In application-level encryption, the process of data encrypting is completed by the application that is used to modify or generate the data that is to be encrypted. This essentially means that, data is encrypted before it is written to the database. This unique approach to encryption renders the encryption process to be tailored to each user based on the information (such as entitlements or roles) that the application knows about its users.

Application-level encryption can be organized to specific data protection mandates such as payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS). Developers who add encryption to applications usually prefer to implement difficult cryptographic algorithms themselves.

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It is better to use pre-certified cryptographic implementations for the application-level encryption in order to avoid unwanted security flaws. Application-level encryption provides robust security, operational flexibility and high performance to the systems. With the flexibility to handle a wide spectrum of applications – from high-volume applications and fully automated to low-volume and tightly supervised applications, application encryption solutions deliver data protection and operational efficiency.

Application-level encryption has the potential to simplify the encryption process used by a company. If an application encrypts the data that it modifies from a database then a secondary encryption tool is not required to be integrated into the system. The data is encrypted before it is written to the server. A hacker needs to have access to the database contents as well as the applications that were used to decrypt or encrypt the contents in order to decrypt sensitive data, these above mentioned factors are driving the market.