Advanced Security

Security risks and mitigation.


Lists what Port Cities does to guarantee that your data is safe. It also includes some common security risks and mitigation.

Database Backups
Port Cities keeps 14 full backups of each Odoo database for up to 3 months: 1 per day for 7 days, 1 per week for 4 weeks, 1 per month for 3 months. Backups are replicated across a number of servers defined by the service management support level that you have chosen. Users can download manual backups of their live data at any time, and Customers can contact our helpdesk to restore any of the backups we keep or a live backup the customer has taken to the live database.
Database Security
Customer data is stored in a dedicated way - no sharing of data between clients is possible. Data access control rules implement complete isolation between customer databases running on the same cluster, no access is possible from one database to another.
All web connections to client instances are protected with state-of-the-art 256-bit SSL encryption. Our servers are kept under a strict security watch, and always patched against the latest SSL vulnerabilities, enjoying Grade A SSL ratings at all times. All our SSL certificates use robust 2048-bit modulus with full SHA-2 certificates chains.
Password Security
Customer passwords are protected with industry-standard PBKDF2+SHA512 encryption (salted + stretched for thousands of rounds). Port Cities staff does not have access to your password, and cannot retrieve it for you, the only option if you lose it is to reset it. Login credentials are always transmitted securely over HTTPS.
As of Odoo 12.0, customer database administrators even have the option to configure the rate limiting and cooldown duration for repeated login attempts. Password policies: as of Odoo 12 database administrators have a built-in setting for enforcing a minimum user password length. For older versions it is possible to achieve the same effect through customization. Other password policies like required character classes are not supported by default because they have been proven counter-productive - see e.g. [Shay et al. 2016]).
System Security
All Port Cities servers are running hardened Ubuntu/Linux distributions with up-to-date security patches. Installations are ad-hoc and minimal to limit the number of services that could contain vulnerabilities (no PHP/MySQL stack for example).Only a few trusted Port cities engineers have clearance to remotely manage the servers - and access is only possible using SSH key pairs (password authentication disallowed).
Staff Access
Port Cities helpdesk staff may sign into your database to access settings related to your support issue. For this they use their own special staff credentials, not your password (which they have no way to know). This special staff access improves efficiency and security: they can immediately reproduce the problem you are seeing, you never need to share your password, and we can audit and control staff actions separately! Our Helpdesk staff strives to respect your privacy as much as possible, and only access files and settings needed to diagnose and resolve your issue.
Credit Card Safety
We never store credit card information on our own systems. Your credit card information is always transmitted securely directly between you and our PCI-Compliant payment acquirers.
Network Defense
All data center providers used by Port Cities have very large network capacities, and have designed their infrastructure to withstand the largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Their automatic and manual mitigation systems can detect and divert attack traffic at the edge of their multi-continental networks, before it gets the chance to disrupt service availability. Firewalls and intrusion prevention systems on Port Cities Cloud servers help detect and block threats such as brute-force password attacks. As of Odoo 12.0, customer database administrators even have the option to configure the rate limiting and cooldown duration for repeated login attempts.


Software Security
Odoo is open source, so the whole codebase is continuously under examination by Odoo users and contributors worldwide. Community bug reports are therefore one important source of feedback regarding security. We encourage developers to audit the code and report security issues.
The Odoo RnD processes have code review steps that include security aspects, for new and contributed pieces of code.
Secure By Design
Odoo is designed in a way that prevents introducing most common security vulnerabilities:
SQL injections are prevented by the use of a higher-level API that does not require manual SQL queries.
XSS attacks are prevented by the use of a high-level templating system that automatically escapes injected data.
The framework prevents RPC access to private methods, making it harder to introduce exploitable vulnerabilities.
See also the OWASP Top Vulnerabilities section to see how Odoo is designed from the ground up to prevent such vulnerabilities from appearing.
OWASP Top Vulnerabilities
Here is where Odoo stands on the top security issue for web applications, as listed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP):
Injection Flaws
Injection flaws, particularly SQL injection, are common in web applications. Injection occurs when user-supplied data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. The attacker's hostile data tricks the interpreter into executing unintended commands or changing data.
Odoo relies on an object-relational-mapping (ORM) framework that abstracts query building and prevents SQL injections by default. Developers do not normally craft SQL queries manually, they are generated by the ORM, and parameters are always properly escaped.
Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
XSS flaws occur whenever an application takes user supplied data and sends it to a web browser without first validating or encoding that content. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the victim's browser which can hijack user sessions, deface web sites, possibly introduce worms, etc.
The Odoo framework escapes all expressions rendered into views and pages by default, preventing XSS. Developers have to specially mark expressions as "safe" for raw inclusion into rendered pages.
Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
A CSRF attack forces a logged-on victim’s browser to send a forged HTTP request, including the victim’s session cookie and any other automatically included authentication information, to a vulnerable web application. This allows the attacker to force the victim’s browser to generate requests the vulnerable application thinks are legitimate requests from the victim.
The Odoo website engine includes a built-in CSRF protection mechanism. It prevents any HTTP controller to receive a POST request without the corresponding security token. This is the recommended technique for CSRF prevention. This security token is only known and present when the user genuinely accessed the relevant website form, and an attacker cannot forge a request without it.
Malicious File Execution
Code vulnerable to remote file inclusion (RFI) allows attackers to include hostile code and data, resulting in devastating attacks, such as total server compromise.
Odoo does not expose functions to perform remote file inclusion. However it allows privileged users to customize features by adding custom expressions that will be evaluated by the system. These expressions are always evaluated by a sandboxed and sanitized environment that only allows access to permitted functions.
Insecure Direct Object Reference
A direct object reference occurs when a developer exposes a reference to an internal implementation object, such as a file, directory, database record, or key, as a URL or form parameter. Attackers can manipulate those references to access other objects without authorization.
Odoo access control is not implemented at the user interface level, so there is no risk in exposing references to internal objects in URLs. Attackers cannot circumvent the access control layer by manipulation those references, because every request still has to go through the data access validation layer.
Insecure Cryptographic Storage
Web applications rarely use cryptographic functions properly to protect data and credentials. Attackers use weakly protected data to conduct identity theft and other crimes, such as credit card fraud.
Odoo uses industry-standard secure hashing for user passwords (by default PKFDB2 + SHA-512, with key stretching) to protect stored passwords. It is also possible to use external authentication systems such as OAuth 2.0 or LDAP, in order to avoid storing user passwords locally at all.
Failure to Restrict URL Access
Frequently an application only protects sensitive functionality by preventing the display of links or URLs to unauthorized users. Attackers can use this weakness to access and perform unauthorized operations by accessing those URLs directly
Odoo access control is not implemented at the user interface level, and the security does not rely on hiding special URLs. Attackers cannot circumvent the access control layer by reusing or manipulating any URL, because every request still has to go through the data access validation layer. In rare cases where a URL provides unauthenticated access to sensitive data, such as special URLs customer use to confirm an order, these URLs are digitally signed with unique tokens and only sent via email to the intended recipient.
Insecure Communications
Applications frequently fail to encrypt network traffic when it is necessary to protect sensitive communications.
Odoo Cloud runs on HTTPS by default. For on-premise installations, it is recommend to run Odoo behind a web server implementing the encryption and proxying request to Odoo, for example Apache, Lighttpd or nginx.