How to Encrypt Configuration Files in iOS Mobile Apps

Last updated November 22, 2023 by Appdome

Learn to Encrypt Configuration Files in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Appdome's Encrypt Configuration Files Feature?

Appdome’s iOS Encrypt Configuration Files feature is a robust solution designed to protect configuration files within iOS applications. Configuration files are a fundamental component of iOS applications, containing critical information that dictates an application’s behavior. These files come in various formats, including JSON, XML, YAML, CSV, TXT, TOML, CSON, ENV, and INI. While configuration files do not typically contain sensitive data such as API keys, passwords, or patient information, there are instances where they can house valuable information of this nature. Appdome’s Encrypt Configuration Files feature identifies and encrypts configuration files that may contain sensitive data, thus preventing unauthorized access and thwarting hackers’ attempts to extract vital information when it exists.

Why Encrypt iOS Configuration Files?

Encrypting iOS configuration files serves several critical purposes. Firstly, it acts as a strong deterrent against unauthorized access to these files, particularly on jailbroken iOS devices where attackers can easily access them without external tools. This encryption significantly raises the difficulty level for attackers attempting to read or extract data, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive app information. Moreover, encryption enhances the overall security of your application. Many apps use configuration files to modify their behavior during runtime or store data for later use. Encrypting these files not only protects sensitive data but also fortifies your app’s security. With less raw data available to potential attackers, the likelihood of identifying vulnerabilities or potential attack vectors is minimized, making your app more resilient against security threats.

Prerequisites for Using Encrypt Configuration Files:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Encrypt Configuration Files , you’ll need:

Encrypt Configuration Files on iOS apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Encrypt Configuration Files 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. Encrypt Configuration Files Compatible With: Obj-C, C+, Java, Swift, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: Encrypt Configuration Files.

    1. Building Encrypt Configuration Files by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

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

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Encrypt Configuration Files 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 Encrypt Configuration Files feature via Appdome Console, to add the Encrypt Configuration Files 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 Encrypt Configuration Files feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Encrypt Configuration Files protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALData™ Encryption section.
      2. When you select the Encrypt Configuration Files you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Encrypt Configuration Files

        Fusion Set applied Encrypt Configuration Files

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Encrypt Configuration Files protection

      3. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Encrypt Configuration Files protection is now added to the mobile app

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured iOS Apps by using Encrypt Configuration Files. 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 Encrypt Configuration Files

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:

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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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