How To Prevent Mobile Data Exploits with Data-at-Rest Encryption

Learn how to prevent mobile data exploits with data-at-rest encryption in Android & iOS apps in minutes, without coding. Appdome makes it easy for developers to protect mobile user data fast.

Mobile TOTALDataTM Encryption is used to protect data stored within a mobile app.

This Knowledge Base article describes Appdome’s mobile TOTALDataTM Encryption suite and explains how to add it to any mobile app. With TOTALData™ Encryption, Appdome protects all three states of mobile app data:  data at rest, data in transit and data in use.

We hope you find this knowledge base useful and enjoy using Appdome!

The Three States of Mobile App Data

There are three states in which data exists in mobile apps:

  1. Data at rest is mobile app data that is persistent and stored in the application sandbox.
  2. Data in transit is mobile app data sent from the app to outside servers or other app users.
  3. Data in use (aka: data in memory) is data the mobile app temporarily stores in application memory, including Data at rest and in transit before they are sent/saved. Data at rest and Data in use encryption are enabled as part of TOTALData Encryption. Appdome’s Secure Communication ensures that Data in transit is encrypted and protected.
The Three States Of Mobile App Data: Data at rest, data in transit and data in use
The Three States Of Mobile App Data: Data at rest, data in transit and data in use

What Does Prevent Mobile Data Exploits with Data-at-Rest Encryption Protect?

Appdome is a no-code mobile security and development platform that enables anyone to add a wide variety of features, SDKs, and APIs to Android and iOS apps – instantly, without coding. Using a simple ‘click to add’ user interface, Appdome allows developers or non-developers to easily implement mobile security in any mobile app – instantly, no code or coding required. Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites. For example, there is no Appdome SDK, libraries, or plug-ins to implement. Likewise, there is no requirement to implement encryption libraries or intercept all writing of files to the sandbox.

Overview of Appdome’s TOTALData Encryption

Appdome offers TOTALDataTM Encryption as part of the Appdome Mobile Security Suite. Data at rest (DAR) and Data in use (in-memory) encryption can be enabled in TOTALData Encryption.

With Appdome Data at Rest encryption, all data generated by the app is encrypted at runtime using industry-standard AES 256  cryptographic protocols. You can also choose to encrypt data in use/in memory, where all data temporarily stored in application memory is encrypted before it is sent/saved. With Appdome, encryption is accomplished dynamically, without any dependencies on the data structure, databases or file structures.

Appdome uses AES-CTR 256 bit encryption,  which is faster when accessing partial files (i.e. when reading a buffer from a file or mapping a part of a file into memory). This is much more efficient than the AES-CBC encryption used by most Third-party SDKs and encryption libraries (which forces encryption/decryption of the entire file even when it only needs to read a small block within it).

Appdome’s mobile TOTALDataTM Encryption implementation does not impact app behavior. This results in a consistent and easy to implement experience, as opposed to a DIY approach which would require the mobile developer to choose encryption components from a wide variety of libraries, cipher strengths, and key stores (and then need to integrate them together).

Like all integrations on Appdome, customers can integrate just data at rest or data in use encryption, or they can combine this feature with any or all other features from Appdome’s Mobile Security Suite. They can even combine Appdome Mobile Security with multiple 3rd party SDKs and APIs, forming countless numbers of service combinations and integrations into any mobile app. On Appdome, there’s never any coding and all integrations are completed in under a minute.

Advanced Configuration Options for Mobile TOTALDataTM Encryption

Appdome also provides options for customers to exclude certain files or folders from being encrypted. There is an option to automatically exclude all media files from being encrypted.  And there is another option to name specific files that you wish to be excluded from encryption. For more information about TOTALDataTM Encryption check out our blog and our troubleshooting article.

Key Management

Appdome dynamically generates symmetric data encryption keys at runtime.  Keys are generated by Appdome by using industry-standard AES mechanisms. Keys are never stored on the device and are derived at run-time. In addition, Appdome can factor in additional contextual information such as bundle ID, device ID, checksums, user input (passwords, tokens), and application state conditions (eg: the existence of a debugger) into the key derivation mechanism.  See the diagram below.

For advanced users, appdome also provides an option for customers to control parts of the key management process via an external key management system (KMS).  With this option, additional external factors may be introduced for key derivation.

