Data Encryption

ODAC has built-in algorithms for data encryption and decryption. To enable encryption, you should attach the TCREncryptor component to the dataset, and specify the encrypted fields. When inserting or updating data in the table, information will be encrypted on the client side in accordance with the specified method. Also when reading data from the server, the components decrypt the data in these fields "on the fly".

For encryption, you should specify the data encryption algorithm (the EncryptionAlgorithm property) and password (the Password property). On the basis of the specified password, the key is generated, which encrypts the data. There is also a possibility to set the key directly using the SetKey method.

When storing the encrypted data, in addition to the initial data, you can also store additional information: the GUID and the hash. (The method is specified in the TCREncryptor.DataHeader property).

If data is stored without additional information, it is impossible to determine whether the data is encrypted or not. In this case, only the encrypted data should be stored in the column, otherwise, there will be confusion because of the inability to distinguish the nature of the data. Also in this way, the similar source data will be equivalent in the encrypted form, that is not good from the point of view of the information protection. The advantage of this method is the size of the initial data equal to the size of the encrypted data.

To avoid these problems, it is recommended to store, along with the data, the appropriate GUID, which is necessary for specifying that the value in the record is encrypted and it must be decrypted when reading data. This allows you to avoid confusion and keep in the same column both the encrypted and decrypted data, which is particularly important when using an existing table. Also, when doing in this way, a random initializing vector is generated before the data encryption, which is used for encryption. This allows you to receive different results for the same initial data, which significantly increases security.

The most preferable way is to store the hash data along with the GUID and encrypted information to determine the validity of the data and verify its integrity. In this way, if there was an attempt to falsify the data at any stage of the transmission or data storage, when decrypting the data, there will be a corresponding error generated. For calculating the hash the SHA1 or MD5 algorithms can be used (the HashAlgorithm property).

The disadvantage of the latter two methods - additional memory is required for storage of the auxiliary information.

As the encryption algorithms work with a certain size of the buffer, and when storing the additional information it is necessary to use additional memory, TCREncryptor supports encryption of string or binary fields only (ftString, ftWideString, ftBytes, ftVarBytes, ftBlob, ftMemo, ftWideMemo). If encryption of string fields is used, firstly, the data is encrypted, and then the obtained binary data is converted into hexadecimal format. In this case, data storage requires two times more space (one byte = 2 characters in hexadecimal).

Therefore, to have the possibility to encrypt other data types (such as date, number, etc.), it is necessary to create a field of the binary or BLOB type in the table, and then convert it into the desired type on the client side with the help of data mapping.

It should be noted that the search and sorting by encrypted fields become impossible on the server side. Data search for these fields can be performed only on the client after decryption of data using the Locate and LocateEx methods. Sorting is performed by setting the TMemDataSet.IndexFieldNames property.


Let's say there is an employee list of an enterprise stored in the table with the following data: full name, date of employment, salary, and photo. We want all these data to be stored in the encrypted form. Write a script for creating the table:


As we can see, the fields for storage of the textual information, date, and floating-point number are created with the VARCHAR2 type. This is for the ability to store encrypted information, and in the case of the text field - to improve performance. Write the code to process this information on the client.

OraQuery.SQL.Text := 'SELECT * FROM EMP';

OraQuery.Encryption.Encryptor := OraEncryptor;
OraQuery.Encryption.Fields := 'ENAME, HIREDATE, SAL, FOTO';
OraEncryptor.Password := '11111';

OraQuery.DataTypeMap.AddFieldNameRule ('ENAME', ftString);
OraQuery.DataTypeMap.AddFieldNameRule ('HIREDATE', ftDateTime);
OraQuery.DataTypeMap.AddFieldNameRule ('SAL', ftFloat);

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