Spring Security is one of the most popular projects under the Spring Framework umbrella, which addresses security requirements for modern web applications. Since security is a paramount concern for enterprise Java applications, a good knowledge of a security framework, like Spring Security, goes a long way in your career. It not only helps you become a full-stack developer but also opens a lot of opportunity in terms of job and career growth. There is a big demand for Java developers who know the Spring Framework and understand how to secure web applications. They are also one of the highest paid professionals in the Java world, where a Java developer with Spring and Spring Security skills gets anywhere from 120,000 to 150,000 USD or the equivalent around the world.
There is a big emphasis on security and many organizations are using third-party security audits and tools like Fortify to identify security holes in their application. A good understanding of Spring Security not only helps you think about security at the start of an application but also allows you to treat security as a concern for an already built application.
So, we know that security is important and Java developers will benefit a lot from knowing Spring Security, but how do you learn it? They are not the easiest of concepts to master, hence selecting a good book and/or training course is very important.
Fortunately, Spring Security has a lot of material available on the Internet that you can use to learn and master it, but if you are starting from scratch, then I suggest reading a book or taking an online course first, instead of learning by bits and pieces from blogs and articles.
There’s no doubt that blog posts and articles provide a lot of value, but a book or a structured course provides you with a comprehensive learning experience. Once you are familiar with the fundamentals, you can read blog posts and articles to learn more and further solidify your understanding.
Top 3 Spring Security Books and Course for Java Developers
Since many of my readers ask me about the best books to learn Spring Security, I am sharing a couple of titles that I have read and found to be quite good. Ideally, I like to read a couple of books, but in general, one book and one training course are more than enough to start with. Anyway, here are my recommendations for learning Spring Security.
1. Hands-On Spring Security 5 for Reactive Applications
This is a good book that initially looked boring to me. When I read the first couple of chapters, I was about to put it down, but then, the real action began in the section “Deep Diving With Spring Security.” The book had a lot of sample code that enforces not only what you are reading but how it actually works. I mean, demonstrations that try and test sample application and builds along with each new concept is pretty great.
It also does a good job explaining essential details. For example, it tells you what happens when you add the
All in all, this book not only covers the basics but also the more advanced details. And on top of that, it’s also the most up-to-date course as it covers Spring Security 5. A big thanks to the Tomcy John and Packt Pub, the author and publisher of Hands-on Spring Security 5 for Reactive Applications for creating this awesome book.
Along with Spring Security basics, you will learn how to customize Spring Security based on your specific needs, starting with form-based logging to integrating with custom authentication provider based on your company and environment.
You will also discover the relationship between OAuth2 and OpenID Connect and learn how to secure your microservices and serverless applications with Spring.
2. Java Spring Security by Trevor Page
This is another good course on Spring Security from fellow blogger Trevor Page. I love Trevor’s teaching style because of its clear and concise explanation while also touching on some of the basics, which most of the instructors skip over.
For example, in this Spring Security course, his first few lectures give you a good idea about what is Spring Security and why you need it. You will understand more on authentication, like HTTP basic authentication and authorization as well as role-based access control (RBAC) and how Spring Security can help with that.
One of the things any Java developer wants to improve is their understanding of security in web applications. I have interviewed so many experienced developers not knowing much about common security exploits like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, session hijacking, etc.
They can benefit a lot from joining this course and taking the Learn Spring Security 5 training from Eugen, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
3. Learn Spring Security Certification Class
This is one of the best online courses to learn Spring Security in depth by Eugen Paraschiv of Baeldung. Eugen needs no introduction; he is also the author of one of the most popular advanced Spring courses, REST with Spring, which teaches developers how to develop RESTful web services using Spring, but not many people know that he also has one more gem — his learn Spring Security course.
The course is not only properly structured, which makes it good for both junior and experienced developers, but also covers all necessary security stuff required in a production like, real-world enterprise application.
This is not only one of the best courses to learn Spring Security but also the most up-to-date and hands-on courses. You can take this course along with the Spring Security 5 book to learn Spring Security 5 in depth to secure your microservices and Java applications.
That’s all for now on some of the best books and courses to learn Spring Security. Even though Spring in Action is a nice book, which covers most of the features of the Spring Framework, it’s kind of light on Spring Security. It does cover Spring Security, especially the web application security and method-level security, but that’s just not good enough.
If you are using Spring Security to protect your application, you should learn more than just the Spring basics, and that is where these books and courses help. They not only complement what is covered in Spring in Action but also provide internal implementation details that are key for extending and customizing Spring Security to suit your needs.
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