Drupal is making more and more ground in the enterprise space.
One feature that is commonly requested by corporate IT departments is the ability to encrypt or obfuscate personal information in the database.
This applies to things like name, date of birth, email and other privacy issues, but also applies to things like TFA secrets where inadvertent disclosure via database breach could lead to compromise.
Drupal has always lead the way in security, Drupal 8 is no exception.

Proposed resolution

Add support for making field API fields encrypted in the database
For PHP 7.2+ we should use the baked in lib-sodium extension (yay for simple and secure encryption baked into php).
For earlier versions we should use defuse/php-encryption v2.x.
The private key would be written to settings.php just like the hash salt - ensuring it isn't kept in the database.

Remaining tasks

Decide if this is a worthy feature.
Come up with a plan

User interface changes


API changes

New flag for configurable and base fields to allow developers and site-builders to nominate a field as encrypted.

Data model changes

Fields marked as encrypted will be encrypted before written to the database, and decrypted when loaded from the database.


larowlan created an issue.

Ayesh’s picture

Good idea! This is one thing I was interested for some time, and I will also see if I can help. There is a pure-PHP polyfill for libsodium ( that should take use the PECL extension if available. It has not gone through a security audit as far as I know.

Cellar Door’s picture

I'm all for supporting and being a part of this effort!

A few things for thought:

The encrypt module ( already does a great job of creating a pluggable encryption framework with integration with Real AES ( that may be worth incorporating into this effort.

The key being stored in the settings.php is ok but it's still not good since the db and code are often hand in hand, but creating a pluggable system is best since it gives the community the chance to store their keys as they see fit. Check out our efforts on the Key module ( to see how we've addressed that.

Lastly there already is a great effort in the Field Encrypt module (https:/ to do this.

If this gets traction I'd say we take these modules which are already created, vetted and in use and figure out a way to incorporate them. I'd be more than happy to lend any support and/or sponsor the time to make this happen.

cweagans’s picture

I suggest as an alternative to defuse/php-encryption. That way, it's the same API no matter what.

EDIT: I should read the comments before I post. I agree with #1.