Introducing Django Security

2013-12-05 00:00:00 +0000

Django-Security is currently the most advanced and mature security package for Django framework. It’s been usable for a while, but thanks to hard work of the SDelements team to which I have also contributed a bit I can now recommend it for production use. This package offers a number of models, views, middlewares and forms to facilitate security hardening of Django applications. Some features became obsolete with time, as mainstream Django has implemented them, but what I pride most is quite robust implementation of Content Security Policy that makes it much easier and manageable compared to manipulating raw HTTP header.

Full documentation

Automatically generated documentation of django-security is available on Read The Docs:

Django-security documentation


Install from Python packages repository:

pip install django-security

If you prefer the latest development version, install from django-security:

git clone
cd django-security
sudo python install

Adding to Django application’s file:

INSTALLED_APPS = ( ... 'security', ... )

Middleware modules can be added to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES list in settings file:

MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES = ( ... 'security.middleware.DoNotTrackMiddleware', 'security.middleware.ContentNoSniff', 'security.middleware.XssProtectMiddleware', 'security.middleware.XFrameOptionsMiddleware', )

Unlike the modules listed above, some other modules require configuration settings, fully described in django-security documentation. Brief description is provided below.


Provided middleware modules will modify web application’s output and input and in most cases requires no or minimum configuration.

Middleware Description Configuration </tr>
ContentNoSniff Disable possibly insecure autodetection of MIME types in browsers. Recommended. None.
ContentSecurityPolicyMiddleware Send Content Security Policy (CSP) header in HTTP response. Recommended, requires careful tuning. Required.
DoNotTrackMiddleware Read user browser's DoNotTrack preference and pass it to application. Recommended, requires implementation in views and templates. None.
LoginRequiredMiddleware Requires a user to be authenticated to view any page on the site that hasn’t been white listed. Required.
MandatoryPasswordChangeMiddleware Redirects any request from an authenticated user to the password change form if that user’s password has expired. Required.
NoConfidentialCachingMiddleware Adds No-Cache and No-Store headers to confidential pages. Required.
P3PPolicyMiddleware Adds the HTTP header attribute specifying compact P3P policy. Required.
SessionExpiryPolicyMiddleware Expire sessions on browser close, and on expiry times stored in the cookie itself. Required.
StrictTransportSecurityMiddleware Enforce SSL/TLS connection and disable plaintext fall-back. Recommended for SSL/TLS sites. Optional.
XFrameOptionsMiddleware Disable framing of the website, mitigating Clickjacking attacks. Recommended. Optional.
XssProtectMiddleware Enforce browser's Cross Site Scripting protection. Recommended. None. </table>


csp_report View that allows reception of Content Security Policy violation reports sent by browsers in response to CSP header set by ``ContentSecurityPolicyMiddleware`. This should be used only if long term, continuous CSP report analysis is required. For one time CSP setup CspBuilder This view can be configured to either log received reports or store them in database. See documentation for details. require_ajax A view decorator which ensures that the request being proccessed by view is an AJAX request. Example usage: @require_ajax def myview(request): ...


CspReport Content Security Policy violation report object. Only makes sense if ContentSecurityPolicyMiddleware and csp_report view are used. With this model, the reports can be then analysed in Django admin site. PasswordExpiry Associate a password expiry date with a user.


All django-security modules send important log messages to `security` facility. The application should configure a handler to receive them: LOGGING = { ... 'loggers': { 'security': { 'handlers': ['console',], 'level': 'INFO', 'propagate': False, 'formatter': 'verbose', }, ...