One Identity to Bolster Microsoft SQL Server and Azure SQL Database Security with End-to-End Privileged Access Management

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One Identity Safeguard solution now supports Microsoft SQL Server 2017 and SQL Server 2019 database environments. One Identity is the first privileged access management (PAM) vendor to audit SQL Server  and Azure SQL Database connections by native client support, drastically speeding up and simplifying deployment, maintenance and user workflows – not only for full time employed users but third-party users as well.

The Dangers of Unfettered Privileged Database Access

Hackers want access to privileged or administrative accounts because they provide virtually limitless access to an organisation’s most sensitive data and systems – including databases. Thousands of organisations from across the globe rely on SQL Server databases to store a wide range of highly sensitive information, from core business software to customer and employee information, making administrative access protections critical.

If a hacker gets a hold of a database administrators’ credentials and access is not properly managed and monitored, not only could sensitive data within the database be exposed, but also data within other systems. Because administrative passwords are commonly reused and shared, bad actors are incentivised to move laterally across IT systems, testing successful administrator credentials on various privileged systems until more and more access is obtained.

“Database security has never been more paramount as hackers place an increasingly high value on an organisation’s stored data assets,” said Serkan Cetin, One Identity’s Asia Pacific Technical Director. “Key to protecting these assets is ensuring that database administrator access and activity is fully monitored and managed in order to quickly identify suspicious commands and potential security threats. We launched native support for recording SQL Server and Azure SQL Database sessions in Safeguard to help organisations increase database security to protect their most sensitive and valuable information.”

Securing Privileged Access in SQL Server Environments

With One Identity Safeguard, administrative access to SQL Server and Azure SQL Database are fully managed, controlled and audited. The integrated solution includes a secured and hardened password vault, a real-time session monitoring and recording and privileged behavior analytics to quickly shut down threats while providing database administrators with the access they need to complete their job functions. Security of SQL Server environments can be further improved with two-factor authentication solutions, an integration with third party authentication and authorization systems with plugins or storing SQL passwords in the vault.

Safeguard features integrations with backend user management systems, such as Microsoft Active Directory or LDAP, with policy-based access enforcement and credential management. For example, administrators are required to provide personal credentials before access is granted, while a password vault enables password check-out for authorized users only to prevent password sharing.

Session monitoring and recording gives organisations real-time and historic visibility into the data and systems that database administrators access. Audited sessions are encrypted, timestamped and stored in a trail file for tamper-proof evidence of actions taken throughout each session. Organisations can also execute commands – like initiating security alerts – in near real-time when a risky command is observed. Additionally, Safeguard serves as a proxy, inspecting application-level protocol traffic and can reject any traffic in violation of that protocol to shield the organization against attacks.

One Identity uniquely offers native support for recording and monitoring SQL Server and Azure SQL Database environments, meaning organisations can leverage their existing database tools and processes to access SQL environments. This eliminates the need for organisations to increase security without changing the way users gain access to SQL environments.

“Due to the critical data stored in SQL environments both on-premises and in the cloud, ensuring only authorized users get access is critical to data protection” said Wisam Hirzalla, senior director, Azure Marketing at Microsoft Corp.  “One Identity Safeguards monitoring capabilities work natively with both SQL Server on-premises and Azure SQL Database to ensure only authorised users gain access.”

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