Client-side encryption

This page describes how to implement client-side encryption on Cloud SQL.

Overview

Client-side encryption is the act of encrypting data before writing it to Cloud SQL. You can encrypt Cloud SQL data in a manner that only your application can decrypt.

To enable client-side encryption you have the following options:

  1. Using an encryption key stored in the Cloud Key Management Service (Cloud KMS).
  2. Using an encryption key stored locally in your application.

In this topic, we describe how to use the first option, which provides the most seamless key management option. We create an encryption key in Cloud KMS and implement envelope encryption using Tink, Google's open source cryptographic library.

Why do you need client-side encryption?

You need client-side encryption if you want to protect Cloud SQL data at the column level 1. Imagine you have a table of names and credit card numbers. You want to grant a user access to this table, but you don't want them to view the credit card numbers. You can encrypt the numbers using client-side encryption. As long as the user is not granted access to the encryption key in Cloud KMS, they can't read the credit card information.

Creating keys using Cloud KMS

Cloud KMS lets you create and manage keys on Google Cloud Platform.

Cloud KMS supports many different key types. For client-side encryption, you need to create a symmetric key.

To give your application access to the key in Cloud KMS, you need to grant the service account that your application uses with the cloudkms.cryptoKeyEncrypterDecrypter role. In gcloud, you use the following command to do this:

gcloud kms keys add-iam-policy-binding key \
--keyring=key-ring \
--location=location \
--member=serviceAccount:service-account-name@example.domain.com \
--role=roles/cloudkms.cryptoKeyEncrypterDecrypter

While you can use the KMS key to directly encrypt data, here we use a more flexible solution called envelope encryption. This allows us to encrypt messages longer than 64KB, which is the maximum message size that the Cloud Key Management Service API can support.

### Cloud KMS envelope encryption

In envelope encryption, the KMS key acts as a key encrypting key (KEK). That is, it is used to encrypt data encryption keys (DEK) which in turn are used to encrypt actual data.

After creating a KEK in Cloud KMS, to encrypt each message you need to:

  • Generate a data encryption key (DEK) locally.
  • Use this DEK locally to encrypt the message.
  • Call Cloud KMS to encrypt (wrap) the DEK with the KEK.
  • Store the encrypted data and the wrapped DEK.

Instead of implementing envelope encryption from scratch, in this topic we use Tink.

Tink

Tink is a multi-language, cross-platform library that provides high-level cryptographic APIs. To encrypt data with Tink's envelope encryption, you provide Tink with a key URI pointing to your KEK in Cloud KMS, and credentials that allow Tink to use the KEK. Tink generates the DEK, encrypts the data, wraps the DEK and returns a single ciphertext with the encrypted data and wrapped DEK.

Tink supports envelope encryption in C++, Java, Go, and Python using the AEAD API:

public interface Aead{
  byte[] encrypt(final byte[] plaintext, final byte[] associatedData)
  throws…
  byte[] decrypt(final byte[] ciphertext, final byte[] associatedData)
  throws…
}

Besides the normal message/ciphertext argument, the encrypt and decrypt methods support optional associated data. This argument can be used to tie the ciphertext to a piece of data. For example, suppose you have a database with a field user-id and a field encrypted-medical-history. In this case, the field user-id should probably be used as associated data when encrypting the medical history. This ensures that an attacker cannot move medical history from one user to another. It is also used to verify that you have the correct row of data when you run a query.

Samples

In this section, we'll walk through sample code for a voter information database that uses client-side encryption. The sample code shows how to:

  • Create a database table and connection pool
  • Set up Tink for envelope encryption
  • Encrypt and decrypt data using Tink's envelope encryption with a KEK in Cloud KMS

Before you begin

  1. Create a Cloud SQL Instance by following these instructions. Note the connection string, database user, and database password that you create.

  2. Create a database for your application by following these instructions. Note the database name.

  3. Create a KMS key for your application by following these instructions. Copy the resource name of your created key.

  4. Create a service account with the 'Cloud SQL Client' permissions by following these instructions.

  5. Add the 'Cloud KMS CryptoKey Encrypter/Decrypter' permission for the key to your service account by following these instructions.

Create a connection pool and create a new table in the database.

