Audit SQL Server for restraining data threats and experience advanced server performance

Umendra Singh
| Time 5 min read| Updated On - December 27, 2022

What is SQL server auditing and its importance

Business data needs to be maintained critically and SQL Server serves as a major database system to store all such data. Proper maintenance of SQL server is highly essential for smooth and robust performance of the server. Thus, the need to monitor them for better business management derives auditing requisites.

SQL server auditing does not resolve any issue on its own but definitely helps to diagnose the errors and take proactive steps to avoid them inflicting sustainable damage. It helps to track all activities within the server and monitor all changes for scrutinizing business specific requirements. Auditing helps to save time and cost by avoiding unwanted situations. It helps to be complaint with security standards and always keeps the server up and running for use.

Without auditing, any problem related to security, data loss, or maintenance cannot be dealt efficiently. Major issues come to light only when the damage has already incepted and consequences start bloating upfront – for example, leaked business secrets, disrupted personal information, or malfunctioning business applications.

In short, auditing itself can help to do the following:

  • Detect unwanted activities in-time
  • Get to know the cause and resolve issues immediately
  • Formulate structured plans for prevention of such problems in future

Native vs. Advanced auditing

The native auditing facilities bundled with SQL Server are entry-level solutions. The SQL Server C2 log is contained in a database, and can be worked with using SQL Query Analyzer. Another auditing option is the Error log which is text-based and lends purpose in change analysis. However, even in a medium sized organization, these services turn to be incapable and outmoded. Also, manual examination and correlation with events is a tedious task.

The time between the occurrence of an undesirable change and its detrimental effects on business can be quite short. Thus, change detection automation is very important to ensure timely response, but if the administrator relies only on native tools, a change-induced issue might take a week or longer to get noticed and resolved. Thus, resorting to third-party dedicated tools for audit reporting is the most feasible option. Lepide SQL Server Auditor possesses all required audit features to audit, track and resolve SQL server database changes.

How Lepide SQL Server Auditor works?

Lepide SQL Server Auditor offers a centralized platform for pragmatic auditing of SQL server logs across all servers within the network. It serves as a single repository for all SQL servers’ change logs to generate insightful reports and real-time alerts for critical changes. Centralized auditing saves time and cost which otherwise get engulfed in individual SQL server auditing.

Just register a new server and install the monitoring agent. It helps to archive SQL server change logs and store them in audit-ready condition. These logs are then used by this application to provide intrinsic information regarding the server usage and performance.

The software is competent to provide complete information through comprehensive reporting, instant alerts, centralized archiving, and automated report generation. The software offers essential information regarding who, what, when, and where made changes or accessed the server in an easy-to-comprehend format. It automatically generates change analysis report whenever any operation is performed in any of the databases of the SQL Server that is being monitored.

Main features of Lepide SQL Server Auditor

  • Helps to track who, what, when and where information for all changes happening in all SQL servers across network.
  • Offers a single repository for acquiring data regarding all changes in the network for auditing changes from a centralized platform.
  • Generates SQL query to view each change.
  • Server Report section shows all changes for last 30, 15, 7 days or last 24 hours. Specify customized date range to view the report for that timeframe
  • Allows filtering audit data on the basis various parameters and narrow down audit results
  • Generates instant alerts for critical changes occurring in any SQL server in the network.
  • Allows exporting generated reports in CSV, HTML and PDF formats.
  • Ensures complete data security stored across all SQL servers in the network through auditing changes and permissions.

Lepide SQL Server Auditor tracks and reports all kind of changes within the monitored SQL servers and databases. It provides data on the basis of create, alter, drop and failed (login) status. It monitors server activities and informs whenever any object is created such as user, database, table, etc. If any server or database attribute is altered such as permission is changed or a role is assigned, the software notifies about such changes. It also tracks and provides information when SQL server object is deleted or a user fails to login into the server console.

It provides numerous options to filter and audit only required objects. It allows filtering server data through parameters such as login, alert, DTS packages, databases, restore, replication, job, and failed login. Database results can be filtered and sorted through tables, stored procedures, triggers, user defined functions, users, roles, defaults, rules, views, full-text catalogs and renamed objects.

This helps to limit the log retrieval process to be more precise and effective. The auditing features and reports helps any organization to be in compliance with various security standards and regulations as specified under SOX, HIPAA, PCI and GLBA guidelines. These features and options make Lepide SQL Server Auditor a must-have tool for all SQL server administrators.

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