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Column Encryption in SQL Server 2005


Column Encryption in SQL Server 2005

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Marios Philippopoulos
Marios Philippopoulos
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I'd like to know what is possible with column encryption in SQL Server 2005.

Do people have any experiences with this topic that they would like to share?

Any performance-related issues with column encryption?

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yes we can implement column level encryption using the ASYMMETRIC KEY and SYMMETRIC KEY to encrypt & decrypt the column data.

check msdn for brief help on ASYMMETRIC KEY and SYMMETRIC KEY.
Marios Philippopoulos
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Abhijit (8/22/2008)
yes we can implement column level encryption using the ASYMMETRIC KEY and SYMMETRIC KEY to encrypt & decrypt the column data.

check msdn for brief help on ASYMMETRIC KEY and SYMMETRIC KEY.


Thank you, I also found a couple of articles here on this site.

Any stories to share on the performance impact of column encryption? Any caveats to watch out for?

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KDASQL
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Here is some more reference items from msdn for sql server 2005 encryption:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189586.aspx
GilaMonster
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Main perf problem is that indexes on an encrypted column are useless. The encryption routines are no deterministic and so you can't encrypt a value and compare with the encrypted column. You have to decrypt the column and compare with the value. That means no index seeks.


Gail Shaw
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One issue I have run into is the restoration of the encryption key if it is lost from the server. If you have a copy of the master it is possible to restore it and have access to you encrypted data but BOL make it sound easy but there are many steps that aren't in one place. I would practice a few times as it is easy to over write to information and render it useless.

If you find a better guide than BOL please post it as my notes have worked but are not complete.
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