Java


import com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariConfig;
import com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource;
import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.SQLException;
import javax.sql.DataSource;

public class CloudSqlConnectionPool {

  public static DataSource createConnectionPool(String dbUser, String dbPass, String dbName,
      String cloudSqlConnectionName) {
    HikariConfig config = new HikariConfig();
    config.setJdbcUrl(String.format("jdbc:mysql:///%s", dbName));
    config.setUsername(dbUser);
    config.setPassword(dbPass);
    config.addDataSourceProperty("socketFactory", "com.google.cloud.sql.mysql.SocketFactory");
    config.addDataSourceProperty("cloudSqlInstance", cloudSqlConnectionName);
    DataSource pool = new HikariDataSource(config);
    return pool;
  }

  public static void createTable(DataSource pool, String tableName) throws SQLException {
    // Safely attempt to create the table schema.
    try (Connection conn = pool.getConnection()) {
      String stmt = String.format("CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS %s ( "
          + "vote_id SERIAL NOT NULL, time_cast timestamp NOT NULL, team CHAR(6) NOT NULL,"
          + "voter_email VARBINARY(255), PRIMARY KEY (vote_id) );", tableName);
      try (PreparedStatement createTableStatement = conn.prepareStatement(stmt);) {
        createTableStatement.execute();
      }
    }
  }
}

Python

import sqlalchemy


def init_tcp_connection_engine(
    db_user: str, db_pass: str, db_name: str, db_host: str
) -> sqlalchemy.engine.base.Engine:
    # Remember - storing secrets in plaintext is potentially unsafe. Consider using
    # something like https://cloud.google.com/secret-manager/docs/overview to help keep
    # secrets secret.

    # Extract host and port from db_host
    host_args = db_host.split(":")
    db_hostname, db_port = host_args[0], int(host_args[1])

    pool = sqlalchemy.create_engine(
        # Equivalent URL:
        # mysql+pymysql://<db_user>:<db_pass>@<db_host>:<db_port>/<db_name>
        sqlalchemy.engine.url.URL.create(
            drivername="mysql+pymysql",
            username=db_user,  # e.g. "my-database-user"
            password=db_pass,  # e.g. "my-database-password"
            host=db_hostname,  # e.g. "127.0.0.1"
            port=db_port,  # e.g. 3306
            database=db_name,  # e.g. "my-database-name"
        ),
    )
    print("Created TCP connection pool")
    return pool


def init_unix_connection_engine(
    db_user: str,
    db_pass: str,
    db_name: str,
    cloud_sql_connection_name: str,
    db_socket_dir: str,
) -> sqlalchemy.engine.base.Engine:
    # Remember - storing secrets in plaintext is potentially unsafe. Consider using
    # something like https://cloud.google.com/secret-manager/docs/overview to help keep
    # secrets secret.

    pool = sqlalchemy.create_engine(
        # Equivalent URL:
        # mysql+pymysql://<db_user>:<db_pass>@/<db_name>?unix_socket=<socket_path>/<cloud_sql_instance_name>
        sqlalchemy.engine.url.URL.create(
            drivername="mysql+pymysql",
            username=db_user,  # e.g. "my-database-user"
            password=db_pass,  # e.g. "my-database-password"
            database=db_name,  # e.g. "my-database-name"
            query={"unix_socket": f"{db_socket_dir}/{cloud_sql_connection_name}"},
        ),
    )
    print("Created Unix socket connection pool")
    return pool


def init_db(
    db_user: str,
    db_pass: str,
    db_name: str,
    table_name: str,
    cloud_sql_connection_name: str = None,
    db_socket_dir: str = None,
    db_host: str = None,
) -> sqlalchemy.engine.base.Engine:

    if db_host:
        db = init_tcp_connection_engine(db_user, db_pass, db_name, db_host)
    else:
        db = init_unix_connection_engine(
            db_user, db_pass, db_name, cloud_sql_connection_name, db_socket_dir
        )

    # Create tables (if they don't already exist)
    with db.connect() as conn:
        conn.execute(
            f"CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS {table_name} "
            "( vote_id SERIAL NOT NULL, time_cast timestamp NOT NULL, "
            "team CHAR(6) NOT NULL, voter_email VARBINARY(255), "
            "PRIMARY KEY (vote_id) );"
        )

    print(f"Created table {table_name} in db {db_name}")
    return db

Initialize an envelope AEAD primitive with Tink.

