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Version: v1.7.0

Using secret store

As alternative to the usage of placing secrets into an IConfiguration instance in your application, the Arcus.Security.Core package provides a alternative concept called 'secret store'.

We provide an approach similar to how IConfiguration is built, but with a focus on secrets. You can pick and choose the secret providers you want to use and we'll get the job done!

Once register, you can fetch all secrets by using ISecretProvider which will get secrets from all the different registered secret providers.

๐Ÿ’ก See this section if you want to use the secret store functionality within Azure Functions.

Why would I use it?#

Why would you use our Arcus secret store instead of just using the Azure SDK directly to access Azure Key Vault secrets?

The Arcus secret store has some advantages over using the Azure SDK or configuration directly:

โœ” Caching

  • We provide caching so the secret providers will not be called upon every secret retrieval. This helps you avoiding hitting service limitations and we provide asynchronous cache invalidation.

โœ” Plug & play

  • We support using multiple and combinations of secret providers so with a single secret retrieval can query multiple secret providers (also multiple Azure Key Vaults).

โœ” Design for security

  • While using configuration for storing secrets can be good for development it is not a safe approach. With the secret store, we provide a single place to retrieve secrets instead of scattering the integration across the application.
  • Separating configuration data and sensitive secrets is key in developing secure projects. Vulnerabilities gets introduced when secrets are seen as data and are included in logs, for example. Or when expired secrets doesn't get transient handling upon retrieval.

โœ” Extensibility

Built-in secret providers#

Several built in secret providers available in the package.

And several additional providers in separate packages.

If you require an additional secret providers that aren't available here, please this document that describes how you can create your own secret provider.

Additional features#

Lists all the additional functions of the secret store.


For this feature, the following package needs to be installed:

PM > Install-Package Arcus.Security.Core


The secret stores are configured during the initial application build-up in the Program.cs:

using Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting;
public class Program{        public static void Main(string[] args)        {            CreateHostBuilder(args).Build().Run();        }
        public static IHostBuilder CreateHostBuilder(string[] args) =>            Host.CreateDefaultBuilder(args)                .ConfigureAppConfiguration((context, config) =>                 {                    config.AddJsonFile("appsettings.json")                          .AddJsonFile("appsettings.Development.json");                })                .ConfigureSecretStore((context, config, builder) =>                {#if DEBUG                    builder.AddConfiguration(config);#endif                    var keyVaultName = config["KeyVault_Name"];                    builder.AddEnvironmentVariables()                           .AddAzureKeyVaultWithManagedServiceIdentity($"https://{keyVaultName}");                })                .ConfigureWebHostDefaults(webBuilder => webBuilder.UseStartup<Startup>());    }}

Once the secret providers are defined, the ISecretProvider can be used as any other registered service:

using Arcus.Security.Core;
namespace Application.Controllers{    [ApiController]    public class HealthController : ControllerBase    {        public HealthController(ISecretProvider secretProvider)        {        }    }}

Configuring secret store without .NET host builder#

The secret store is also available directly on the IServiceCollection for applications that run without a .NET hosting context but still want to make use of the Arcus secret store.

Just like you would register the secret store on the HostBuilder, you can use the .AddSecretStore extension method to register the secret store:

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services){    IConfiguration configuration =         new ConfigurationBuilder()            .AddEnvironmentVariables()            .Build();
    services.AddSecretStore(stores =>    {        stores.AddEnvironmentVariables();                #if DEBUG        stores.AddConfiguration(configuration);        #endif            var keyVaultName = configuration["KeyVault_Name"];        stores.AddAzureKeyVaultWithManagedServiceIdentity($"https://{keyVaultName}");    });}

When your application wants to access a secret, all it has to do is use ISecretProvider which will give you access to all the registered secret providers.

Using secret store within Azure Functions#

See this page how the secret store can be used within Azure Functions.

Secret store configuration#

The secret store as additional configuration that controls the behavior of the store. See below the available features so you can setup your secret store for your needs.

Include security auditing#

The secret store has the ability to audit each secret retrieval so malicious activity can be spotted more easily. This functionality is available in both the regular .NET Core as Azure Functions environment.

.ConfigureSecretStore((config, stores) =>{    // Will log an security event for each retrieved secret, including the secret name and the provider that has tried to retrieve the secret.    // Default: `false`    stores.WithAuditing(options => options.EmitSecurityEvents = true);})