Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· simonoff

Easy way to secure column in database with Rails

In my one project I need to store crypted data to the column in database.
I found a few projects on Ruby Toolbox for this.
But main issues of this projects is:

  • They are too big
  • They are not maintained
  • They are not customizable

So I found better solution for me.

As you know ActiveRecord can serialize any column. ActiveRecord uses Marshal to serialize column by default. But we can change it to using any custom serialization class. Main requirements of this custom class is to have load and dump methods.

I think my example will helps you to decrease time of you development.

# Example of custom serialization class
class Example < ActiveRecord::Base
  class Encryptor
    def initialize(default = '')
      @default = default

    def cipher
      # You can use any two ways encryption ruby gem for this
      # I'm used gibberish bacause it very usable for me
      @cipher ||='p@ssw0rd')

    def load(s)
      s.present? ? cipher.dec(s) : @default.clone

    def dump(s)
      cipher.enc(s || @default)

  serialize :key,'')