Java


import com.google.crypto.tink.Aead;
import com.google.crypto.tink.KmsClient;
import com.google.crypto.tink.aead.AeadConfig;
import com.google.crypto.tink.aead.AeadKeyTemplates;
import com.google.crypto.tink.aead.KmsEnvelopeAead;
import com.google.crypto.tink.integration.gcpkms.GcpKmsClient;
import java.security.GeneralSecurityException;

public class CloudKmsEnvelopeAead {

  public static Aead get(String kmsUri) throws GeneralSecurityException {
    AeadConfig.register();

    // Create a new KMS Client
    KmsClient client = new GcpKmsClient().withDefaultCredentials();

    // Create an AEAD primitive using the Cloud KMS key
    Aead gcpAead = client.getAead(kmsUri);

    // Create an envelope AEAD primitive.
    // This key should only be used for client-side encryption to ensure authenticity and integrity
    // of data.
    return new KmsEnvelopeAead(AeadKeyTemplates.AES128_GCM, gcpAead);
  }
}

Python

import logging

import tink
from tink import aead
from tink.integration import gcpkms

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)


def init_tink_env_aead(
        key_uri: str,
        credentials: str) -> tink.aead.KmsEnvelopeAead:
    aead.register()

    try:
        gcp_client = gcpkms.GcpKmsClient(key_uri, credentials)
        gcp_aead = gcp_client.get_aead(key_uri)
    except tink.TinkError as e:
        logger.error("Error initializing GCP client: %s", e)
        raise e

    # Create envelope AEAD primitive using AES256 GCM for encrypting the data
    # This key should only be used for client-side encryption to ensure authenticity and integrity
    # of data.
    key_template = aead.aead_key_templates.AES256_GCM
    env_aead = aead.KmsEnvelopeAead(key_template, gcp_aead)

    print(f"Created envelope AEAD Primitive using KMS URI: {key_uri}")

    return env_aead

Encrypt data and insert it into the database.

Java


import com.google.crypto.tink.Aead;
import java.security.GeneralSecurityException;
import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.SQLException;
import java.sql.Timestamp;
import java.util.Date;
import javax.sql.DataSource;

public class EncryptAndInsertData {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws GeneralSecurityException, SQLException {
    // Saving credentials in environment variables is convenient, but not secure - consider a more
    // secure solution such as Cloud Secret Manager to help keep secrets safe.
    String dbUser = System.getenv("DB_USER"); // e.g. "root", "mysql"
    String dbPass = System.getenv("DB_PASS"); // e.g. "mysupersecretpassword"
    String dbName = System.getenv("DB_NAME"); // e.g. "votes_db"
    String cloudSqlConnectionName =
        System.getenv("CLOUD_SQL_CONNECTION_NAME"); // e.g. "project-name:region:instance-name"
    String kmsUri = System.getenv("CLOUD_KMS_URI"); // e.g. "gcp-kms://projects/...path/to/key
    // Tink uses the "gcp-kms://" prefix for paths to keys stored in Google Cloud KMS. For more
    // info on creating a KMS key and getting its path, see
    // https://cloud.google.com/kms/docs/quickstart

    String team = "TABS";
    String tableName = "votes";
    String email = "hello@example.com";

    // Initialize database connection pool and create table if it does not exist
    // See CloudSqlConnectionPool.java for setup details
    DataSource pool =
        CloudSqlConnectionPool.createConnectionPool(dbUser, dbPass, dbName, cloudSqlConnectionName);
    CloudSqlConnectionPool.createTable(pool, tableName);

    // Initialize envelope AEAD
    // See CloudKmsEnvelopeAead.java for setup details
    Aead envAead = CloudKmsEnvelopeAead.get(kmsUri);

    encryptAndInsertData(pool, envAead, tableName, team, email);
  }

  public static void encryptAndInsertData(
      DataSource pool, Aead envAead, String tableName, String team, String email)
      throws GeneralSecurityException, SQLException {

    try (Connection conn = pool.getConnection()) {
      String stmt =
          String.format(
              "INSERT INTO %s (team, time_cast, voter_email) VALUES (?, ?, ?);", tableName);
      try (PreparedStatement voteStmt = conn.prepareStatement(stmt); ) {
        voteStmt.setString(1, team);
        voteStmt.setTimestamp(2, new Timestamp(new Date().getTime()));

        // Use the envelope AEAD primitive to encrypt the email, using the team name as
        // associated data. This binds the encryption of the email to the team name, preventing
        // associating an encrypted email in one row with a team name in another row.
        byte[] encryptedEmail = envAead.encrypt(email.getBytes(), team.getBytes());
        voteStmt.setBytes(3, encryptedEmail);

        // Finally, execute the statement. If it fails, an error will be thrown.
        voteStmt.execute();
        System.out.println(String.format("Successfully inserted row into table %s", tableName));
      }
    }
  }
}

