What is the encryption in Android applications? What are the popular methods to achieve encryption in Android? If you are wondering about all these, then you are in the right place.
Therefore, let’s start with an overview of Encryption.
All of us want our data to remain safe from hackers, data breaches, etc. But do you know how it is possible? This is possible through data encryption or simply an encryption.
Therefore, in common words, encryption is the translation of any data into a secret code. For example, if a normal text is “hello”, it’s encrypted/ciphertext can be $tryuio+rtu.
This is very difficult to understand, right? This forms an encrypted file. Hence, to read this file, you would need access to its password. Therefore, it provides data security.
Why is encryption important for Android applications?
According to a study, an Android application is three times more vulnerable to data theft/breaches. Therefore, data encryption is the best way possible to prevent that.
For this, there are various methods. Hence, in this blog, we will explain the top 7 methods for encryption in Android applications.
So, let’s start!
Top 7 methods of encryption in Android applications
- Symmetric Encryption
- Asymmetric Encryption
- Digital Signature
- End-to-End Encryption
- Elliptic-Curve Cryptography
Now, let’s start the discussion, one by one.
Symmetric Encryption follows the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). It uses a single encryption key/password to encrypt plain data, say “hello”. Also, the same key/password can also decrypt the data.
Hence, it is very easy to use and implement. But this also contains some security issues. Like, you need to make sure that the key is very complicated. Because not doing so gives a chance to a hacker to decode it.
Hence, while using this method, make sure you create and store the key securely. WhatsApp and Firefox use symmetric encryption.
- Fast and secure.
- The same key can encrypt and decrypt.
- The password needs to be strong.
This encryption differs from the previous one. In this, there is a public key and a private key. As the name reads, the public key is for everyone.
Therefore, everyone within the network knows it. It keeps the private key as a secret. Therefore, it is accessible to only limited people. This encryption uses the RSA-2048 algorithm.
For protecting any website, a combination of symmetric and asymmetric encryption is suitable. Blockchain transactions and Facebook uses this encryption.
- The private key is difficult to access.
- The public key allows quick authentication.
- If you lose your private key, you can’t decrypt the data.
- It is slower in execution.
Hashing uses certain mathematical algorithms for encryption. The working of the hashing method is: the hash function takes the input data and converts it into a complex string.
This string is of the same length as of the input text. Hence, this hashing method is suitable to check data quality. Therefore, the hashing method is most suitable for encrypting the user’s password.
- Easy and fast.
- Data security is high.
- If the password gets hacked, all the accounts with that password get affected.
DS is a combination of asymmetric and hashing encryption. It is one of the best methods for Android applications. In this, the receiver uses the sender’s public key to extract the hash from his digital signature. After this, he hashes the message again to compare the output hash with the hash.
Therefore, if the public key belongs to the sender and its encryption is successful, it means the sender was right. Hence, the digital signature method is useful for various Android applications.
- Easy to use.
- It can be used at multiple locations.
- It takes lots of time to generate.
- If the private key changes, it becomes difficult to decrypt the data.
E2E encryption uses the RSA algorithm. Therefore, it is like asymmetric encryption. It occurs between two people.
An important advantage of this method is that it is impossible to read/modify messages flowing between two people. Telegram uses E2E encryption.
- Since transferring messages/data occur between fewer parties, data security is high.
- The data/message can’t be read/modified.
- The security of this method depends on the security at the receiver end.
This method differs from the above ones. ECC uses the public keys based on the algebraic algorithm of elliptic curves.
ECC uses Curve25519 during Android app development. This method is again similar to the asymmetric encryption. This method is common in some iOS apps, Messenger, Tor, Tox, etc.
- Fastest till now.
- Data security sometimes reduces.
HMAC stands for Hash Message Authentication Code. This method combines a hashing and cryptographic key. Only the endpoint and server can access the key. The endpoint hashes the data and the server decrypt it.
It uses the SHA-256 algorithm. Therefore, this method is used for communication over WhatsApp and signal.
- It is difficult to hack the SHA-256 algorithm.
- It is slower in execution.
Therefore, this is all about the top 7 Android application encryption methods. Also, the usage of any depends on the project needs and level of the need for encryption.