SQL Database audit

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Sql database audit:

Sql database audit Auditing an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine or an individual database involves tracking and logging events that occur on the Database Engine. SQL Server audit lets you create server audits, which can contain server audit specifications for server level events, and database audit specifications for database level events. There are several levels of auditing for SQL Server, depending on government or standards requirements for your installation . You can record server audit action groups per-instance, and either database audit action groups or database audit actions per database. The audit event will occur every time that the auditable action is encountered. All editions of SQL Server support server level audits. Database level auditing is limited to Enterprise, Developer, and Evaluation editions. http://www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

Why database audit?:

Why database audit? Enable future accountability for current actions taken in a particular schema, table, row or affecting specific content Deter users from inappropriate actions based on that accountability Investigate suspicious activity Notify an auditor that an unauthorized user is manipulating or deleting data and that the user has more privileges than expected which can lead to reassessing user authorizations Monitor and gather data about specific database activities http://www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

Overview of sql audit:

Overview of sql audit You can use SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL to define an audit. After the audit is created and enabled, the target will receive entries. You can read the Windows event logs by using the  Event Viewer  utility in Windows. For file targets, you can use either the  Log File Viewer  in SQL Server Management Studio or the  fn_get_audit_file  function to read the target file. The general process for creating and using an audit is as follows. Create an audit and define the target. Create either a server audit specification or database audit specification that maps to the audit. Enable the audit specification. Enable the audit. Read the audit events by using the Windows  Event Viewer ,  Log File Viewe r, or the fn_get_audit_file function. http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

SQL Server Audit components:

SQL Server Audit components An audit is the combination of several elements into a single package for a specific group of server actions or database actions. The components of SQL Server audit combine to produce an output that is called an audit, just as a report definition combined with graphics and data elements produces a report. SQL Server audit uses Extended Events to help create an audit. http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

SQL database Audit Specification:

SQL database Audit Specification The Server Audit Specification object belongs to an audit. You can create one server audit specification per audit, because both are created at the SQL Server instance scope. The database audit specification collects database-level audit actions raised by the Extended Events feature. You can add either audit action groups or audit events to a database audit specification.  Audit events  are the atomic actions that can be audited by the SQL Server engine.  Audit action groups  are predefined groups of actions. Both are at the SQL Server database scope. These actions are sent to the audit, which records them in the target. Do not include server-scoped objects, such as the system views, in a user database audit specification http://www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx


Target The results of an audit are sent to a target, which can be a file, the Windows Security event log, or the Windows Application event log. Logs must be reviewed and archived periodically to make sure that the target has sufficient space to write additional records When you are saving audit information to a file, to help prevent tampering, you can restrict access to the file location in the following ways: The SQL Server Service Account must have both Read and Write permission. Audit Administrators typically require Read and Write permission. This assumes that the Audit Administrators are Windows accounts for administration of audit files, such as : copying them to different shares, backing them up, and so on. Audit Readers that are authorized to read audit files must have Read permission http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

Database mirroring and sql audit:

Database mirroring and sql audit A database that has a database audit specification defined and that uses database mirroring will include the database audit specification. To work correctly on the mirrored SQL instance, the following items must be configured: The mirror server must have an audit with the same GUID to enable the database audit specification to write audit records. This can be configured by using the command CREATE AUDIT WITH GUID =  <GUID from source Server Audit>. For binary file targets, the mirror server service account must have appropriate permissions to the location where the audit trail is being written. For Windows event log targets, the security policy on the computer where the mirror server is located must allow for service account access to the security or application event log. http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

DDL Statements:


Dynamic Views and Functions:

Dynamic Views and Functions The following table lists the dynamic views and function that you can use for SQL Server Auditing Dynamic views and functions Description sys.dm_audit_actions Returns a row for every audit action that can be reported in the audit log and every audit action group that can be configured as part of SQL Server Audit. sys.dm_server_audit_status Provides information about the current state of the audit. sys.dm_audit_class_type_map Returns a table that maps the class_type field in the audit log to the class_desc field in sys.dm_audit_actions. fn_get_audit_file Returns information from an audit file created by a server audit. http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

Catalog Views and Functions:

Catalog Views and Functions The following table lists the catalog views that you can use for SQL Server auditing . Catalog views Description sys.database _ audit_specifications Contains information about the database audit specifications in a SQL Server audit on a server instance. sys.database_audit_specification_details Contains information about the database audit specifications in a SQL Server audit on a server instance for all databases. sys.server_audits Contains one row for each SQL Server audit in a server instance. sys.server_audit_specifications Contains information about the server audit specifications in a SQL Server audit on a server instance. sys.server_audit_specifications_details Contains information about the server audit specification details (actions) in a SQL Server audit on a server instance. sys.server_file_audits Contains stores extended information about the file audit type in a SQL Server audit on a server instance. http://www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx


Permissions Each feature and command for SQL Server Audit has individual permission requirements . Unless otherwise specified, viewing catalog views requires a principal to have one of the following : Membership in the sysadmin fixed server role The CONTROL SERVER permission The VIEW SERVER STATE permission The ALTER ANY AUDIT permission The VIEW AUDIT STATE permission (gives only the principal access to the sys.server_audits catalog view ) http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx

Permissions – contd…:

Permissions – contd … Principals in the sysadmin role can tamper with any audit component and those in the db_owner role can tamper with audit specifications in a database. SQL Server Audit will validate that a logon that creates or alters an audit specification has at least the ALTER ANY DATABASE AUDIT permission. However, it does no validation when you attach a database. You should assume all Database Audit Specifications are only as trustworthy as those principals in the sysadmin or db_owner role. http:// www.sql-programmers.com/sql-database-audit.aspx


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