SQL Server Column Encryption


By:   |   Updated: 2006-06-09   |   Comments (3)   |   Related: More > Encryption


Problem

When the most valuable component in your environment is storing sensitive data, doing so in clear text and relying on other security mechanisms to protect the data has come and gone.  As companies begin to use SQL Server for all their mission critical applications, data encryption has becomes a feature that is often needed to protect the data.  Moreover, legislation and growing security concerns have brought data security to the forefront of many IT shops things to do list.

 

Solution

Unfortunately, SQL Server 2000 has no native capabilities to encrypt a column.  Companies use a third party product to meet this need.  Here are some products on the market:

With SQL Server 2005, native encryption capabilities are available.  In this article (How To: Encrypt a Column of Data) an example is provided to build the following:
  • Master key
  • Certificate
  • Symmetric key
  • Apply the encryption key to the column

 

Next Steps
  • Work with your business and legal teams to understand which data needs to be protected and how it is currently being protected.  Ask the question - 'Are these security measures acceptable?' and see if column level encryption is necessary.
  • Determine other portions of your data that require encryption such as communications, file systems, files, backups, etc.
  • Take some time to review and test these technologies to determine if they are suitable for your needs.
  • Work with your team to rollout this level of security to properly protect your data.


Last Updated: 2006-06-09


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About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is the Co-Founder, Editor and Author at MSSQLTips.com, CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six time SQL Server MVP.

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Comments For This Article




Friday, May 31, 2013 - 3:43:26 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (25221)

Hassan,

I would check out NetLib - http://www.netlib.com/default.asp.

Let them know you heard about them from MSSQLTips.com.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader


Friday, May 31, 2013 - 3:02:45 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Back To Top (25218)

Hassan,

Let me look into this a little bit and see what I can find out.  I am not sure about the third party support.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec
Community Co-Leader


Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 11:09:27 AM - hassan Back To Top (25183)

thank you Jeremy for this article, however I have a question, what about sql server versions prior to 2000 (6.5 for example), are there any third parties to encrypt data? I have tried  XP_Crypt but it does not wwork...

thank you in advance for your help



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Recommended Reading

SQL Server Column Level Encryption Example using Symmetric Keys

Encrypting and Decrypting SQL Server Stored Procedures, Views and User-Defined Functions

Storing passwords in a secure way in a SQL Server database

Where Does SQL Server Store Its Certificates

SQL Server Database Encryption for GDPR Compliance with DbDefence








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