How to Build Secure Enclave iOS Encryption Key

Last updated November 22, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Enforce Secure Enclave in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Secure Enclave Key Encryption for iOS ?

iPhones with Touch ID or Face ID use a separate processor, ‘Secure Enclave’, to handle the user’s biometric information.

As an added layer of protection, when enabled, Appdome’s Enclaved Keys service will generate private keys and uses computations via the Secure Enclave processor. Those generated keys will be securely kept inside the Enclave at all times, making it extremely difficult to decrypt without proper authorization. Furthermore,  since the Secure Enclave is tied into the Biometric component of the device, it offers an additional layer of protection, allowing the keys accessibility only when the device is unlocked by its original user.


How does Appdome Enhance the Secure Enclave Protection?

Appdome leverages signatures derived via the Secure Enclave in cases of a Sign-Verify scheme. Appdome’s offers Enclaved Keys on all supported hardware and will automatically select the most secure scheme based on the hardware capabilities present on the device.

Prerequisites to Using Enclaved Keys:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Enforce Secure Enclave , you’ll need:

Enforce Secure Enclave on iOS apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Enforce Secure Enclave without an SDK or gateway:

  1. Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.

    1. Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System

    2. Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
    3. iOS Formats: .ipa
    4. Enclaved Keys Compatible With: Obj-C, C+, Java, Swift, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: Enclaved Keys.

    1. Building Enclaved Keys by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Enclaved Keys feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Enclaved Keys

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Enclaved Keys feature
        Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).

      3. Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Enclaved Keys feature via Appdome Console, to add the Enclaved Keys feature to this Fusion Set.

      4. Open the Fusion Set Detail Summary by clicking the “...” symbol on the far-right corner of the Fusion Set, as shown in Figure 1 above, and get the Fusion Set ID from the Fusion Set Detail Summary (as shown below): fusion Set Detail Summary image

        Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
        Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).

      5. Follow the instructions below to use the Fusion Set ID inside any standard mobile DevOps or CI/CD toolkit like Bitrise, App Center, Jenkins, Travis, Team City, Cirlce CI or other system:
        1. Build an API for the app – for instructions, see the tasks under Appdome API Reference Guide
        2. Look for sample APIs in Appdome’s GitHub Repository
    2. Building the Enclaved Keys feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Enclaved Keys protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALData™ Encryption section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Enclaved Keys, as shown below. Enclaved Keys option

        Figure 3: Enforce Secure Enclave option

      3. When you select the Enclaved Keys you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Enclaved Keys

        Fusion Set applied Enclaved Keys

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Enclaved Keys protection

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Enclaved Keys protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Enclaved Keys feature in iOS Apps.

    After building Enclaved Keys, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Enclaved Keys protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Enclaved Keys protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below: Enclaved Keys shown in Certificate secure

    Figure 5: Certified Secure™ certificate

    Each Certified Secure™ certificate provides DevOps and DevSecOps organizations the entire workflow summary, audit trail of each build, and proof of protection that Enclaved Keys has been added to each iOS app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Enclaved Keys and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured iOS Apps by using Enclaved Keys. There is no SDK and no library to code or implement in the app and no gateway to deploy in your network. All protections are built into each app and the resulting app is self-defending and self-protecting.

Releasing and Publishing Mobile Apps with Enclaved Keys

After successfully securing your app by using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include:

All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.

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If you have any questions, please send them our way at or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

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