Python

import datetime
import logging
import os

import sqlalchemy
import tink

from .cloud_kms_env_aead import init_tink_env_aead
from .cloud_sql_connection_pool import init_db


logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)


def main() -> None:
    db_user = os.environ["DB_USER"]  # e.g. "root", "mysql"
    db_pass = os.environ["DB_PASS"]  # e.g. "mysupersecretpassword"
    db_name = os.environ["DB_NAME"]  # e.g. "votes_db"

    # Set if connecting using TCP:
    db_host = os.environ["DB_HOST"]  # e.g. "127.0.0.1"

    # Set if connecting using Unix sockets:
    db_socket_dir = os.environ.get("DB_SOCKET_DIR", "/cloudsql")

    cloud_sql_connection_name = os.environ["CLOUD_SQL_CONNECTION_NAME"]
    # e.g. "project-name:region:instance-name"

    credentials = os.environ.get("GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS", "")
    key_uri = "gcp-kms://" + os.environ["GCP_KMS_URI"]
    # e.g. "gcp-kms://projects/...path/to/key
    # Tink uses the "gcp-kms://" prefix for paths to keys stored in Google
    # Cloud KMS. For more info on creating a KMS key and getting its path, see
    # https://cloud.google.com/kms/docs/quickstart

    table_name = "votes"
    team = "TABS"
    email = "hello@example.com"

    env_aead = init_tink_env_aead(key_uri, credentials)
    db = init_db(
        db_user,
        db_pass,
        db_name,
        table_name,
        cloud_sql_connection_name,
        db_socket_dir,
        db_host,
    )

    encrypt_and_insert_data(db, env_aead, table_name, team, email)


def encrypt_and_insert_data(
    db: sqlalchemy.engine.base.Engine,
    env_aead: tink.aead.KmsEnvelopeAead,
    table_name: str,
    team: str,
    email: str,
) -> None:
    time_cast = datetime.datetime.utcnow()
    # Use the envelope AEAD primitive to encrypt the email, using the team name as
    # associated data. Encryption with associated data ensures authenticity
    # (who the sender is) and integrity (the data has not been tampered with) of that
    # data, but not its secrecy. (see RFC 5116 for more info)
    encrypted_email = env_aead.encrypt(email.encode(), team.encode())
    # Verify that the team is one of the allowed options
    if team != "TABS" and team != "SPACES":
        logger.error(f"Invalid team specified: {team}")
        return

    # Preparing a statement before hand can help protect against injections.
    stmt = sqlalchemy.text(
        f"INSERT INTO {table_name} (time_cast, team, voter_email)"
        " VALUES (:time_cast, :team, :voter_email)"
    )

    # Using a with statement ensures that the connection is always released
    # back into the pool at the end of statement (even if an error occurs)
    with db.connect() as conn:
        conn.execute(
            stmt,
            time_cast=time_cast,
            team=team,
            voter_email=encrypted_email)
    print(f"Vote successfully cast for '{team}' at time {time_cast}!")

Query the database and decrypt the stored data.

Java


import com.google.crypto.tink.Aead;
import java.security.GeneralSecurityException;
import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.ResultSet;
import java.sql.SQLException;
import java.sql.Timestamp;
import javax.sql.DataSource;

public class QueryAndDecryptData {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws GeneralSecurityException, SQLException {
    // Saving credentials in environment variables is convenient, but not secure - consider a more
    // secure solution such as Cloud Secret Manager to help keep secrets safe.
    String dbUser = System.getenv("DB_USER"); // e.g. "root", "mysql"
    String dbPass = System.getenv("DB_PASS"); // e.g. "mysupersecretpassword"
    String dbName = System.getenv("DB_NAME"); // e.g. "votes_db"
    String cloudSqlConnectionName =
        System.getenv("CLOUD_SQL_CONNECTION_NAME"); // e.g. "project-name:region:instance-name"
    String kmsUri = System.getenv("CLOUD_KMS_URI"); // e.g. "gcp-kms://projects/...path/to/key
    // Tink uses the "gcp-kms://" prefix for paths to keys stored in Google Cloud KMS. For more
    // info on creating a KMS key and getting its path, see
    // https://cloud.google.com/kms/docs/quickstart

    String tableName = "votes123";

