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Chapter 13: SQL Server Data Security > Understanding the SQL Server Key Infrast...

Understanding the SQL Server Key Infrastructure

Encryption is the process of scrambling data using an algorithm so that it is unreadable without access to a key to decrypt the data. Plaintext can be converted to ciphertext using several different algorithms with varying levels of strength and key size. Protecting the keys used to encrypt sensitive data is critical, and SQL Server provides an extensive key management infrastructure.

There are many ways that encryption is used in a SQL Server environment, including:

  • To provide an additional layer of security for sensitive data
  • To comply with regulations, standards, or laws protecting data
  • To protect server objects, such as credentials and linked server login passwords
  • To provide a controlled way to elevate privileges for code modules

  

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