Top 25 Spring Security Interview Questions And Answers in 2023

Spring Security Interview Questions And Answers

Spring Security is a commonly used framework for authentication, authorization, and protection against normal cyber security threats and attacks. It supports imperative and reactive applications and comes with several features worth exploring. This article will cover some common questions asked in spring security interviews to help you ace your interview. We hope that most of these questions will come up in your interview. Let’s get started.

1. Define Spring Security And Its Relation To The Spring Framework

Spring security is one of the most used authentication and access control frameworks for Java-related applications. It also supports authentication, protection, and authorization required for improved application protection. It offers features that secure web applications, enterprise applications, and RESTful services. Regarding its relationship to the spring framework, Spring Security is built on top of the Spring framework. It, therefore, uses different spring features, making it the best option for securing Spring-based applications.

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2. Do You Understand What Oauth Is? How Does Spring Security Support It?

As an open standard for authorization, OAuth empowers users to grant access to different resources to third parties without necessarily giving up their credentials. Spring security comes with a well-built OAuth 2.0 framework complementary to several grant types, such as client credentials, authorization codes, and passwords. For legacy applications, Spring Security supports OAuth 1.0a.

3.  Walk Us Through How Spring Security Handles Authorization

Spring Security is widely used because of its ability to handle authorization, which is the process that determines whether a given user has the right privileges to access select resources or perform given actions. Thanks to Spring Security’s powerful authorization framework, developers can define access rules based on different permissions, roles, and attributes. This platform also uses expression-based control and method-level security to support impenetrable authorization.

4.  Spring Security Integrates With Other Spring Projects Such As Spring MVC, Spring Data, And Spring Boot. Walk Us Through How That Happens.

One of the reasons Spring Security enjoys wide usage is its ability to integrate seamlessly with different spring projects such as Spring Data, Spring Boot, and Spring MVC for better security of Spring-based applications. As a result, Spring MVC is generally used to handle user authentication, access rules definition, and authorization. At the same time, Spring Boot allows easier configuration and operation of Spring Security in executable jars. Lastly, Spring Data stores user credentials and information in different databases.

5.  Tell Us How Spring Security Supports Custom Authentication And Authorization Requirements

Developers use Spring Security to define authorization requirements and custom authentication based on specific needs, thanks to its extensible and flexible authorization and authentication framework. Some mechanisms for customizing authentication and authorization requirements include access decision voters, custom authentication providers, method security expressions, and user detail services.

6.  Spring Security Supports Both Stateful And Stateless Authentication. Can You Walk Us Through How That Happens

Spring Security supports both stateful and stateless authentication. In stateful authentication, the session state is maintained on the server, which does not happen in stateless authentication. Spring security has a framework that supports both stateful and stateless authentication. Even though stateful authentication is the default, stateless authentication can be configured by developers and is generally used for RESTful services or in instances where a session state is not needed.

7.  Walk Us Through How Spring Security Handles Password Validation And Storage And JSON Web Tokens Support

Spring Security uses salted hashes to store passwords securely in its built-in storage mechanism. Password validation has several options including password complexity, length and expiration, ensuring maximum security. Spring Security offers built-in support for JSON Web tokens, a popular RESTful services authentication and authorization standard. Developers can easily generate and verify JSON Web tokens, which are then used for authorization and authentication.

8.  Do You Know How Spring Security Handles User Authentication And Authorization In Distributed Environments?

Spring Security is famous for handling user authentication and authorization in distributed environments thanks to several mechanisms such as SAML, OpenID contract, and OAuth. The three protocols allow users to access several applications without logging into every application independently and authenticate with central identity providers.

9.  Mention Some Of The Features Added In Spring Security 5.0

Some features added in Spring Security 5.0 include OAuth 2.0 Login, Reactive Support, and Modernized Password Encoding. OAuth 2.0 Login lets users connect to Spring Security 5.0 using their Google or GitHub accounts. It is implemented by the Authorization Code Grant offered by OAuth 2.0 authorization framework. On reactive support, the application supports reactive programming and web runtimes and the ability to interact with Spring WebFlux. Lastly, modernized password Encoding is supported by DelegatingPasswordEncoder, which solves the issues with NoOpPasswordEncoder, the old encoder.

10. Define The Following Spring Security Features: JAAS, Web Form Authentication, Digest Access Authentication, And Software Localization.

