During the past few years with increasing attacks on systems and online portals, one of the most talked about areas has been cybersecurity and how to secure systems of all kinds. There have been regulations passed in different industries which call for increased compliance and state of the art security mechanisms.
Security is a vast field, one of the area which I would like to focus is on Cryptography. The area of cryptography deals with the practice of techniques for secure communication when there are presence of adversaries(folks who try to thwart secure communications/exchange of information). In the area of databases cryptography is gaining a lot of importance. SQL Server 2012 has options to add cryptography providers. There are different topics in the area of cryptography within SQL Server, each topic/category provides a level of encryption for the data. The mechanisms available in SQL Server are:
Transparent Data Encryption
Each of the above mechanisms offer varying level of encryption. Asymmetric keys offer a higher level of encryption than symmetric keys. In SQL Server, the cryptographic providers can be found in SSMS under the Security option in Object Explorer.
CREATE SYMMETRIC KEY, for example:
CREATE SYMMETRIC KEY TestKey09 WITH ALGORITHM = AES_256
ENCRYPTION BY CERTIFICATE Purchase04;
In the above example an Encryption is done by AES 256 algorithm and and encrypts the key with the certificate Purchase04. Similarly there are other functions to create a asymmetric key and certificates.
The above options provide mechanisms to have more secure databases.