Common Security Pitfalls in Symfony and How to Avoid Them

David Garcia
9 min readNov 6

Symfony is a robust and widely used PHP framework for building web applications. Its flexibility and extensive ecosystem make it a popular choice among developers.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and security should always be a top priority when developing web applications in Symfony.

In this article, we will explore some common security pitfalls in Symfony and guide how to avoid them to ensure your applications remain secure.

Symfony version note: At the time I am writing this article, the latest Symfony stable version is 6.3. It might require some small changes in future releases, yet the concept and base code can be reused. Please refer to the official Symfony Docs.

Lack of Input Validation

Pitfall: Failing to validate user input properly can lead to security vulnerabilities. Here’s an example of a vulnerable controller method:

public function unsafeAction(Request $request)
$input = $request->get('user_input');
// Process the input without validation

Solution (using Forms): Implement input validation using Symfony’s Form and Validation components by adding constraints to ensure the data validates for the expected assertions:

public function safeAction(Request $request)
// Create a Symfony Form to map the data we expect
$form = $this->createFormBuilder()
->add('user_input', TextType::class, [
'constraints' => [new NotBlank(), new Length(['min' => 5])]

// Map the Request's data into the Form we have just created

// Make sure the Request mapped the Form fields (isSubmitted())
// and that the form validation succeeded (isValid() via constraints)
if ($form->isSubmitted() && $form->isValid()) {
$data = $form->getData();
// Process the validated input

Solution (using the Validation service): Additionally, you can run either built-in or custom assertions without running Symfony Forms, just by using the Symfony Validation Service “as is”:

use App\DTO\CustomDTO;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;
David Garcia

Senior Software Engineer, Backend, NodeJS & Symfony developer, workaholic, passionate for new technologies and OSS contributor.