Almost daily, a security breach is revealed in the news, with many more that never make the headlines. The FBI estimates that less then 20% of all cases are reported, as organizations are afraid to make the information about data theft and security breaches available to the public, which could damage their reputation and business prospects. Moreover, FBI annual surveys indicate that in the last several years the percentage of organizations reporting security breaches to law enforcement is on the decline. The key reason cited for not reporting intrusions to law enforcement is the concern for negative publicity.
On the other hand, investing into information security offers no clearly calculated return on investment. As a result, many organizations are unlikely to adopt strict information security policies if they come heavy at the expense of productivity and revenue. To deal with that problem, a number of regulatory standards such as SOX, Basel II, HIPAA, GLBA, and other have been adopted in recent years. Companies of all types and sizes are now legally required to audit access and usage of their systems and business applications.
Having the right means to meet compliance and auditing requirements is more important than ever. Effective audit trails are crucial to understanding what actions must be taken to protect sets of sensitive data. Logging and analyzing events directly associated with the data in the database is essential. There are few tools around for this purpose, and DB Audit Expert, from SoftTree Technologies, is one of them.
DB Audit Expert is a database auditing solution for Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server. It enables DBAs, system administrators, security administrators, and auditors to track and analyze any database activity, including database security, access and usage, data creation, change, or deletion. DB Audit Expert addresses key database security concerns that include database security and vulnerabilities assessment, database access and user activity auditing, business and regulatory compliance. DB Audit also addresses business process tracking issues that include business data change tracking, user and application activities monitoring, and data access patterns monitoring.
Version and Configuration
This review was done using the following software and hardware configuration:
- Operating System: Windows 2000 Advanced Server Service Pack 4
- SQL Server: Version 2000 Service Pack 4
- DB Audit Expert 2.7.52
- Processor: Intel Pentium CPU 2.80 GHz
- Memory: 512 MB
Technical Specifications Required to Run the Software:
- Disk space – 17 MB,
- Memory – 128 MB,
- CPU – Pentium or compatible
DB Audit Expert supports multiple database platforms, including SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, IBM DB2, which is a definite advantage over other similar tools. This review focuses only on how DB Audit Expert operates with SQL Server.
DB Audit Expert comes with easy installation setup and it supports two types of installation. One is the Management Console and the other is the User Report Viewer. The Management Console setup is supported for all the configurations that are needed for DB Audit Expert to be operated. It also includes report viewing. The User Report Viewer supports only the report viewing facilities. Because of this dual setup option, DBAs can configure DB Audit Expert for his or her own use as administrators, and then set up the User Report Viewer for those who need to track and analyze audit results.
To use DB Audit Expert, first, you have to register the SQL Server you wish to audit. At the registration, you can assign a descriptive profile name for a SQL Server. After registering the SQL Server, your next steps depend on what your concerns are.
If you are concerned about database security, user, and application access and activities monitoring, you can use the System Audit menu to set up database auditing policies and event tracking.
If you are concerned about database protection from external threads, user account setups, password weaknesses, and would like to perform database vulnerabilities assessment, you can use utilities from the Tools menu to run various database attack simulation tests.
If you are concerned about business process tracking and data change auditing, you can use the Data Audit menu to set up data change triggers, data change email alerts, and associated options.