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Gethyn Ellis,
SQL Consultant, Northdoor
24th October 2019

 

 

Design your server from the ground up with security in mind

One of the most crucial challenges facing many businesses in today’s cyber world is keeping it’s data safe.  The concept of security, data security and data protection has moved further into speciality areas of responsibility to mainstream corporate responsibility and corporate governance.

One of the essential jobs for a DBA is keeping your data safe, but this role is not limited just to a DBA. Developers, system administrators and IT users all have a role to play too. The best way to ensure that a system is secure is to design it from the ground up with security in mind, so it’s essential to consider every person and role involved in interacting with a system.

Why all the fuss? To a cyber criminal or hacker, data is money. Personal information such as names, address, and banks details are worth a lot. Hackers continue to develop more sophisticated means to steal data every second of every day, so precaution must be made to ensure your data is protected at all times.

With the introduction of GDPR, there are considerable repercussions, including enormous fines for those who fail to collect, manage and dispose of data inappropriate ways. So, ensuring that your data is secure has become more critical than ever to everyone at all levels in the business.  With this in mind, what can we do to ensure our SQL server is as secure as possible?

Before looking at the specifics in SQL Server let’s take a step back and understand the database platform.

Remember: is only a link more than an extensive chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so we must check the underlying systems that support the database to ensure they are also as secure as possible.

Things you should consider when safeguarding your data:

If the above are not in place or not secure, then your entire IT infrastructure will be vulnerable. If a cyber criminal can hack into your system with elevated privileges, then they can circumvent your SQL server security to get to the data files regardless of the level of protection surrounding your SQL server.

Assuming your IT systems are as secure as possible, what can we do to SQL Server to protect it even more?

This is not a fully exhaustive list but undoubtedly a good starting point:

Over time and through various versions and releases of SQL Server, Microsoft has tried to enhance the product.

One area they have introduced several new features is around encryption. There are several encryption techniques available in SQL server now, that can help you keep your data safe:

There is also the concept of row-level security that gives you control over who can see which rows in a table, based on the user’s rights.

There are still lots of systems on the internet where a simple SQL injection attack can easily extract the data.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but the most important thing is that you have thought through and made your system as secure as possible.

For more information contact our SQL experts

Read more:

To the Cloud! SQL options in Azure
Introducing SQL Server 2019
Still running SQL Server 2008 R2 or later? You are missing out! 
SQL Server Performance Tips
How Best To Secure Your SQL Server

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