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Category: Security

CIS Security Checks with dbachecks

Tracy Boggiano shows how to perform a security check based on CIS requirements:

Well back at the end of 2019 I finished writing most of the checks related to the CIS Center for Internet Security requirements.  I have yet to write a blog post on how to use them.  So, well here is how to go about using them, it’s mostly code so should be pretty simple to implement.  I’ve mentioned this several times over the past year in presenting on dbatools.

So first you need to have dbachecks.  So, let’s start with the basics just in case you haven’t heard of dbachecks.  dbachecks is PowerShell module that checks the configuration of your SQL Server against various test have been predefined.  By default, it exports the data to JSON, and we will be opening PowerBI to display the data because why that is pretty.  So, go download you a copy of Power BI from the Microsoft website and let’s install dbachecks first.

Read on to see what you need, the steps for this process, and what the results look like.

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Logins and Users in SQL Server

Lee Markum disambiguates two security terms:

You’re a data professional learning about managing SQL Server and you’ve been asked to grant permissions for SQL Server to an individual or a group of individuals. What do you need to understand in order to accomplish this? I’ll be your guide to getting started with handling access to SQL Server.

Click through for the mandatory automobile analogy and a good way of laying out what logins and users are.

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Capturing SQL Server Audit Events with Azure Monitor

Bruno Gabrielli connects Azure Montor to SQL Server Audit:

Today I am going to cover an interesting aspect on how to capture security audit events from both Azure and non-Azure SQL Server machines. Most of you probably know that SQL Server is capable of auditing security related information, such as access to a given database, record creation or deletion, configuration change and so on) according to the Audit configuration applied to a given instance or database.

In this post, we will not dig into SQL Server Audit configuration or capability. We will rather explore the steps and configurations necessary to collect data using Azure Monitor.

Read on for the process. You will need the appropriate agent for this, but that agent doesn’t necessitate that your machine be in Azure.

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Permission Requirements for Temp Tables

Jeff Iannucci looks at permissions:

Managing permissions is a constant issue for Database Administrators, but rarely do DBAs consider permissions for tempdb. Everybody’s looking for something, but how often do you get requests for “access to read and write in the tempdb database”? Like…never?

OK, but what if you were asked the subject of this post in a job interview? Even if you’ve worked with SQL Server for ages, would you know how to answer this? Moreover, would you know why the answer should give you some concern?

Read on for the answers.

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Flexible File Components with SSIS

Bill Fellows hides SSIS DNA in a can of Barbasol shave cream:

The Azure Feature Pack for SSIS is something I had not worked with before today. I have a client that wants to use the Flexible File Task/Flexible File Source/Flexible File Destination but they were having issues. The Flexible File tools allow you to work with Azure Blob storage. We were dealing with ADLS Gen2 but the feature pack can work with classic blob storage as well. In my hubris, I said no problem, know SSIS. Dear reader, I did not know as much as I thought I did…

Click through for a whopper of a story. But be sure to read to the very end, as you don’t want to stop at using TLS 1.0.

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Data Exfiltration Protection and Pip

I have a post borne from frustration:

I have an Azure Synapse Analytics workspace which uses a managed virtual network and includes data exfiltration protection. I also have a Spark pool. My goal is to import a few packages and use them in a Spark notebook.

Doing so is pretty easy from the Synapse workspace. I navigate to the Manage hub and then choose Apache Spark pools from the Analytics pools menu. Select the ellipsis for my Spark pool and then choose Packages.

From there, because I plan to update Python packages, I can upload a requirements.txt file and have Pip do its job.

But then it doesn’t… Click through to learn why, as well as the workaround for this. It’s stuff like this which makes me say data exfiltration protection is a feature administrators will (mostly) like and developers will hate. Especially because there’s no obvious indicator why this was happening in the error message itself.

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Azure App Service Source Code Breach

Catalin Cimpanu reports on a security problem:

Microsoft has notified earlier this month a select group of Azure customers impacted by a recently discovered bug that exposed the source code of their Azure web apps since at least September 2017.

The vulnerability was discovered by cloud security firm Wiz and reported to Microsoft in September. The issue was fixed in November, and Microsoft has spent the last few weeks investigating how many customers were impacted.

Click through for the full report, with the upshot that if you run Azure App Services on Linux, you were probably affected.

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Log4j and the Microsoft Data Platform

Andreas Wolter has some guidance for us:

Microsoft published guidance regarding Log4j 2 vulnerability for customers using Azure Data services. Please find the latest information here:

Microsoft’s Response to CVE-2021-44228 Apache Log4j 2 – Microsoft Security Response Center

The published list shows affected products only. 

For SQL Server, even components which use log4j, the version is old enough that it is not affected by the series of exploits, bugs, and exploits of bugs which were introduced to try to fix the prior round of exploited bugs. The big exception is Big Data Clusters and if you happened to install log4j on your own.

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