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TDE and SQL Server Databases


TDE and SQL Server Databases

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Perry Whittle
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item TDE and SQL Server Databases

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alex.thompson
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Could you elaborate on your bullet point about TDE not encrypting databases used in replication topologies? I'm thinking specifically of log-shipping.
Geoff A
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nice article. key points covered very well.
we use TDE. we have about half the databases encrypted. the others are not.
i noticed less than 5% increase in CPU usage implemening TDE. I find it to be a great feature.
Perry Whittle
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Geoff A (8/16/2012)
nice article. key points covered very well.
we use TDE. we have about half the databases encrypted. the others are not.
i noticed less than 5% increase in CPU usage implemening TDE. I find it to be a great feature.

Hi

thanks for your feedback. yes it is a great feature but it doesn't work well in all scenarios and this is what users should be aware of before implementing.

As an example, If all you want TDE for is to protect the disk files then NTFS ACLs would probably be less hassle and more appropriate that coupled with securing the rest of the Windows server platform

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Perry Whittle
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alex.thompson (8/16/2012)
Could you elaborate on your bullet point about TDE not encrypting databases used in replication topologies? I'm thinking specifically of log-shipping.

Replication does not replicate the database encryption calls, they have to be made manually.
Log shipping is not replication. See the following extract from Books Online

SQL Server Books Online
If a database is being used in database mirroring or log shipping, both databases will be encrypted. The log transactions will be encrypted when sent between them.


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chuck.hamilton
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I've tested TDE with log shipping. It works fine with it. You just have to install the same certificate onto the secondary servers that protects the DEK of the database.

I think he's referring to transactional, snapshot, and merge replication and TDE doesn't protect replicated objects unless the subscriber also implements TDE of it's own.
chuck.hamilton
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Nice article.

There's two more things that TDE does not protect...

1) Data in memory. Anyone with access to RAM, or who can cause a core dump and grab a copy of it can read whatever was in memory at the time. If you're concerned about this - at the very least clean up core dump files regularly.
2) Data in transit. The article does say that TDE only protects data at rest. I just feel that this needs to be emphasized. If you want to protect data on the network, you need to enable network encrpytion as well.

I'm hoping that Microsoft will address the encryption+compression problem in the next release. It's really not that difficult. Decrypt the backup stream, compress it, and re-encrypt it. Sure it will add CPU cycles, but if your compressing backups and encrypting databases, you're probably not concerned about the few extra CPU cycles anyway.

I use compressed backups and my own testing has found that TDE increases the backup size by almost double. YMMV.
Perry Whittle
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chuck.hamilton (8/16/2012)
2) Data in transit. The article does say that TDE only protects data at rest. I just feel that this needs to be emphasized. If you want to protect data on the network, you need to enable network encrpytion as well.

When used with log shipping and mirroring the log records are encryted during transit

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guy.stephens
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I'm surprised there isn't more mention generally about the fact that TDE is only available in SQL Enterprise edition.
This seems to be where it is least needed as the data and backup files in an Enterprise environment should be kept as secure as query access to the DBMS (which is unencrypted).

I would think SQL Standard edition is where this feature would be of most value as there is a greater likelihood of backups being handled or stored in an insecure manner.
Perry Whittle
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guy.stephens (8/16/2012)
I'm surprised there isn't more mention generally about the fact that TDE is only available in SQL Enterprise edition.
This seems to be where it is least needed as the data and backup files in an Enterprise environment should be kept as secure as query access to the DBMS (which is unencrypted).

I would think SQL Standard edition is where this feature would be of most value as there is a greater likelihood of backups being handled or stored in an insecure manner.

Yes fair comment.
Otherwise what did you think of the article content

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