Authentication And Security

Scale & Secure Part 3: Advanced Practices in Scaling and Security


Ensuring the security of your APIs and user data is critical in application development. Xano provides several powerful features and best practices to help you implement robust security measures and mitigate common threats such as data breaches, unauthorized access, and vulnerabilities.

Require Authentication on APIs

One of the fundamental security measures you can implement is requiring authentication on your APIs. By ensuring that API endpoints are accessed only by intended users, you can prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive data.

The authentication process involves users logging in and receiving a JSON Web Token (JWT), which serves as an encrypted token for user authentication. Think of it as a key that users can use to unlock different API endpoints that require authentication.

Here's how you can require authentication on an API endpoint in Xano:

  1. Go to your API group and create a new API endpoint or select an existing one.
  2. In the API endpoint settings, enable the "Require Authentication" option.
  3. Now, when users attempt to access this API endpoint, they will need to provide a valid JWT token.

Separate User Data

Users should only have access to their own relevant data, such as account information or shopping history (in the case of an e-commerce application). This principle aligns with the concept of role-based access control (RBAC), which we'll discuss next.

To separate user data in Xano, you can leverage the `authID` variable, which represents the unique ID of the authenticated user. Here's an example of how to use it:

  1. Create a database table to store user data, with a field that references the user (e.g., `userId`).
  2. In your API endpoint, use a custom query to filter the records based on the `authID` variable:

field = userId condition = equals value = authID

This will ensure that users can only see data associated with their own user ID.

Implement Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

RBAC helps you define rules and roles for users within your application. By assigning different access levels based on user roles, you can restrict access to data and APIs, ensuring that users only have access to what they need.

Here's how you can implement RBAC in Xano:

  1. Create a database table to store user roles (e.g., `admin`, `staff`, `user`).
  2. In your API endpoint, use a precondition to check the user's role and enforce access rules. For example:

precondition: user.role = 'admin' error message: 'You do not have the required access level'

  1. Alternatively, you can use conditional statements to serve different data or perform different actions based on the user's role.

By combining preconditions, conditionals, and the `authID` variable, you can create powerful access control mechanisms tailored to your application's needs.

Control Access to Swagger Documentation

Xano automatically generates Swagger documentation for your APIs, providing information about the available endpoints. To ensure that this documentation remains secure, you can control access to it by enabling the "Require Authentication" option in the API group settings.

With this option enabled, only authenticated users with valid JWT tokens will be able to access the Swagger documentation for your APIs.

By implementing these security measures in Xano, you can protect your APIs and user data from common threats, ensuring a secure and reliable application for your users.

This transcript was AI generated to allow users to quickly answer technical questions about Xano.

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