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A Fundamental Security Mistake


A Fundamental Security Mistake

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Matt Miller (4)
Matt Miller (4)
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I don't quite get what benefit there would be from TDE on Express. TDE only is useful for the data "at rest": if you have physicial access to the server and you're SA on the server (i.e. the default setting in Express), you have full access to everything in the database. Sure you're can't steal a backup for the database, but then again - you can simply go in and execute "select * from mytable".

I don't deny that it could be useful to ensure that your backup media is encrypted (unless you don't keep track of your keys in a separate place, in case you're essentially scr***d, but still - I think we're overselling its usefulness.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
crowhill
crowhill
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the company I work for is managing some hundred client sales applications in the pharm business. Most of these are express edition, some larger clients have workgroup edition. I'm a member of the db-development team.
Since customer data in pharm / health care business is very sensitive, we (and most of our customers) would prefer to have stronger security on their data. The customers - with a few exception - do not have admin permission on their servers, so TDE would make perfect sense for us. Enterprise edition is way out of scope. After all, we are often struggling to explain the need for a workgroup edition if data volume makes this unavoidable.



blandry
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I completely agree with Steve on this one... Arguments about who does what with SQL Express and that there is no DBA involved are hardly adequate when one is talking about a feature as important as the TDE. The feature should be there and then let the user choose whats done or not with it.

But I think this is overall just another indicator of how out of touch Microsoft is these days. Those of us who loaded Visual Studio 2008 only to find that it causes Winzip to cease to function have been all over Microsoft for months. Then Microsoft announced that the bug was "resolved". What was the resolution? They announced it will be fixed in the 2010 version. THAT IS A RESOLUTION?!?!?!

Or how about Office 2007 and the now infamous "ribbon". We delivered Office 2007 to a large segment of our client base. To date, more than a 1/2 of them have thrown it out the window and gone back to Office 2003. Microsoft responded to us "Well, they don't have to use the ribbon..." Yeah??? WELL WHY BUILD IT IN THERE THEN?!?!?

For 30 years I have been supportive of Microsoft, but over these last two years well, I have to admit I find the company often intolerable. They have lost their edge, and their way. They love over-complexity and gaping holes in products (like the TDE missing). This is a company so focused on selling us "new" products every couple years that they don't seem to care very much about the crud that goes out their doors.

As well, business wise, MS is stumbling badly too - read about it at any of these links...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/03/steve-ballmer-laughs-at-i_n_378518.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-galloway/steve-ballmer-is-carnac-t_b_148556.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/01/steve-ballmer-blue-screen_n_376013.html

I just thank God that in a couple years I can retire and be done with this kind of mediocrity. But as I look back I see one fatal flaw in the business model of this country. We should NEVER allow any one company to control things as MS has done. It stifles competition and level-headed thinking - and that is why the TDE is not there, and VS2008 is more like a virus than a product, and Office 2007 is like shoving rotted hamsters down a lion's mouth.

Microsoft - Where DONT you want to go today?

There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
SQLRNNR
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I agree with Steve. I would prefer to have extra security on the laptops - not to the level of fully encrypting the entire hard drive. Security as options should be standard across all editions of SQL Server. If the DBA employs those options, that is their decision. As the DBA, I would rather the option be available so I can use it, than be the one questioned, since it is a database, and not have a legitimate answer for the lost data on the laptop.



Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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Matt Miller (4)
Matt Miller (4)
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CirquedeSQLeil (12/21/2009)
I agree with Steve. I would prefer to have extra security on the laptops - not to the level of fully encrypting the entire hard drive. Security as options should be standard across all editions of SQL Server. If the DBA employs those options, that is their decision. As the DBA, I would rather the option be available so I can use it, than be the one questioned, since it is a database, and not have a legitimate answer for the lost data on the laptop.


And yet - if you use Express (with the built-in SSMS for express, and the default user = SA), how is the encryption helping anyone? You just fire up SSMS, and voila, instant access to the data and all of its contents. The database automatically decrypts the data for anyone who's authorized, so the owner oof the laptop STILL cannot be denied access to the data.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
Gift Peddie
Gift Peddie
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the company I work for is managing some hundred client sales applications in the pharm business. Most of these are express edition, some larger clients have workgroup edition. I'm a member of the db-development team.
Since customer data in pharm / health care business is very sensitive, we (and most of our customers) would prefer to have stronger security on their data.


I am with Matt on this Express does not need TDE because SQL Server Express was created to help Access users stop using Access with Asp.net 2.0 and other developers help small companies use .NET 2.0. When last I checked Pharma and Healthcare don't qualify as small companies but both industries like wasting money on a lot of other things technology not included.

Kind regards,
Gift Peddie
Lynn Pettis
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I could see developers writing client apps that using Compact and Express editions for holding data in flight locally. TDE may be necessary if those apps hold critical data, particularly if these apps are remote apps using replication back to a central server.

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Lynn Pettis

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Gift Peddie
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Lynn Pettis (12/21/2009)
I could see developers writing client apps that using Compact and Express editions for holding data in flight locally. TDE may be necessary if those apps hold critical data, particularly if these apps are remote apps using replication back to a central server.


SQL Server 2005 and up comes with standard .NET encryption which allows sensitive data to be encrypted as needed not the whole database.

Kind regards,
Gift Peddie
Lynn Pettis
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If it can be done transparently at the database level there may be a better chance of developers making use of the technology when it is needed without specialized coding.

Cool
Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
For tips to get better help with Performance Problems, click here
For Running Totals and its variations, click here or when working with partitioned tables
For more about Tally Tables, click here
For more about Cross Tabs and Pivots, click here and here
Managing Transaction Logs

SQL Musings from the Desert Fountain Valley SQL (My Mirror Blog)
Gift Peddie
Gift Peddie
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Lynn Pettis (12/21/2009)
If it can be done transparently at the database level there may be a better chance of developers making use of the technology when it is needed without specialized coding.


We are talking the same thing SQL Server 2005 and up comes with DPAPI check the links below there is T-SQL code in the first link.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms179331(SQL.90).aspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189586(SQL.90).aspx

Kind regards,
Gift Peddie
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