Security

Application Master Passcode

When a deployed application discovers and downloads an AppLife package, the first action taken is a verification of the package using the Public Key value that is already present on the client and the update package signature that comes with the package. Digital signature validation using asynchronous cryptology. If the downloaded update package fails validation, it is never loaded or executed. There are many reasons why a downloaded update package might fail validation, but whatever the reason, a failed validation means that the update package is not identical to the package that was built and published by the author.

Validation ensures that the package that is about to be applied on a deployed client is the exact package that was created and published. The validity of the authentication process performed by AppLife is completely dependent on the sanctity of the project’s private key. This validation process ensures that it is not possible for a third party to create a package that could ever be applied through your software.

So if your AppLife Cloud account was compromised, would your application private keys be at risk? Yes they would, and this could potentially lead to a third party having the ability publish a privileged update package that your deployed clients would apply. Securing your AppLife Cloud account through strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and Publishing IP Address Filtering significantly reduces the probability of a compromised account. Beyond these, another action that can be taken to secure your deployed clients is to implement a Master Passcode on your individual applications.

A master passcode is added to your application locally through AppLife Builder. Navigate to your project settings dialog and open the Security tab. When a master passcode is provided, AppLife Builder uses the code to encrypt the application keypair before transmitting application data to the AppLife Cloud. The master pass code is never transmitted and only stored locally if elected to be.

If a unique passcode is applied to your application, the passcode is never transmitted and an update for the application can never be created without it.

A master passcode provides maximum protection against a compromised AppLife Cloud account, as a final secret that is required but never shared. With this protection comes the reality that a master passcode can never be recovered if forgotten. If a master passcode is forgotten, your deployed clients are forever disconnected from the remote update capabilities provided by AppLife.

For maximum protection from your update process ever being used to compromise your deployed clients, choose and implement a unique strong master passcode.

Publishing IP Address Filtering

Using the AppLife Cloud solution makes it easy to deploy and maintain applications by creating a channel between you the application publisher, and all your deployed client systems. It’s very important to protect that channel and keep it secure. Steps to keep your deployed clients secure started with:

  • Setting a strong password on your account. We require 8 characters, a letter, a number and special character, but going beyond these minimums is recommended. Using a password tool such as Last Pass makes using long strong passwords very manageable.

  • Enabling Two-Factor authentication on your account. In addition to a strong password, requiring something you have in addition to something you know adds a significant level of protection.

The next step to consider taking is enabling Publishing IP Address Filtering on your AppLife subscription. This is a great idea if your application publishing always originates from static IP addresses. Once enabled, your application update packages must originate from an IP address in your defined list.

To enable IP Address Filtering, navigate to your Subscription Properties view within your dashboard. IP Filtering is subscription scoped, and covers all applications in your subscription with one list.

Once on the Subscription Properties view, you’ll find the IP Filtering list towards the bottom. When you click the enable checkbox, your current IP Address is automatically added to the list. You can add as many IP Addresses as you need. Save the list and you have successfully enabled IP Filtering.