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How we implemented encryption and data masking for 60+ apps in 12 weeks


Say, you want an actual fast resolution to your new knowledge safety duties and the problem appears no much less huge than your challenge. Simply yesterday it was okay not to consider safety, however issues change quick these days, and the necessity to get your extremely delicate knowledge well-protected may leap out at you impulsively.🤔

The thought of re-writing a complete app or perhaps a bunch of them might be someplace close to falling into despair, however maintain on, a right away reduction over delicate knowledge considerations is on the way in which. 💡 In some conditions, infrastructure structure permits to skip the complete re-engineering of your present resolution.

Do not panic and use Acra database security suite because the aim could be reached in a dev-friendly means.

Let’s be sensible and discover a real case.


▶️ We solved alike problem for a nationwide firm when updates in laws demanded from it to guard delicate knowledge much more totally. Our buyer already had an enormous infrastructure and stopping or slowing down its operations was not an choice in any respect. That they had greater than 60 functions and thus needed to handle an infinite variety of keys and entry insurance policies to the identical cases/databases. We had been requested to mix in stronger knowledge safety, compliant with FIPS 140-2, as clean as doable and in not more than 12 weeks.

💡 In case you are to decide on between fast patching the issue or re-organizing structure to attenuate prospects for issues, we might suggest taking a look at all potential eventualities beforehand. A powerful basis and structure design give much less room for issues.



Right here’s what we did

✔️ First, we began with outlining the structure (together with safety insurance policies and a key lifecycle) that will meet the shopper’s wants and safety necessities.

✔️ Then, we examined the surroundings below varied load, knowledge quantity, and community and safety configurations to fulfill the calls for.

✔️ After that, we turned to constructing a migration pipeline from their present options to a brand new one and move that will not trigger any disruption to buyer operations.

💡 A safe dataflow resolution—equally for small or large-scale initiatives—might be designed utilizing completely different modules of Acra with out nice sacrifice. We constructed it to be an efficient a part of an answer not one other a part of an issue.

Let’s take a look on the safe knowledge move resolution primarily based on Acra, that we prompt:

Secure data flow solution based on Acra

💡 After passing by way of ETL gateway, giant quantities of delicate knowledge are processed and encrypted “on a fly” with the assistance of AcraTranslator (API service), which requires solely easy software modification to begin working.

💡AcraServer (SQL proxy), positioned between an app and DB as a proxy, encrypts/decrypts knowledge transparently for the apps, parsing SQL queries on to and from databases. Nearly no modifications within the app code are required.

▶️ Collectively, AcraServer and AcraTranslator keep watch over each transmission of delicate knowledge. Acra identifies the app, makes use of mutual TLS authentication earlier than accepting the connection, and decides on which knowledge fields must be decrypted. (In apps with a number of ranges of protected knowledge, quite a lot of entry ranges are reached through the use of Zones, that handle which knowledge to point out in plaintext or masked.)

As for compliance with FIPS 140-2, Acra makes use of open-source cryptographic library Themis, which acquired a licensed crypto module used to carry out core cryptographic operations in a compliant method.

🏁 So, by making modifications in safe structure and utilizing Acra modules we blended knowledge safety into constrained structure with out re-writing the appliance code.

😊 Good factor is that Acra is out there not solely to very large enterprises/budgets however to small-scale initiatives as effectively (download open-source Acra Community Edition from GitHub and use it totally free). Whereas, yep, in giant enterprises Acra uncovers its defensive strengths for sturdy options in full. 🔐

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