Software localization refers to Spring Security’s ability to create user interfaces for applications in different languages. JAAS, fully known as Java Authentication and Authorization Service, is a pluggable application module supported by the application’s authorization procedure. On the other hand, web form authentication empowers web forms to capture and authenticate relevant user information from the web browser during authentication. This is one of the reasons why Spring Security is secure. Lastly, digest access authentication makes the authentication more secure than authentication with basic access authentication. The browser must verify the user’s identity before sensitive data is delivered over a network.

11. Mention The Different Components Of The Spring MVC Framework

The spring MVC Framework has four main components. The first is the model, which can either be an object or a collection of objects which carry application data. It also has views that display information to a user in a specific format. Some of the associated technologies supported by this component include velocity, thyme leaf, and free marker. Spring MVC also has a controller, which is the logical part of an application. Classes are marked as controllers using the @controller annotation. The last component is the front controller, which manages web application flow. The front controller in Spring MVC is the Dispatcher Servlet.

12. Define Spring Boot And Its Components

Spring Boot is a mini-framework built on top of the spring framework. It is easier to use than Spring itself since it is a microservice-based framework that allows for the easier making of production-ready applications. Spring Boot is particularly helpful in developing REST API and has everything auto-configured. Its four main layers include the presentation layer, made up of views; the service layer, made up of service classes and user services derived from the data access layers; the data access layer known for creating, retrieving, updating, and deleting database operations and integration layer which contains different web services that use the XML messaging system.

13. Differentiate Between Spring MVC and Spring Boot

  • Spring Boot is built on top of the spring framework and is widely used to develop REST APIs, while Spring MVC is a model view and controller-based framework for developing web applications.
  • Configurations must be manually built when using Spring MVC, while they can be automatically built with Spring Boot.
  • Spring MVC requires a deployment descriptor, while there is no need for one in Spring Boot
  • Each dependency is separately specified in Spring MVC, while the dependencies are deployed as a single unit in Spring Boot.
  • Spring MVC Framework consists of the view, model, front controller, and controller, while Spring Boot has four layers: data access, presentation, integration, and service.
  • Spring MVC takes longer when developing, while Spring Boot increases productivity and reduces development time.
  • Spring Boot offers powerful batch processing, which is not provided in Spring MVC.
  • Spring MVC provides ready-to-use features for building web applications, while spring Boot offers default configurations.

14. What Is The Difference Between Spring JDBC And Spring Data JDBC

There are five main differences between Spring JDBC and Spring Data JDBC. First, Spring JDBC is a model class, while Spring Data JDBC is a POJO class. Second, getters and setters are a must in Spring JDBC, while they aren’t mandatory in Spring Data JDBC. Third, parameterized constructors help in Spring JDBC, while they may not be helpful in the latter. Fourth, no specific annotation is required in Spring JDBC as long as equal attributes match the DB table, each with a getter and setters, while Spring Data JDBC requires @Table, @ID, and @ Column annotations for direct database connection. Spring JDBC also specifies the data access layer with the interface and its implementation. At the same time, Spring Data JDBC has a simple data access layer with omitted lazy loading and cache implementation available in Java Persistence API.

15. Define What Authentication Is And How Spring Security Supports Several Authentication Mechanisms

Authentication is a security feature that involves verifying an entity or user. Spring Security supports three authentication mechanisms: HTTP basic, form-based, and client certificate authentication. The framework also supports external authentication providers such as OAuth, SML, and LDAP.

16. Walk Us Through How Spring Security Handles Single Sign-On (SSO) And Secure Communication Via SSL/TLS

Spring Security supports Single Sign-On(SSO) using protocols such as OpenID Connect, SAML, and OAuth, allowing one-time authentication and multiple applications access without needing additional login. On the other hand, Spring Security offers in-built support for SSL/TLS encryption, allowing the establishment of secure communication channels between servers and clients. The framework also gives options for SSL/TLS certificates, cypher suites, and trust stores configuration.

17. Can Several Tenants Share The Same Application While Having Separate Data And Configurations In Spring Security?

Yes. Different tenants can share a single application while having separate data and configuration in Spring Security, thanks to multi-tenancy support. The control framework uses several mechanisms, such as request URL mapping, database schema preparation, and custom tenant identification. Developers can therefore secure multi-tenant applications and use the user’s tenant information to enforce different access rules.

