Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sneak Peek: Encrypted Custom Fields

What?
Alphanumeric fields which would contain data in encrypted form. Mostly to be used in case of government regulations, as they have processing overhead and certain limitations for e.g. these fields cannot be unique, indexed or have default values. Also, there is a limit of 175 characters.

Where?
Custom encrypted fields can be be used in various applications and can be displayed on page layouts and can be even included for validations via validation rules and apex code.

Why?
Certain business needs or government regulations require certain data to be stored in encrypted state and displayed in masked form. For e.g. Social security numbers or credit card numbers. Salesforce makes it easy to achieve it via Custom encrypted fields. 

How?
Custom encrypted fields can be created as just another custom field with type selected as "Text (Encrypted)". Master Encryption key key to be used for data encryption can be managed via "Certificate and Key Management" under Security Controls in Setup section.

A field once defined as encrypted field is displayed in masked form to all users irrespective of where the data is being accessed from. Even if data of encrypted field is displayed in debug logs, it would appear in masked form. Although, users having "View Encrypted data" permission can view data of encrypted fields in non-masked form. 

However, all encrypted fields are editable by users and abides all field level security and default security settings.


*Important: Visualforce pages seem to display non-masked data of encrypted fields to users irrespective of "View Encrypted Data" permission. Only seems to be abiding it, all other tags seem to be totally disregarding field encryption/ masking and displaying it as just another text field. 

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