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ASP.NET security setting recommendations

After you install an Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) website, use the recommendations in this topic for some common ASP.NET-related security areas, and manage these for Optimizely websites.

Weak password account lockout policy and password change functionality

Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) uses standard ASP.NET mechanisms for password handling, which lets you configure things like password complexity policies. You also can configure CMS to use Windows or Active Directory for authentication, meaning that password changes and lock-out policy is delegated.

You should have strong password complexity requirements on user accounts and ensure that any changes to user accounts involves the user’s current password. You also can use a different Membership provider for CMS that does not allow for password change. Either subclassing the SqlServerMembershipProvider or using the ActiveDirectoryMembership provider work equally well.

See the following Microsoft references for information about managing membership accounts.

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)

CMS uses a stateless token based pattern for CSRF mitigation. If you intend to add functionality to CMS that includes state changing operations then it is recommended that you include CSRF mitigation; ASP.NET provides standard libraries for implementing this. See Cross-Site Request Forgery.

Ineffective session termination

CMS uses standard ASP.NET mechanisms for authentication which does not support active logout, and it is basically session-less. You might extend ASP.NET, but that is not a feature provided by CMS. You should use HTTPS for secure communication, because this does not let third parties sniff the session token.

You can extend ASP.NET's FormsAuthentication ticket with active logout, but that is not a feature provided by Optimizely.

Header disclosure

Through the use of IIS and ASP.NET, some informational HTTP headers are added to a response, which might expose security-related information like ASP.NET and IIS versions. You can modify this using standard ASP.NET techniques; it is not specific to CMS and should be dealt with as part of standard application hardening. You can remove the X-AspNetMvc-Version header with a simple set of the MvcHandler.DisableMvcResponseHeader property.

Disable of autocomplete

You should build a custom login page with auto-complete disabled, replacing the default login page. Forms containing user names and passwords, or other sensitive information, should have the autocomplete option disabled on both the form and the sensitive fields.

Vulnerability to clickjacking attacks

You can avoid clickjacking attacks on websites by ensuring that content is not embedded into other sites using frames. Use the X-Frame-Options HTTP response header to defend against clickjacking attacks. This header indicates that the current page should not be loaded in a frame, and through code you can blank the contents of the page if it is framed by another domain.

See the recommendations in The X-Frame-Options response header.