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Status Future consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Db2 for i
Created by Guest
Created on Dec 1, 2023

Provide FIELDPROC_ENCODED_COMPARISON QAQQINI function at column level

DB2 for i Field Procedures are primarily used for column level encryption. The defacto standard for encryption is AES. Ideally, encryption should not be deterministic. In other words, encrypting the same plain text multiple times should produce different results each time with each distinct cipher text value still decrypting to the same plain text value. However, the FIELDPROC_ENCODED_COMPARISON setting is typically set to *ALLOW_EQUAL, so that indexed field equal lookups perform well, avoiding a table scan by allowing the lookup key to be encrypted and the cipher text used as the lookup key. The setting is scoped at best to a Job level, which does not allow different encrypted columns to have different settings. Ideally, a 'lookup' column would like to use *ALLOW_EQUAL to lean toward the performance side of the trade off, but other fields (like an encrypted BLOB medical image) would benefit from *NONE allowing the field procedure to have a non-deterministic encryption for the field.

Please enhance the field proc option 8 processing to allow specification of the FIELDPROC_ENCODED_COMPARISON attribute on a per field basis.

Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Dec 20, 2023

    The core of the suggested change is not what it says in the title, it is to remove determinism from field procs. This is to allow something like salting or counter-mode AES.

    However, changing field procs to be non-deterministic is likely to have a very noticeable impact on performance of *retrieving* encrypted data, because determinism allows the quick lookup that is described in the text, and impact on *modifying or inserting* encrypted data, because Db2 cannot use caching of values previously encrypted.

  • Guest
    Dec 14, 2023
    IBM will use this Idea as input to planning, but no commitment is made or implied. This Idea will be updated in the future if IBM implements it.