Data Encryption and Decryption in ASP Dot Net Core

23 November 2020 at 10:00 by ParTech Media - Post a comment

In today’s rapidly evolving technological era, security is a major concern. With huge chunks of data being available, we need to encrypt it and keep it safe from hackers. An important framework used to encrypt and decrypt data is the ASP.NET framework.

In this article, you will get to know all about data encryption and decryption using ASP.NET Core. Along with this, we will cover its features, and all the advantages it brings to the table for you. By the end of this post, you will have a clearer insight into the architecture of the ASP.NET Core framework written in C# that allows securing your data.

Table of Contents

  1. What is data encryption and decryption?
  2. Features of ASP.NET Core framework
  3. ASP.NET Core Architecture
  4. Data Protection APIs in ASP.NET Core
  5. Encryption and decryption of query strings
  6. What are the advantages of encryption and decryption of data?
  7. Wrapping Up

What is data encryption and decryption?

It is important to keep your data safe. To protect your data, there are different encryption techniques. Encryption is the method of converting simple text data into ciphertext (random data). On the other hand, decryption is the process of converting the encrypted text back into simple text. A symmetric key is needed for both encryption and decryption purposes. The same key that was needed for encryption is needed to decrypt data. The main aim of encryption is to make it as tough as possible to decrypt the data without the key. The longer the key that is used for, the more secure the data becomes.

Features of ASP.NET Core Framework

ASP.NET Core framework has an API for the protection of data using techniques like encryption and decryption. Let us look at some of the key features of this framework before diving deeper into how it secures data -

  • Runs on cross-platforms and can be containerized.
  • The framework is asynchronous as it uses async/await making it faster.
  • Merging of Model View Controller(MVC) and Web APIs together.
  • Presence of built-in dependency injection.
  • Cross-Site Request Forgery(CSRF) to prevent data from various attacks.
  • Cache output files generated and error handling is done using action fillers.
  • It supports web sockets for transmission of data between server and client.
  • HTML5 forms are supported in the ASP.NET framework.

ASP.NET Core Architecture

The main idea behind ASP.NET Core architecture is to have website logic, key components, and other necessary infrastructure to provide an environment that is friendly for development.

The layers of ASP.NET are the key components. The developers do not need to redefine it to make the platform modular. In the ASP.NET Core framework, the business and UI logic is incorporated in the Web App Layer. The infrastructure layer has a database layer, cache services, and web-related API services.

The business services that can be reused, objects, and other interfaces are encapsulated as a part of the application core layer. ASP.NET Core architecture follows an “N” tier/layers format. This format makes the application more robust as it requires good resource consumption. Also, the scaling of data can be managed easily. ASP.NET Core by default supports Single Page Application, MVC, and Razor pages.

Data Protection APIs in ASP.NET Core

Encryption requires a key that is managed by the ASP.NET Core framework. The lifetime duration of the encryption key is 90 days by default. As the keys are not permanent, the APIs for the protection of data is not long term. You can change the location for storage or the lifetime duration of the key by updating the ‘ConfigureServices’ method.

Code snippet to change default lifetime and storage location

The two main concepts underlying this system are a data protection provider (IDataProtectionProvider interface), and the data protector (by the IDataProtector interface).

The data protector is responsible for encrypting and decrypting data. It can be activated using the dependency injection. The IDataProtectionProvider interface has the method ‘CreateProtector’ that requires a ‘purpose’ string. The ‘purpose’ string is used to distinguish one data protector from another in the same application. Data protected by one data protector can not be protected by another data protector. You should ideally pass the entire name of the present component to prevent conflict with protectors used in other parts of the system.

Encryption and decryption of query strings

The below code snippet shows how you can encrypt the ID of all data items drawn from a service and converting it into a View model.

Code snippet to encrypt the ID

The protect method inputs a byte or string and encrypts it. The encrypted data can then be viewed in the web application.

The ‘Unprotect’ method is used to decrypt the encrypted ID and display the content of the data. The below code snippet is used to decrypt data.

Code Snippet to decrypt ID

What are the advantages of data encryption and decryption using ASP.NET Core?

  • There is no limit to the number of devices in which you can use modern encryption technology. It can be used in a variety of devices.
  • It helps you to keep your data safe while working remotely as well.
  • The integrity of information is enhanced using the encryption of data.
  • Encryption of your personal information can help to keep your identity secure.
  • You need not be worried about attacks by hackers if your data is protected with a strong encryption key.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have seen the various benefits offered by the ASP.NET framework to encrypt and decrypt data, it is now time to start using it to protect your organization’s data. Data security is one of the most important processes that everyone should take seriously in the present world especially with most of the user data available very easily to malicious hackers.