Securely hide different application URLs in a Web Application

In order to securely hide different application URLs in our web application, we can utilize a variety of methods. In many cases, the most effective method is to use a Reverse Proxy. This involves taking an incoming URL and relaying it to the proper application server without revealing the actual address.

Securely hide different application URLs in a Web Application

To hide different application URLs in a web application, you can use URL rewriting techniques. URL rewriting is a process of modifying the URL of a web page to make it more user-friendly or to hide the actual location of the resource. This technique can be implemented in various ways like server-side URL rewriting, client-side URL rewriting and using a reverse proxy.

Advantages of a Reverse Proxy

  • Incoming requests can be monitored and logged.
  • It prevents malicious entities from accessing internal application servers.
  • It can hide the URLs from the user's browser.
  • It can provide an additional layer of security between external and internal networks.

Example Using Nginx

Using an Nginx server as a reverse proxy is a popular choice. To configure Nginx, you'll first need to edit the configuration file (generally named "nginx.conf") with the following code:

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name example.com;

    location / {
        proxy_pass http://application-IP-address;

After saving this file, you can then start the Nginx server by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo nginx -s reload

This will create a reverse proxy that is listening on port 80, and all incoming requests to example.com will be relayed to the application server at the provided IP address. This way, the actual application server IP address is kept securely hidden.

Server-side URL rewriting involves configuring the web server to modify the incoming request URL before sending it to the application server. This can be done using modules or plugins provided by the web server. For example, the Apache web server provides a mod_rewrite module for URL rewriting.

Client-side URL rewriting involves modifying the URL using JavaScript or other client-side scripting languages. This technique is commonly used in single-page applications (SPAs) where the URL needs to be updated without reloading the page.

Using a reverse proxy involves configuring a proxy server to receive requests on behalf of the web application server and modify the URLs before forwarding them to the application server.

In any case, URL rewriting can help you to hide the actual location of resources used in your web application.

Was this helpful?