82. Security

82.1 Switch off the Spring Boot security configuration

If you define a @Configuration with @EnableWebSecurity anywhere in your application it will switch off the default webapp security settings in Spring Boot (but leave the Actuator’s security enabled). To tweak the defaults try setting properties in security.* (see SecurityProperties for details of available settings) and SECURITY section of Common application properties.

82.2 Change the AuthenticationManager and add user accounts

If you provide a @Bean of type AuthenticationManager the default one will not be created, so you have the full feature set of Spring Security available (e.g. various authentication options).

Spring Security also provides a convenient AuthenticationManagerBuilder which can be used to build an AuthenticationManager with common options. The recommended way to use this in a webapp is to inject it into a void method in a WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter, e.g.

public class SecurityConfiguration extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter {

    public void configureGlobal(AuthenticationManagerBuilder auth) throws Exception {
                .withUser("barry").password("password").roles("USER"); // ... etc.

    // ... other stuff for application security


You will get the best results if you put this in a nested class, or a standalone class (i.e. not mixed in with a lot of other @Beans that might be allowed to influence the order of instantiation). The secure web sample is a useful template to follow.

If you experience instantiation issues (e.g. using JDBC or JPA for the user detail store) it might be worth extracting the AuthenticationManagerBuilder callback into a GlobalAuthenticationConfigurerAdapter (in the init() method so it happens before the authentication manager is needed elsewhere), e.g.

public class AuthenticationManagerConfiguration extends
        GlobalAuthenticationConfigurerAdapter {

    public void init(AuthenticationManagerBuilder auth) {
        auth.inMemoryAuthentication() // ... etc.


82.3 Enable HTTPS when running behind a proxy server

Ensuring that all your main endpoints are only available over HTTPS is an important chore for any application. If you are using Tomcat as a servlet container, then Spring Boot will add Tomcat’s own RemoteIpValve automatically if it detects some environment settings, and you should be able to rely on the HttpServletRequest to report whether it is secure or not (even downstream of a proxy server that handles the real SSL termination). The standard behavior is determined by the presence or absence of certain request headers (x-forwarded-for and x-forwarded-proto), whose names are conventional, so it should work with most front end proxies. You can switch on the valve by adding some entries to application.properties, e.g.


(The presence of either of those properties will switch on the valve. Or you can add the RemoteIpValve yourself by adding a TomcatEmbeddedServletContainerFactory bean.)

Spring Security can also be configured to require a secure channel for all (or some requests). To switch that on in a Spring Boot application you just need to set security.require_ssl to true in application.properties.