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SQL Server Security Distilled Paperback – July 1, 2003
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From the Publisher
Curlingstone is a new imprint providing practical information on all aspects of the technology, techniques, and job roles that form the database community. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Morris Lewis has been smitten with Structured Query Language since the first time his professor wrote SELECT * FROM AUTHORS on the chalkboard 14 years ago. He has worked with no other database server since he first installed SQL Server 4.21a on his 16MHZ Intel 386 computer with all of the 32 megabytes of RAM running Windows NT 3.51 many years ago. With the mantra, "It is O.K. to worry if they really are out to get you," he has focused on all aspects of securing Windows and SQL Server since he connected his first server to the Internet. Now, he runs a training and consulting company, Holistech Inc., which focuses on helping clients create better and more secure database applications, and teaching them how to avoid the mistakes that can lead to problems in the future. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Still reading some more chapter, after that i will review my review!
This book also goes deeper than the basic introduction to the various security mechanisms. Many books will tell you what SQL Server offers, but very few provide detailed information on *how* and *why* it works the way it does. Each chapter provides insights into the inner workings of SQL Server's security architecture and provides practical advice on how to use that information to keep your systems safe.
There are some other books that focus on showing you "hackers' tricks" for attacking your database servers, but this book takes the premise that if you do things the right way from the beginning, no hacker is ever going to find a trick that works on your systems. As an example, this book recommended configuring firewalls to block the traffic used by the Spammer virus long before the virus became news. Those who read this book and followed its advice slept soundly the weekend that Spammer was taking the Internet down.
Since the future of Curlingstone is in doubt, support for the book has moved to [...] and the author is not only committed to maintaining the current work but also planning to release an interim update in electronic format in the fall covering changes in SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3 and any new discoveries found since December, 2002. The author also plans to release additional chapters on Yukon early next year for early adopters. This book is alive and will be updated periodically to keep its readers safe from the bad guys.
And I learned a bunch from this book. This is one of the best references on SQL Server Security that I have seen written and I recommend it highly to every SQL Server DBA.
The book is written to cover versions 6.5, 7.0, and 2000. And it does a great job with each. It starts by looking at the way that logins are authenticated by the server. Great detail is given, even to the point of examining network sniffer traces to show how the communication occurs between the client and server.
From there, the database security is examined with separate chapters for v6.5 and 7/2000 since they work differently. Not only is the process explained, but the author notes where there are bugs and unforseen consequences of assigning security in certain ways.
The early chapters provide insight into how security works in SQL Server. The later chapters build on this to give hints and suggestions for implementing security in your applications, DTS, replication, and even SQL Server CE.
Overall, this is a must read for SQL Server DBAs. Developers will benefit as well since a thorough understanding can solve a great many problems and prevent even more.
I worked on the SQL Security team during the SQL 2005 "Yukon" release. I can tell you there is really a lot of new material (entirely new hierarchical permissions model, certificate and key management, catalog security, transparent data encryption, etc.). While this may be a fine book, I just wanted to warn you that if you're working with SQL 2005, SQL 2008, SQL 2008 R2 you need to get a more up-to-date source.
Noticably absent were any discussions of the security implications of MSDE or a detailed guide to setting up SSL on SQL Server. That said, the information in this book is absolutely vital to anyone who needs to get up to date on SQL Server security and doesn't have time to sort through Books Online, White Papers, and assorted websites on the subject.
The book is well written, explains the subject matter well, and is very high on my list of suggested reading.