How to Apply Data-at-Rest Encryption to Downloads Performed via Android's DownloadManager API
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.
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:
Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.
Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System
Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
Android Formats: .apk or .aab
Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
Build the feature: Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download.
Congratulations! The Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download protection is now added to the mobile app
Building Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download by using Appdome’s DEV-API:
Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download feature as shown below:
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.
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):
Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).
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:
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).
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.
Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALData™ Encryption section
How: Toggle (turn ON) Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download, as shown below.
Figure 3: Enforce the execution of the app’s downloads within the app’s context option
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
Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download protection
Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 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:
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:
- Appdome account (create a free Appdome account here)
- A license for Data at Rest Encryption > Secure Download
- Mobile App (.apk or .aab For Android)
- Signing Credentials (see Signing Secure Android apps and Signing Secure iOS apps)
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:
- Customizing, Configuring & Branding Secure Mobile Apps
- Deploying/Publishing Secure mobile apps to Public or Private app stores
- Releasing Secured Android & iOS Apps built on Appdome.
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 support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.
Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to secure every app on the planet by making mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project.