Application level encryption solutions

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Application level encryption solutions

Many security risks cannot be mitigated with encryption at-rest or TLS, and require encrypting the data inside the applications. Application level encryption (ALE) is relevant for software products that store or process sensitive data. ALE makes implementing regulatory compliance requirements easier, as sensitive data is processed as an encrypted blob until used.

Application level encryption can come in different forms, depending on the use case: client-side encryption, server-side encryption, end-to-end encryption (no secrets and keys are available for the intermediate servers), field level encryption (only certain fields are encrypted), and their combinations. The main concept is that data is encrypted inside the application, independent of data-in-motion and data-at-rest encryption.

Challenges that require
application level encryption


Zero trust infrastructures


Insiders risks


Defence in depth


Developer satisfaction and compliance

Modern application level encryption solutions

Data encryption proxy

Client-side encryption SDK


Our offerings

// Relevant products


Acra offers a field level and searchable database encryption which is easy-to-integrate in already-built infrastructures. Acra works with SQL and NoSQL databases. Acra gives transparent field level encryption proxy and encryption-as-an-API service.


As a high-level cross-platform cryptographic library for mobile, web, and server platforms, Themis helps to integrate application level encryption fast and easy. It solves 90% of typical data protection use cases that are common for most apps.

// Custom design and implementation

Searchable encrypted fields

Searching over encrypted text is possible but limited, and it puts pressure on security (inference attacks), performance, storage, etc. While different searchable encryption schemes exist, only few of them are industrial-proven, like blind index based search in Acra and deterministic encryption search in MongoDB.

Custom application encryption schemes

Application level encryption often works in combination with other data security controls: data masking, tokenisation, anonymisation, and segmentation – we suggest the most suitable data security methods and their combinations to achieve best security / performance results.

Custom data security engines

Data security is not just encryption: masking, tokenisation, anonymisation, compartmentalisation and segmentation – we suggest the most suitable security engineering techniques aimed at protecting different types of data.

// Consulting

Security engineering

Encryption never comes alone. We will advise you on data migration, key management, designing application level encryption flow, implementing certain security features, assessing your product, verifying its security properties, and providing actionable advisory on improvements.

Security advisory

We offer security advisory to ensure your high level security goals are transformed into a clear roadmap. Our security managers and auditors assist with maintaining and formulating security procedures that bring pragmatic and compliance benefits.


We help teams set up and improve the SSDLC for application development. We assist in prioritising and implementing security features, suggest automated tools and follow the latest security guidelines and regulations.

Application level encryption
in use #

Application level encryption becomes a security boundary for data, shifting from "protect the data where it's stored" to "protect the data whenever it exists". Sensitive data fields are encrypted before stored in the database, and decrypted on read. Let's look at the example of the user model with and without field level encryption.

  • {
      "created_at": "2022-07-01T13:37:31.415926+00:00",
      "id": "a6fd0d25-3a7f-43df-b6d1-405994fd203a",
      "wallet_id": "db0f0466-d481-465b-9b9c-167c17be6ed4",
      "name_first": "Emmanuel",
      "name_last": "Goldstein",
      "name_middle": "Lillard",
      "name_prefix": "Mr",
      "ssn": "9246725420",
      "passport_number": "KI133771RE",
      "country_code": "UK",
      "email": ""
  • {
      "created_at": "2022-07-01T13:37:31.415926+00:00",
      "id": "a6fd0d25-3a7f-43df-b6d1-405994fd203a",
      "wallet_id": "db0f0466-d481-465b-9b9c-167c17be6ed4",
      "name_first": "<encrypted>",
      "name_last": "<encrypted>",
      "name_middle": "<encrypted>",
      "name_prefix": "<encrypted>",
      "ssn": "<encrypted>",
      "passport_number": "<encrypted>",
      "country_code": "UK",
      "email": ""

Additional relevant materials

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How we make a difference

Reduce business risks with consulting

Fast time to solution

Support of regulations and procedures

Flexible key management

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between application level encryption and network encryption?

Application level encryption vs database encryption?

What regulations require application level encryption?

For innovators, by innovators

We've started Cossack Labs to develop new tools and methods for protecting the data and enabling novel solutions to emerging problems — so that at the edge of your innovation, you’ve already got fitting tools handy.

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