18. How Does Spring Security Auditing And Security Events?

One of the reasons why Spring security is a secure platform is because of its auditing and security events support. It has a well-built and comprehensive auditing and security event framework that allows developers to log and analyze access violations, user activity, and other security-related events, such as login attempts. It’s also worth noting that Spring Security can integrate with other auditing and logging systems such as Splunk, Log4j, and Logback.

19. Tell Us How Spring Security Goes About User Session Management And Kerberos Authentication

Spring Security handles user session management through several user session management options, such as concurrent session control, session timeout, and session fixation protection. The three features are used by developers to prevent session-related attacks such as fixation and hijacking and to secure user sessions. As for Kerberos authentication support, spring security allows developers to authenticate users via their network credentials. It also allows the integration of Spring-based applications with systems enabled by this popular network authentication protocol.

20. Do You Know How Spring Security Handles Integration With Non-Spring Based Systems And Applications?

Spring Security is known to offer an extensible and flexible authentication and authorization framework that allows developers to integrate options for non-spring-based systems and applications such as legacy systems, Java EE applications, and third-party frameworks. This type of integration is achieved through custom adapters, API integrations, and external authentication providers, which can be easily accessed by developers and users alike.

21. Define The Role Of Spring Security Filters In The Authorization And Authentication Process And Walk Us Through How Spring Security Handles Password Hashing And Storage

Spring Security has filters that intercept and process responses and requests at different stages for successful authentication and authorization. The filters are normally used to enforce security rules, generate security-based responses, and process user credentials. When it comes to password storage and hashing, Spring security has password storage and hashing mechanisms such as PBKDF2, BCrypt, and Scrypt. The three algorithms are meant to solve password-related attacks and prevent password cracking, which can be quite challenging.

22. How Would You Go About Recovering And Resetting Your Password With Spring Security?

It’s possible that one may forget their spring security password and may need to recover or reset it. Luckily, the platform offers password reset and recovery support, allowing users to reset and hence recover their passwords using avenues such as SMS, security questions, and emails. Some of the provided mechanisms for password recovery and reset include custom password recovery services, password reset tokens, and rest forms, which are to be used depending on different circumstances.

23. Walk Us Through How Spring Security Handles Input Validation, Sanitization, Security Testing, And Vulnerability Scanning

Spring Security offers input validation, sanitization, security testing and vulnerability scanning support. Input validation and sanitization prevent attackers from injecting malicious data or codes into the application through means such as data binding, custom input validators, and input validation filters. For security testing and vulnerability scanning, Spring Security allows developers to find and fix security-related issues that can hinder application performance through penetration testing, security testing frameworks, and code analysis tools.

24. Do You Know How Spring Security Supports Federation And Secure Communication?

Spring Security supports federation and secure communication such as TLS and SSL for optimal usage. For federation, this platform allows users to authenticate once and access several applications and resources without necessarily having to key in their credentials. It is made possible by four main mechanisms: SAML, OpenID Connect, OAuth, and custom SSO providers. As for secure communication, Spring Security allows developers to encrypt the communication between clients and the application through custom SSL/TLS filters, SSL/TLS configuration, and HTTPS.

25. Mention All The Features Of Spring Security

There are ten main features of spring security, namely:

  • Single Sign-on- This is an important feature that allows users to use a single account to access different applications, provided they have a username and password.
  • Authorization- This Spring Security functionality requires users to be authorized before they access any resources. Developers can therefore set resource access controls easily.
  • Remember me- The remember-me feature is supported by HTTP cookies. It ensures that users do not get to log in from the same workstation until they are logged out by remembering them.
  • Software localization- This feature permits the creation of user interfaces for applications in any language of choice.
  • Web Form Authentication- Spring Security supports web form authentication, which dictates that user credentials are captured and authenticated as users use the web.
  • Basic Access Authentication- Basic Access Authentication is a feature that offers a username and password during network requests.
  • HTTP Authorization- Spring Security offers HTTP authorization for web request URLs using regular expressions or Apache Ant paths.
  • Digest Access Authentication- This functionality makes the authentication procedure more secure as it requests user identity verification before sensitive data gets delivered over a given network.
  • JAAS LoginModule- JAAS, or Java Authentication and Authorization Service LoginModule, is a Java-based pluggable authentication module supported by Spring Security’s authentication procedure.
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LADP)- This open application protocol manages and interacts with dispersed directory information services.

Other features include modernized password encoding, reactive support, and OAuth 2.0 Login.


These 25 recommendations are some of the most common questions in Spring Security Interviews that you should expect. Ensure you groom yourself well and answer the questions confidently to get your desired job.

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