Transparent SQL Server Encryption

Handling encryption of SQL Server data on your own can get to be a huge pain, especially when someone starts asking for data out of the database such as “can you give me a report of all of our customers who live in a Zip Code beginning with 10 that have a Company name which starts with ra”. If you haven’t tried doing queries on encrypted data when the criteria you’re using to search by isn’t a primary key, the best example I can think of to describe how it sucks is that each encrypted column of data in the database is basically a primary key, and it’s impossible to use operators such as % or * to search this data.

I haven’t tried out any of these products, but they do look interesting:

DbEncrypt
XP Crypt
SafeJDBC

I’d be interested to try them out to see if they can actually handle queries using wildcards and other fun operators, but my guess would be no. I would also have to worry about the stability of a company selling a niche product like that. Why, you ask? Potentially you could be stuck with an unsupported encryption product which all of your critical data is encrypted with, and that would obviously not be a good thing.

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