    // Initialize database connection pool and create table if it does not exist
    // See CloudSqlConnectionPool.java for setup details
    DataSource pool =
        CloudSqlConnectionPool.createConnectionPool(dbUser, dbPass, dbName, cloudSqlConnectionName);
    CloudSqlConnectionPool.createTable(pool, tableName);

    // Initialize envelope AEAD
    // See CloudKmsEnvelopeAead.java for setup details
    Aead envAead = CloudKmsEnvelopeAead.get(kmsUri);

    // Insert row into table to test
    // See EncryptAndInsert.java for setup details
    EncryptAndInsertData.encryptAndInsertData(
        pool, envAead, tableName, "SPACES", "hello@example.com");

    queryAndDecryptData(pool, envAead, tableName);
  }

  public static void queryAndDecryptData(DataSource pool, Aead envAead, String tableName)
      throws GeneralSecurityException, SQLException {

    try (Connection conn = pool.getConnection()) {
      String stmt =
          String.format(
              "SELECT team, time_cast, voter_email FROM %s ORDER BY time_cast DESC LIMIT 5",
              tableName);
      try (PreparedStatement voteStmt = conn.prepareStatement(stmt); ) {
        ResultSet voteResults = voteStmt.executeQuery();

        System.out.println("Team\tTime Cast\tEmail");
        while (voteResults.next()) {
          String team = voteResults.getString(1);
          Timestamp timeCast = voteResults.getTimestamp(2);

          // Use the envelope AEAD primitive to encrypt the email, using the team name as
          // associated data. This binds the encryption of the email to the team name, preventing
          // associating an encrypted email in one row with a team name in another row.
          String email = new String(envAead.decrypt(voteResults.getBytes(3), team.getBytes()));

          System.out.println(String.format("%s\t%s\t%s", team, timeCast, email));
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Python

import os

import sqlalchemy
import tink

from .cloud_kms_env_aead import init_tink_env_aead
from .cloud_sql_connection_pool import init_db
from .encrypt_and_insert_data import encrypt_and_insert_data


def main() -> None:
    db_user = os.environ["DB_USER"]  # e.g. "root", "mysql"
    db_pass = os.environ["DB_PASS"]  # e.g. "mysupersecretpassword"
    db_name = os.environ["DB_NAME"]  # e.g. "votes_db"

    # Set if connecting using TCP:
    db_host = os.environ["DB_HOST"]  # e.g. "127.0.0.1"

    # Set if connecting using Unix sockets:
    db_socket_dir = os.environ.get("DB_SOCKET_DIR", "/cloudsql")

    cloud_sql_connection_name = os.environ["CLOUD_SQL_CONNECTION_NAME"]
    # e.g. "project-name:region:instance-name"

    credentials = os.environ.get("GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS", "")
    key_uri = "gcp-kms://" + os.environ["GCP_KMS_URI"]
    # e.g. "gcp-kms://projects/...path/to/key
    # Tink uses the "gcp-kms://" prefix for paths to keys stored in Google
    # Cloud KMS. For more info on creating a KMS key and getting its path, see
    # https://cloud.google.com/kms/docs/quickstart

    table_name = "votes"
    team = "TABS"
    email = "hello@example.com"

    env_aead = init_tink_env_aead(key_uri, credentials)
    db = init_db(
        db_user,
        db_pass,
        db_name,
        table_name,
        cloud_sql_connection_name,
        db_socket_dir,
        db_host,
    )

    encrypt_and_insert_data(db, env_aead, table_name, team, email)
    query_and_decrypt_data(db, env_aead, table_name)


def query_and_decrypt_data(
    db: sqlalchemy.engine.base.Engine,
    env_aead: tink.aead.KmsEnvelopeAead,
    table_name: str,
) -> None:
    with db.connect() as conn:
        # Execute the query and fetch all results
        recent_votes = conn.execute(
            f"SELECT team, time_cast, voter_email FROM {table_name} "
            "ORDER BY time_cast DESC LIMIT 5"
        ).fetchall()

        print("Team\tEmail\tTime Cast")

        for row in recent_votes:
            team = row[0]
            # Use the envelope AEAD primitive to decrypt the email, using the team name as
            # associated data. Encryption with associated data ensures authenticity
            # (who the sender is) and integrity (the data has not been tampered with) of that
            # data, but not its secrecy. (see RFC 5116 for more info)
            email = env_aead.decrypt(row[2], team.encode()).decode()
            time_cast = row[1]

            # Print recent votes
            print(f"{team}\t{email}\t{time_cast}")


  1. You can also restrict access at the instance or database level.