all clients. Otherwise a comma separated list of individual IP addresses should be declared.

This behaviour is enabled whenever SS_TRUSTED_PROXY_IPS is defined, or if the BlockUntrustedIPs environment variable is declared. It is advisable to include the following in your .htaccess to ensure this behaviour is activated.

<IfModule mod_env.c>
    # Ensure that X-Forwarded-Host is only allowed to determine the request
    # hostname for servers ips defined by SS_TRUSTED_PROXY_IPS in your .env
    # Note that in a future release this setting will be always on.
    SetEnv BlockUntrustedIPs true

As of Silverstripe CMS 4, this behaviour is on by default, and the environment variable is no longer required. For correct operation, it is necessary to always set SS_TRUSTED_PROXY_IPS if using a proxy.

Secure Sessions, Cookies and TLS (HTTPS)

Silverstripe CMS recommends the use of TLS(HTTPS) for your application, and you can easily force the use through the director function forceSSL()

use SilverStripe\Control\Director;

if (!Director::isDev()) {

forceSSL() will only take effect in environment types that CanonicalURLMiddleware is configured to apply to (by default, only LIVE). To apply this behaviour in all environment types, you'll need to update that configuration:

use SilverStripe\Control\Director;
use SilverStripe\Control\Middleware\CanonicalURLMiddleware;

if (!Director::isDev()) {
    CanonicalURLMiddleware::singleton()->setEnabledEnvs(true); // You can also specify individual environment types

Forcing HTTPS so requires a certificate to be purchased or obtained through a vendor such as lets encrypt and configured on your web server.

Note that by default enabling SSL will also enable CanonicalURLMiddleware::forceBasicAuthToSSL which will detect and automatically redirect any requests with basic authentication headers to first be served over HTTPS. You can disable this behaviour using CanonicalURLMiddleware::singleton()->setForceBasicAuthToSSL(false), or via Injector configuration in YAML.

We also want to ensure cookies are not shared between secure and non-secure sessions, so we must tell Silverstripe CMS to use a secure session. To do this, you may set the cookie_secure parameter to true in your config.yml for Session.

It is also a good idea to set the samesite attribute for the session cookie to Strict unless you have a specific use case for sharing the session cookie across domains.

  cookie_samesite: 'Strict'
  cookie_secure: true

The same treatment should be applied to the cookie responsible for remembering logins across sessions:

Name: secure-alc
  environment: dev
      TokenCookieSecure: true
There is not currently an easy way to pass a samesite attribute value for setting this cookie - but you can set the default value for the attribute for all cookies. See the main cookies documentation for more information.

For other cookies set by your application we should also ensure the users are provided with secure cookies by setting the "Secure" and "HTTPOnly" flags. These flags prevent them from being stolen by an attacker through javascript.

  • The Secure cookie flag instructs the browser not to send the cookie over an insecure HTTP connection. If this flag is not present, the browser will send the cookie even if HTTPS is not in use, which means it is transmitted in clear text and can be intercepted and stolen by an attacker who is listening on the network.
  • The HTTPOnly flag lets the browser know whether or not a cookie should be accessible by client-side JavaScript code. It is best practice to set this flag unless the application is known to use JavaScript to access these cookies as this prevents an attacker who achieves cross-site scripting from accessing these cookies.
use SilverStripe\Control\Cookie;

Cookie::set('cookie-name', 'chocolate-chip', $expiry = 30, $path = null, $domain = null, $secure = true, 
    $httpOnly = false

Using SSL in database connections

In some circumstances, like connecting to a database on a remote host for example, you may wish to enable SSL encryption to ensure the protection of sensitive information and database access credentials. You can configure that by setting the following environment variables:

SS_DATABASE_SSL_KEYAbsolute path to SSL key file (optional - but if set, SS_DATABASE_SSL_CERT must also be set)
SS_DATABASE_SSL_CERTAbsolute path to SSL certificate file (optional - but if set, SS_DATABASE_SSL_KEY must also be set)
SS_DATABASE_SSL_CAAbsolute path to SSL Certificate Authority bundle file (optional)
SS_DATABASE_SSL_CIPHERCustom SSL cipher for database connections (optional)

Security Headers

In addition to forcing HTTPS browsers can support additional security headers which can only allow access to a website via a secure connection. As browsers increasingly provide negative feedback regarding unencrypted HTTP connections, ensuring an HTTPS connection will provide a better and more secure user experience.

  • The Strict-Transport-Security header instructs the browser to record that the website and assets on that website MUST use a secure connection. This prevents websites from becoming insecure in the future from stray absolute links or references without https from external sites. Check if your browser supports HSTS
  • max-age can be configured to anything in seconds: max-age=31536000 (1 year), for roll out, consider something lower
  • includeSubDomains to ensure all present and future sub domains will also be HTTPS

For sensitive pages, such as members areas, or places where sensitive information is present, adding cache control headers can explicitly instruct browsers not to keep a local cached copy of content and can prevent content from being cached throughout the infrastructure (e.g. Proxy, caching layers, WAF etc).

  • The headers Cache-control: no-store and Pragma: no-cache along with expiry headers of Expires: <current date> and Date: <current date> will ensure that sensitive content is not stored locally or able to be retrieved by unauthorised local persons. Silverstripe CMS adds the current date for every request, and we can add the other cache headers to the request for our secure controllers:
use SilverStripe\Control\HTTP;
use SilverStripe\Control\Controller;

class MySecureController extends Controller 
    public function init() 
        // Add cache headers to ensure sensitive content isn't cached.
        $this->response->addHeader('Cache-Control', 'max-age=0, must-revalidate, no-transform');
        $this->response->addHeader('Pragma', 'no-cache'); // for HTTP 1.0 support

        // Add HSTS header to force TLS for document content
        $this->response->addHeader('Strict-Transport-Security', 'max-age=86400; includeSubDomains');

HTTP Caching Headers

Caching is hard. If you get it wrong, private or draft content might leak to unauthenticated users. We have created an abstraction which allows you to express your intent around HTTP caching without worrying too much about the details. See HTTP Cache Headers for details on how to apply caching safely, and read Google's Web Fundamentals on Caching.