Tips for Designing MS SQL Server Security to Protect Your Database

Microsoft SQL Server is a popular database used for websites and Microsoft Windows software. The database is beneficial for small or large companies. Microsoft also offers a free version called Microsoft SQL Server Express that helps software developers get started with programming database software. A database is an integral part of a dynamic website or desktop software. When you provide input for a web page and the displayed results are determined by that input, a database server is the backend for this type of programming. When you first get started programming database software, the first ideas that come to mind is designing the tables and programming stored procedures. However, security is also an important factor. The security design you create determines how easily your database can get hacked, and the level of protection offered for your users. Always Use Stored Procedures for Programming Database Functions Stored procedures are functions you create in the SQL Server database software. The functions retrieve, edit and delete records in the database tables. Using stored procedures help you avoid a common database security flaw called “SQL injection.” SQL injection is a type of database security hack that inserts SQL code into website requests. It allows the hacker to steal information and delete data. In some cases, the hacker can promote an account to the administrator, which gives him the ability to log in to the SQL Server. Use SQL Server Login Accounts (Mixed Mode) Instead of Windows Integration Microsoft SQL Server has two types of login implementations. The SQL Server Login option requires you to create a separate SQL Server account name for each user who needs access to the server. This type of authentication is preferred, because it blocks users on your network who you do not want to have access to the server. SQL Server mixed mode authentication is recommended for website database servers. You create a separate user with read-only rights on the SQL Server, which means if a hacker is able to gain access with that user, he is only able to read the data and can’t delete or destroy your information. The Windows authentication method means anyone who has a login on the network can access the SQL Server. This type of login authentication is more convenient for database administrators. It is beneficial for small companies that have an internal SQL Server unavailable from the Internet. Implement Object-Level Security on Tables Object-level security is a bit of a hassle, and it is only used on enterprise networks. Object-level security restricts the tables and types of queries a SQL login can use on the table. This means that you can only allow a user to view certain records in a table. You can also restrict entire tables, so sensitive information such as finances, social security numbers, and banking information is blocked. These three tips help you protect a Microsoft SQL Server from getting hacked, protect user data, and avoid the need for a system restore if data is destroyed. Even large companies are susceptible to common database security breaches, so implement the best security on your database to avoid future issues.