What is Protected Configuration in asp.net?

Encrypting configuration information is a crucial step in enhancing the security of your application, particularly when dealing with sensitive data such as user credentials, connection strings, and encryption keys. In an ASP.NET application, the Web.config file often contains this sensitive information, making it a potential target for unauthorized access. To mitigate this risk, ASP.NET offers a feature called protected configuration, which allows you to encrypt sensitive data within the configuration file.

ASP.NET IIS Registration tool

Protected configuration can be managed through the ASP.NET IIS Registration tool (Aspnet_regiis.exe) or by utilizing the protected configuration classes provided in the System.Configuration namespace. Implementing a protected configuration provider involves creating a class that inherits from the abstract ProtectedConfigurationProvider class in the System.Configuration namespace. Additionally, since the ProtectedConfigurationProvider class extends the abstract ProviderBase class from the System.Configuration.Provider namespace, you must implement the required members of the ProviderBase class in your implementation.

It's important to note that there are certain limitations to protected configuration. For instance, you cannot use it to encrypt the configProtectedData section of a configuration file. Similarly, it cannot be used to encrypt configuration sections that don't employ a section handler or sections that are part of the managed cryptography configuration.


By using the capabilities of protected configuration, you can add an extra layer of security to your application by safeguarding sensitive information stored within the configuration file.