SQL Server auditing – how to be alerted about important auditing events

While numerous native auditing methods are available for SQL Server, none of them provides an out-of-the-box feature to generate an alert when a specific SQL Server event is detected. We will look to see how to come close with native solutions and also an out of the box solution, ApexSQL Audit

May 29, 2015

How to ensure continuous auditing of SQL Server with zero audited data loss

An optimal continuous SQL Server auditing approach must include:

  1. Continuous auditing
  2. Real time data collection
  3. Ability to generate meaningful reports
  4. Alerting on unwanted activities
  5. Tamper proof store of audit data

In many cases, the primary requirement that must be fulfilled is that auditing must be performed with zero auditing data lost.

April 28, 2015

SQL Server database trigger auditing – How to customize data tracking and reporting – Part 1

ApexSQL Trigger uses SQL Server database triggers for capturing and storing changes that occur on the audited data and schema. More specifically, the DML database triggers are used for capturing INSERT, UPDATE or DELETE statements, and DDL trigger is used for capturing CREATE, ALTER or DROP statements. Now, since there are various types of columns in each database table, reading the audit report is often not very user-friendly and this especially applies to foreign key values in different tables.

March 12, 2015

Tracking SQL Server object usage

There is a number of object types in SQL Server database system. Each has its own purpose and role in proper data management. However, sometimes it is required to check how some of them are used

February 19, 2014

Security and compliance in SQL Server

The primary purpose of any database management system is to store and provide accurate information as requested by other software clients. Security of the database system and the information it keeps is another crucial component. There are many aspects of SQL Server security configuration, such as authentication, server and database roles, ownership, or Common Language Runtime (CLR) integration. However, in this article, we’ll focus on those that are related to (and common for) most of compliance regulations.

February 7, 2014

Auditing security changes in SQL Server

When it comes to SQL Server security, it’s important to note that there are server and database security levels. All work done by a user is performed on a database, but in order to access the database and do the work, the user first needs to access the server, and afterwards the database – the server security level affects the database security level

February 6, 2014

SQL Server database security and compliance

When discussing SQL Server security, one of the most important terms is principal. Principals are SQL Server entities, arranged in a hierarchy, which can request specific SQL Server resources. There are various principals in SQL Server, and in this article we’ll focus on a database user entity. Unlike SQL Server login entities, which are used for accessing a SQL Server instance (a server-level principal), a database user entity (a database-level principal) is used for defining access to a particular database that belongs to the SQL Server instance

February 3, 2014

Auditing SELECT statements on SQL Server

Although SELECT statements are not destructive by nature, nor they can change either data or schema, there are several cases that require their auditing on SQL Server. Executed SELECT statements can indicate various current or potential issues, and this is the reason why it’s important to know who-saw-what and when

January 23, 2014

HIPAA Compliance for SQL Server DBAs

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a security act that sets standards for ensuring security, privacy, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient health information – electronic Protected Health Information (PHI).

January 16, 2014