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Author Topic: Encrypting / Password use on frequently accessed data files.  (Read 1624 times)

Chris Flood

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Hi everyone,

We need to encrypt some of our frequently accessed data files. Some general advice would be great before I begin down the wrong path. In particular, I am wondering about the functional difference between the “REQUIRED FOR OPEN AND ON DATA” and “REQUIRED FOR WRITE AND ON DATA.” I understand the “OPEN” idea, but then is no password required for OPEN and READ for the “WRITE” option?

Impact on performance is a big issue, so I’m wondering about reducing that. Is there an impact using the industry standard versus the native PVX encryption?

The principal file involved already uses a data dictionary for embedded i/o purposes (we record certain accesses to it). Is using the EIO functionality the preferred way to go?

Thanks,
Chris Flood

Devon Austen

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Re: Encrypting / Password use on frequently accessed data files.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2023, 09:11:10 AM »
“REQUIRED FOR OPEN AND ON DATA”  - This means you always need a password to open the file and the file contents are stored encrypted in the file. So if someone were to open a file in a text editor they could not scrape any useful data out of it.

“REQUIRED FOR WRITE AND ON DATA." - This means you can OPEN INPUT the file in PxPlus without a password, allowing you to read it without a password. To do a standard OPEN on the file in PxPlus you need to specify a password, the standard OPEN allowing you to read and write to the file. Also the file contents are stored encrypted in the file. So if someone were to open a file in a text editor they could not scrape any useful data out of it.

Usually you will just want to use “REQUIRED FOR OPEN AND ON DATA” for the more complete security.

As for legacy native encryption vs industry standard encryption performance. Our testing found they performed very similarly. I would strongly recommend using the industry standard  encryption for the better security and ability to have longer passwords. The limitation of only 8 character long passwords for the legacy encryption limits its strength.
Principal Software Engineer for PVX Plus Technologies LTD.

Chris Flood

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Re: Encrypting / Password use on frequently accessed data files.
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2023, 01:33:58 AM »
Thanks very much  for that very helpful answer.

I would appreciate hearing any further tips on implementation, and whether we can expect a significant performance issue to our files because they are encrypted?

Devon Austen

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Re: Encrypting / Password use on frequently accessed data files.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2023, 08:18:15 AM »
Performance will vary greatly based on OS, data, how the data is accessed etc. It is impossible to know what your performance difference will be.

I would suggest creating a copy of some data and encrypting it and running some tests if you want to know what the difference will be.
Principal Software Engineer for PVX Plus Technologies LTD.

Chris Flood

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Re: Encrypting / Password use on frequently accessed data files.
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2023, 03:28:31 PM »
I'll run some tests. So far it seems pretty fast.
Thanks for heading me down the right track!
Chris