How to Apply Data-at-Rest Encryption to Downloads Performed via Android's DownloadManager API

Last updated August 28, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Enforce the execution of the app’s downloads within the app’s context in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

Why Data-at-Rest Encryption is Essential for Android's DownloadManager API Downloads?

Data-at-Rest Encryption is pivotal for downloads managed by Android’s DownloadManager API. The primary reason is that these files, once downloaded, reside directly on the device’s storage, making them susceptible to various security threats if the device is compromised. While Android’s DownloadManager facilitates the seamless download of files, it doesn’t inherently offer the same granular security controls that an app might provide for other data it handles. This distinction means that developers may struggle to apply the same protective measures to these downloaded files as they do to the rest of their application. To ensure the integrity and safety of the data, robust security measures are essential. Without them, these files could be vulnerable to potential threats from malicious apps or unauthorized users.

Appdome’s Secure Download ensures that files downloaded by the app are not sent to the Android Download Manager and are executed within the app’s context. In doing so, data encryption is applied to all downloaded files.

 

How Appdome Secure Download Works?

Appdome Secure Download operates by “catching” the download request within an Appdome Built app, executing it directly within the app’s secure environment. This functionality ensures the application of Data at Rest Encryption to files before they are securely stored on the device. When Secure Download is enabled, the app identifies the device’s Download Manager API call to guarantee secure file downloads. This process also ensures that files aren’t directed to the standard Android Download Manager but remain within the app’s context, receiving the added protection of data encryption.

 

Note:
Secure Download protects all downloads made by the standard Android Download Manager used in the app. As part of Android Download’s Manager operation, a notification is sent showing the download progress and stating that a file has been downloaded. Due to changes in Notification runtime permission starting from Android 13, the download notification will only appear after the application has requested and the user has granted notification permission.
For more information, please visit: https://developer.android.com/develop/ui/views/notifications/channels

Enforce the execution of the app’s downloads within the app’s context on Android apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Enforce the execution of the app’s downloads within the app’s context 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. Android Formats: .apk or .aab
    4. Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download.

    1. Building Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download 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 Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download feature via Appdome Console, to add the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download 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 Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download 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) Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download, as shown below. Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download option

        Figure 3: Enforce the execution of the app’s downloads within the app’s context option

      3. When you select the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download

        Fusion Set applied Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download protection

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download feature in Android Apps.

    After building Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below: Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download 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 Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download has been added to each Android app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app

Prerequisites to Using Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Enforce the execution of the app’s downloads within the app’s context , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Android Apps by using Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download. 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 Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download

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.

Related Articles:

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

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