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How to configure Always Encrypted in SQL Server 2016 using SSMS, PowerShell and T-SQL

In an era of remote storage and retrieval of data, including the cloud, data security plays a vital role, especially since it’s vulnerable during the transit. Situations like database backup or copy from or to the cloud, there is always a risk of data exposure to outside world lurking around one corner or the other. We have seen a noticeable surge in the technologies around protection and security of data from the world full of unsafe hands. Efforts are being made to protect data at a very granular level of the encryption hierarchy. Protection of business data cannot be stressed upon more.

One way of inching towards the more secure transmission of data is to enable Always Encrypted on the database. We’ll look into the various options we have, including enabling this at granular levels; we’ll look at enabling this at the column level.

The Always Encrypted feature was available only in the Enterprise and Developer editions of SQL Server 2016. Later, this feature was made available on all editions, with SQL Server 2016 SP1. Always Encrypted has the ability to encrypt data even at the column level.

There are several ways to configure the Always Encrypted feature:

  1. Using the Always Encrypted wizard
  2. Configuring AE using SSMS
  3. Create Master Key and Encryption Key using T-SQL and enabling encryption
  4. Configuring Always Encrypted using PowerShell

How to configure Always Encrypted in SQL Server 2016 using SSMS, PowerShell and T-SQL

Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear and learn from you as well.

Thanks for reading my space!


PowerSQL By Prashanth Jayaram

Technology enthusiast with 7+ years of experience in Database Technology. I am Microsoft Certified Professional with certificates of OCA, MCP, MCTS, MCITP developer, MCITP administration and backed with a degree in Master of Computer Application. My expertise lies in T-SQL programming, Replication, PowerShell and Performance Tuning. Hobbies are Drawing, playing soccer and listening to Melodies songs.

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