ApexSQL Audit fault tolerant auditing – part I

What is fault tolerant auditing and why it is important

One of the characteristics a SQL Server auditing solution must have is to be reliable. It means that it is a solution you can trust, that doesn’t provide a false sense of security while in fact it is not auditing the parameters set, has information leak, data loss, or in some situations it’s not running at all

ApexSQL Audit is designed to be fault tolerant and handle the situations which can bring to auditing breakdowns

August 12, 2013

SQL Solution center round-up – July 5th, 2013

In the latest SQL Solution center articles we focused on SQL Server database auditing techniques and recovery options

Here is the aggregated summary for the past two weeks:

July 12, 2013

ApexSQL Audit 2013 Beta – Product update alert

ApexSQL Audit 2013 Beta has been released

Type: Beta release

About ApexSQL Audit: ApexSQL Audit is a SQL Server auditing tool with a wide range of possibilities for auditing access, changes, and security on SQL Server instances, databases, and objects. It audits queries, execute and security (authentication changes, permissions changes, attempted logins) operations on tables, stored procedures, functions and views, saves captured information in a centralized auditing repository, and provides comprehensive reports

June 24, 2013

ApexSQL Audit SQL auditing paradigm

Having an SQL auditing system in place seems like a straightforward way to harden the security of your SQL data. This way you can at least track the activities and changes done to your SQL Server instance and databases, and depending on the specific auditing system you are using, you might even prevent or roll back malicious or inadvertent changes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that just having a SQL auditing system up and running is not enough. Poorly planned or supervised auditing solutions may lull you into a false sense of security, and actually result in you discovering an information leak or data loss much later than if you had no auditing set up in the first place

June 7, 2013

Database auditing: Tamper-Evident design

ApexSQL Audit has been designed by recognizing the principle that it is impossible to prevent tampering by trusted parties with software-only solutions. Even the worst-case scenario of an attacker obtaining trusted privileges is thus simply reduced to treating all tampering the same, no matter where it comes from. So we’ve applied this principle in all areas that affect auditing, from capturing of audited data all the way to its storage. This has been critical in ensuring not only easy compliance, but actually making tampering obvious

May 28, 2013

SQL auditing – Why We Developed ApexSQL Audit – Part II

As we have seen in the 1st part of this article, in order to solve the overarching problem of easy compliance, we had to solve many different problems main of which were:

  1. Capturing of what-was-executed and of other auditing events of interest
  2. Fault tolerant auditing
  3. Centralized storage of audited data and integrity checks
  4. Centralized reporting
  5. Prevention from tampering of audited data, or exposure when prevention is not possible (e.g. data tampered by trusted user accounts, hacked or otherwise)

In this 2nd part of this article, we will go deeper into solutions that we applied to each of these problems

May 21, 2013

SQL auditing – Why We Developed ApexSQL Audit – Part I

ApexSQL has a long history in SQL Server auditing space with two tools that either prepare databases for auditing, or actually perform auditing. ApexSQL Trigger automates creation of triggers (among other things) that track data modifications on selected tables, while ApexSQL Log reads the database transaction log, extracting data modifications from it. Both of these tools show who-did-what, achieving it in different ways, with their own relative strengths and weaknesses. But these tools also lack the means to satisfy stringent regulations on data access (including who-saw-what), and out-of-the-box prevention from tampering, and that is why we built ApexSQL Audit: to make compliance with auditing regulations easy

May 20, 2013