Remote Log Encryption

Last modified on September 28, 2022

If you choose to set up log encryption (under Settings > Log Encryption & Storage) the logs, queries, and sessions recorded by strongDM will be encrypted, either on strongDM, on the individual gateway/relay, or both. This guide describes how to set up and use public-key encryption with strongDM.

Setting up a public/private key pair

Run the following commands at a Linux or macOS command line to generate the private and public keys.

openssl genrsa -out private.key 4096

This will generate a private key in the specified location (private.key). Next you need to extract the public key, which will be shared with strongDM to encrypt logs and other data.

openssl rsa -pubout -in private.key -out public.pem

If you look at public.pem you should see text similar to the following:

-----END PUBLIC KEY-----

You will copy and paste this data into the strongDM Admin UI when you turn on encryption at the strongDM and/or Relay level.

Store your private key (private.key by default) in a safe place. If you lose this key you will be unable to decrypt your logs, queries, and sessions.

Log Destinations

There are two places you can enable log encryption: the strongDM web portal and the local Relay level. Either or both can be protected with the public key you just set up.


When logging is enabled to the strongDM servers, queries and server sessions are visible for viewing and replay from the web portal and can also be accessed via the strongDM CLI interface. If you turn on strongDM encryption, however, queries and sessions will not be directly visible in the web portal. You will still be able to access them via the CLI, however. To learn how to do so, take a look at Using strongDM Logs.

To turn on strongDM server log encryption, ensure that Store with strongDM? is set to Yes and Remote encryption is set to Public key.

Enabling strongDM server log encryption
Enabling strongDM server log encryption

At this point, a text box will appear at the bottom of the page where you can paste in the public key you already created. Copy and paste the entire contents of the key into the text box, including the -----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY----- and -----END PUBLIC KEY----- lines.

Finally, click on the update button. You will receive a confirmation notice before the changes take effect.