Well-deployed technologies

The Web Cryptography API provides a first step toward enabling secure authentication and communication from the browser, with standard APIs to cryptographic functions such as encryption, decryption, signing, hashing, and verification. WebCrypto allows a web developer to build in their application a reliable security model protecting the user (such as authentication or secure communication between the browser and the server).

Content Security Policy provides a policy language by which application developers can declare a security policy for a web resource. The goal of this specification is to reduce attack surface by specifying overall rules for what content may or may not do, thus preventing violation of security assumptions by attackers who are able to partially manipulate that content, for example by script injection or cross-site request forgery. An application delivered over a secure channel with CSP enabled can assure that users receive it as it was intended to be executed.

Subresource Integrity enables the secure incorporation of additional elements into the application.

The Mixed Content specification helps to migrate the Web toward being secure by default, by setting clear rules as to when content that is not served over HTTPs can or cannot be loaded from an HTTPs page.

FeatureSpecification / GroupMaturityCurrent implementations
Select browsers…
EncryptionWeb Cryptography API
Web Cryptography Working Group
Recommendation
Protecting against code injectionContent Security Policy Level 2
Web Application Security Working Group
Recommendation
Subresource Integrity
Web Application Security Working Group
Recommendation
HTTPs adoptionMixed Content
Web Application Security Working Group
Candidate Recommendation

Specifications in progress

Most browsers offer to store and protect their users' credentials to simplify authentification; the Credential Management API offers to further streamline that authentification by allowing Web applications to detect and automatically use these credentials if authorized.

Building on the multi-factor authentication work of the FIDO Alliance, Secure Authentication aims to standardize multi-factor authentication for the Web, using the combination of "something you have" with "something you know," so that hacking a password database is no longer sufficient to hijack user accounts.

Secure Contexts recommends that powerful features of the Web platform, including application code with access to sensitive or private data, be delivered only in secure contexts, over authenticated and confidential channels that guarantee data integrity. As the draft indicates, "delivering code securely cannot ensure that an application will always meet a user's security and privacy requirements, but it is a necessary precondition."

Web sites with a lot of existing content set up to use resources loaded over HTTP can find the task of migrating that content to HTTPs daunting. The Upgrade Insecure Requests specification helps that migration by letting the browser know to load these resources over HTTPs.

The User Interface Security and the Visibility API document proposes to eliminate clickjacking by assuring element visibility at the graphics rendering level. For instance, a developer deploying it can assure that users clicking their site's "pay" button aren't being tricked into transferring their bank balances to an imposter instead.

FeatureSpecification / GroupMaturityCurrent implementations
Select browsers…
AuthorizationCredential Management Level 1
Web Application Security Working Group
Working Draft
AuthenticationWeb Authentication:An API for accessing Public Key Credentials Level 1
Web Authentication Working Group
Recommendation
Secure contextsSecure Contexts
Web Application Security Working Group
Candidate Recommendation
HTTPs adoptionUpgrade Insecure Requests
Web Application Security Working Group
Candidate Recommendation
SandboxingUser Interface Security and the Visibility API
Web Application Security Working Group
Working Draft

Exploratory work

Hardware Based Secure Services aims to improve the levels of assurance to which users and application providers are able to protect their online accounts and communications, by making hardware security services available to the Web.

FeatureSpecification / GroupImplementation intents
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AuthenticationHardware Based Secure Services features
Hardware Based Secure Services Community Group

Features not covered by ongoing work