Like all features in the Appdome Mobile Security Suite, customers can implement this feature standalone, or combined with other mobile security features or 3rd party SDK/APIs – all of which can be integrated into any mobile app in minutes with no coding.

3 Easy Steps to Prevent Mobile Data Exploits with Data-at-Rest Encryption

Follow these step-by-step instructions prevent mobile data exploits and add data-at-rest encryption to Any Mobile App.

Please follow these steps to add a mobile app to your Appdome account.
If you don’t have an Appdome account, click here to create an account.

  1. Upload a mobile app to your Appdome account
  2. Within the TOTALData Encryption section in the security category, toggle on Data-at-Rest Encryption.
  3. Click “Build My App”

Congratulations! You now have a mobile app that will prevent mobile data exploits with data-at-rest encryption

Prerequisites for Using Appdome’s Mobile TOTALData Encryption

  • Appdome Support Level – IDEAL or Higher
  • Mobile App (.ipa for iOS, or .apk or .aab for Android)
  • Signing Credentials (e.g., signing certificates and provisioning profile)

More Options within TOTALData Encryption

  1. Expand TOTALDataTM Encryption category
  2. Click on the toggle to enable Data at Rest Encryption
  3. Appdome In-App Encryption Keys – Appdome automatically will generate AES -256 encryption keys and will store them encrypted in the app memory.
  4. Enable Smart Media Sharing (optional for Appdome-DEV)
  5. Add a list of files that will be excluded from encryption. (optional for Appdome-GO)
  6. Exclude Media files from encryption. (optional for Appdome-GO)
  7. Exclude HTML files from encryption. (optional for Appdome-GO)
  8. Enable the option to Encrypt In-App Preferences
  9. Enable the option to Encrypt Strings and Resources
  10. Enable the feature Enclaved Keys BETA
  11. Expand the Encryption Management sub-category:
    • Enable Smart Offline Handoff (requires Appdome-DEV)
      • Specify a Designated Folder directory in the app for offline handoff to be accessible to the app user.
      • Specify the Session Timeout for expiration in days of accessing the offline data.
      • Enable Require Local Authentication to allow app users to unlock offline access through local authentication in face recognition, Pincode, and fingerprint.
    • Enable Restore From Backup which allows a restore from backup with an encryption key that is device independent to allow migrating data. (requires Appdome-DEV)
    • Use In-App generated seed for key generation (requires Appdome-DEV)
    • Enable data in use encryption aka Store in Protected Memory (requires Appdome-DEV)
  12. Enable Enclave Keys BETA

  1. Enable FIPS 140-2 Cryptographic Modules
  2. Click Build My App.

Prevent Mobile Data Exploits with Data-at-Rest Encryption

mobile data encryption configuration settings on appdome

The technology behind Build My App has two major elements – (1) a microservice architecture filled with 1000s of code sets needed for mobile integrations, and (2) an adaptive code generation engine that can recognize the development environment, frameworks and methods in each app and match the app to the relevant code-sets needed to add MicroVPN to the mobile app in seconds.

Publish the App with Prevent Mobile Data Exploits Protections

After you have added data-at-rest encryption to any Mobile App on Appdome, there are a few additional steps needed to complete your mobile integration project.

Add Context™ to the Secured App

Appdome is a full-featured mobile integration platform. Within Context™, Appdome users can brand the app, including adding a favicon to denote the new service added to the app.
For more information on the range of options available in Context™, please read this knowledge base article.

Sign the Secured App (Required)

In order to deploy an Appdome-built app, it must be signed. Signing an iOS app and Signing an Android app is easy using Appdome. Alternatively, you can use Private Signing, download your unsigned app and sign locally using your own signing methods.

Publish the Secured App to an App Store

Once you have signed your Appdome-built app, you can download to deploy it using your distribution method of choice. For more information on deploying your Appdome-built apps, please read this knowledge base.

That is it – Enjoy Appdome’s data-at-rest encryption protection for your app!

More No-Code Data-at-Rest Encryption Resources

Check out Appdome’s Mobile App Security Suite or request a demo at any time.

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

Thank you!

Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to make mobile integration easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free.

Paul Levasseur

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