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Disable & Rename 'SA'


Disable & Rename 'SA'

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abo_moaaz
abo_moaaz
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Hi All,

Our SQL risk assessment determined that 'sa' should be renamed and disabled. As a fallback readiness, i gathered all objects owned by 'sa', but noted some system packages such as : PerfCountersCollect, PerfCountersUpload, QueryActivityCollect,SqlTraceCollect, TSQLQueryUpload, SqlTraceUpload. Any impact ananticipated post 'sa rename & disable on existing SQL2K8 R2 instances, or during SP1 to SP2 upgrade.

A good workwork-around was posted earlier for SQL2K5 (http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Forums/Topic560965-391-1.aspx) , but not sure if same applies to SQL2K8 R2.

Thanks

Othman.



Orlando Colamatteo
Orlando Colamatteo
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Disabling sa should be enough. I would forego the rename.

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GilaMonster
GilaMonster
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I would also not rename the account.

Renaming it makes the account harder for hackers to locate and try to crack, but if the account's disabled there's no way to log in with it and hence it doesn't matter what the name is. Also there have been upgrade problems in the past with a renamed account. I would hope MS has learnt better, but I won't bet on it.

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

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abo_moaaz
abo_moaaz
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Thanks Gail & opc for your reply.



kevaburg
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Additionally, and where possible, I would leave the database with Integrated Security only. I know of very few instances where there is an absolute need to have an SQL Server Login ability. By having all your database user and group management controlled through Active Directory there is absolutely no chance of a SQL Server login being compromised.
Orlando Colamatteo
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kevaburg (3/20/2013)
Additionally, and where possible, I would leave the database with Integrated Security only. I know of very few instances where there is an absolute need to have an SQL Server Login ability. By having all your database user and group management controlled through Active Directory there is absolutely no chance of a SQL Server login being compromised.

That is the exqct opposite to my experience. In fact, having contributed in some really large corporate Enterprises as well as some one-instance shops, and lots in between, I can count on one hand the number instances not running in mixed-mode.

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kevaburg
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The focus for my answer was actually based around the phrase "the absolute need to have SQL Server Logins". Are they truly necessary? In the vast majority of cases I have worked on, an AD-based account was quite capable of doing the job of the SQL Server account. Where it wasn't capable of replacing it, it was only because the software had been hard-coded NOT to accept AD credentials.

One of my first questions to vendors is whether or not an SQL Server login is necessary. If so, why? Normally the answer is one that offers me the ability to create an equivalent AD-based login. An unfortunate fact as well is that a lot of vendors tend to understand their software and their own underlying database but not the server on which it runs and the security models available.

So in answer to my own question "are SQL Server Logins truly necessary"? I would say very rarely.
Orlando Colamatteo
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That's fair, and you're right to challenge that point in an attempt to keep instances out of mixed-mode, I do the same. The reality is that it just takes one legacy app, or one client that cannot support Windows Auth, to cause it to be enabled.

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kevaburg
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And that is my argument for at least two instances on each database server.....one with and one without! Smile
Orlando Colamatteo
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kevaburg (3/20/2013)
And that is my argument for at least two instances on each database server.....one with and one without! Smile

Yikes! You must print money over there...can you send me some :-) I won;t say never, but I cannot imagine a scenario when I would argue that needing mixed-mode should provoke spinning up a new instance to isolate those databases that have clients that require it. I am thinking memory management becomes harder and less efficient, licensing costs go up, maintenance costs go up for applying SPs and CUs, and you still have an instance with SQL Logins so what do you get in return? I would love to hear your reasoning behind such a position.

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There are no special teachers of virtue, because virtue is taught by the whole community. --Plato
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