How to Enable Secure Offline Access for Android apps
Learn to Add offline access in Android apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.
What is offline access?
Mobile TOTALData Encryption is used for protecting data stored within a mobile app. Smart Offline Handling is an extension to Appdome TOTALData Encryption, which allows developers of apps that require authentication to enable access to some of the files that the app generates.
With Appdome TOTALDataTM Encryption, all data stored inside the mobile app (including media files) is encrypted at run-time by using industry-standard AES-256 cryptographic protocols. When the Appdome Smart Offline Handoff option is enabled, Appdome decrypts the app’s data only after the user successfully authenticates.
Additionally, the developer can specify a folder for offline file access, along with the required conditions that must be met in order to permit offline access to the data (for example the required conditions may include a time expiration, or require additional authentication, such as a pincode or biometric authentication). To enable this feature you need to toggle on the Require Local Authentication feature.
Another way to enhance the security in this feature, is to enable Store in Protected Memory toggle. This enables storing the encryption key used for the offline folder in an encrypted memory segment, thereby preventing attackers from seeing the key when dumping the application’s memory.
Why Use Smart Offline Handoff?
Security-conscious developers may sometimes want to restrict access to offline data or to introduce additional security requirements on users in order to grant offline access.; for example, to only allow offline access after successful authentication with a remote server. They may also want to limit offline access to the data to a certain time-frame or require additional authentication. With Appdome’s Smart Offline Handoff the developers may achieve those goals and harden the security on certain files generated by the application, such as sensitive user information, while allowing them safe access at the same time.
Add offline access on Android apps using Appdome
On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending Android Apps that Add offline access 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
Smart Offline Handoff Compatible With: Java, JS, C++, C#, Kotlin, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
Build the feature: Smart Offline Handoff.
Congratulations! The Smart Offline Handoff protection is now added to the mobile app
Building Smart Offline Handoff by using Appdome’s DEV-API:
Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Smart Offline Handoff feature as shown below:
Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Smart Offline Handoff feature via Appdome Console, to add the Smart Offline Handoff 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 Smart Offline Handoff feature
Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).
Building the Smart Offline Handoff feature via Appdome Console
To build the Smart Offline Handoff 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) Smart Offline Handoff, as shown below.
Figure 3: Add offline access option
When you select the Smart Offline Handoff you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Smart Offline Handoff
Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Smart Offline Handoff protection
Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
Certify the Smart Offline Handoff feature in Android Apps.
After building Smart Offline Handoff, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Smart Offline Handoff protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Smart Offline Handoff 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 Smart Offline Handoff has been added to each Android app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Smart Offline Handoff and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app
Prerequisites to Using Smart Offline Handoff:
To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Add offline access , you’ll need:
- Appdome account (create a free Appdome account here)
- A license for Smart Offline Handoff
- 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 Smart Offline Handoff. 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 Smart Offline Handoff
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.
- How to Encrypt Data at Rest in Android or iOS Apps
- How to Encrypt App Contants & Strings in iOS Apps
- How to Encrypt Strings.xml in Android Apps
- How to Encrypt Assets & Resources in Android Apps
- How to Encrypt Android & iOS Data with FIPS 140-2
- Dex Control Flow Relocation, Anti-Reversing for Android Apps
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.