Data Discovery And Classification In SQL Server

Gilad Mittelman explains how the SQL Information Protection (aka Data Discovery and Classification) process works in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database:

SQL Information Protection (SQL IP) introduces a set of advanced services and new SQL capabilities, forming a new information protection paradigm in SQL aimed at protecting the data, not just the database:

  • Discovery & recommendations – The classification engine scans your database and identifies columns containing potentially sensitive data. It then provides you an easy way to review and apply the appropriate classification recommendations via the Azure portal.

  • Labeling – Sensitivity classification labels can be persistently tagged on columns using new classification metadata attributes introduced into the SQL Engine. This metadata can then be utilized for advanced sensitivity-based auditing and protection scenarios.

  • Monitoring/Auditing – Sensitivity of the query result set is calculated in real time and used for auditing access to sensitive data (currently in Azure SQL DB only).

  • Visibility – The database classification state can be viewed in a detailed dashboard in the portal. Additionally, you can download a report (in Excel format) to be used for compliance & auditing purposes, as well as other needs.

Check it out, especially with GDPR breathing down our necks.

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