Database Administrators Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for database professionals who wish to improve their database skills and learn from others in the community. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have about 5 clients deployed running different versions of SQL Server 2008 (Some standard, some enterprise, etc.) And I am being tasked with encrypting the data so:

  1. The software we are using can still query the data with decent efficiency.
  2. DBA's can still get into the data through Management Studio.
  3. If someone were to obtain a copy of the backup files (being stored on an external HDD), they would be unable to restore the database.

It seemed as if Transparent Data Encryption would be perfect, and I have it functioning, but "This feature is only available in Enterprise and Developer Editions of SQL Server 2008".

I want to have the method of encryption standard over all of the deployed servers. What is a good method to do so? Should I simply encrypt the HDDs?

Also, am I missing any other way that a person could potentially get a copy of database (Assuming no passwords are breached)?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Requirement 2 requires the data be stored "normally": that is, you can't use encryption in the client for all data. Encrypting data in the client also contradicts requirement 1

Requirement 3 requires the media or the actual backups are encrypted. Encrypting the HDDs isn't reliable because once someone has the actual media then it can normally be unencrypted by a sysadmin.

So, I'd suggest using a 3rd party tool like Red Gate SQL Backup Pro or LiteSpeed by Quest to secure your backups. Points 1 and 2 are satisfied because the on-line database is unchanged

share|improve this answer
I forgot to accept this last year... better late than never! – MrZander Sep 25 '13 at 22:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.