Tuesday 20 September 2016

Encryption and the SQL South West User Group

It is a long and beautiful drive from Reading to Exeter. As the miles crank up, the scenery becomes more lovely. The motorways signs to Glastonbury and Bodmin Moor are a reminder that I really should spend less time in front of my PC, and more time in my hiking boots. But as Exeter cathedral appears in the distance, my thoughts turn to encryption, and SQL Server. I’m here to talk to the SQL South West SQL Server User Group about Always Encrypted, the new encryption feature in SQL Server 2016.

The group is attentive and interested. The discussion soon turns to key management, an important issue when considering encrypting data. No one was sleep walking through the presentation: the young stars of tomorrow had already realized that the inside threat of losing keys was at least as great as the outside threat of being hacked. The balance between security and availability is an issue that faces anyone with an interest in data security. Yet the unrelenting wave after wave of cybercrime makes it hard to ignore the message that the only safe data, is encrypted data. Particularly where personal data is concerned.

So we munched pizza as we talked about backing up encryption keys, azure key vault, and the way the data world is changing.

After eating far too much anchovy pizza we then listened to Rob Sewell’s presentation on PowerShell, and in particular the new SQL PowerShell module. As always, I learnt much, and my head was spinning with ideas as I drove back through Taunton, headed to Bristol, and then back on terra firma as roadworks on the M4 reared their cone-like head. It was a late night, but worth it. You are a lovely lot in Exeter, and I’ll be back. And next time I’ll have a lighter lunch so I can manage a bit more pizza!

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