Database security options to protect data in SQL Server

With all the hype stirred up by high-profile database breaches and the dozens of privacy and security regulations, there's a new how-to dilemma for SQL Server developers and DBAs coming on strong from owners. They're asking:

  • How are you protecting sensitive data in the database?
  • What encryption method are you using for your database?
  • How are you separating our data from that of others?
  • We have lots of different clients – can you encrypt each data set? (the worst question of them all)

    As wacky as these questions seem, they're being asked, and you'll need to know how to respond whether you're an independent software developer, work for a large enterprise, or fall somewhere in the middle.

    Many of those requesting database separation and encryption are going into this blindly. They're getting pressure from auditors, managers, salespeople, or customers who don't understand how databases security works. Many believe separating data sets and enabling database encryption are as easy as flipping a switch. They don't realize what DBAs and developers are up against. There are performance requirements, code re-writes, necessary system upgrades, implementation of third-party controls, system maintenance, and so on. Needless to say, all of this comes at a price which is often a hard pill to swallow for the very people demanding it.

    I've never been an alarmist when it comes to database separation and encryption, but there's no denying the facts;

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