I’m writing a SQL Server security presentation and I need your help.


February 24, 2022 by Kenneth Fisher

I’m working on a new presentation titled

Watch Ken solve security headaches in SQL Server.

In this presentation I’m going to pick a handful of common security problems and solve them in demos. How many? Well, enough to fit the time frame. I’ll prepare at least 10, probably quite a few more and keep going until I run out of time.

This is a list of examples of SQL Server security related questions that I get fairly frequently and that I’ll probably be using.

  • Does account XYZ have execute access for stored procedure sp_blah?
  • What AD groups have read access in database DBName?
  • Please copy the permissions for account svcAccountA to svcAccountB.
  • Please copy all of the logins that are associated with DBName from ServerA to ServerB.
  • Please script the permissions for database DBName.
  • Can I have sysadmin access?
  • Jacky has the access I need in database DBName. What AD group should I be added to to get the same access that she has?

Here’s where I could use your help. What are some of the problems you have? Rather than just come up with things that I have to answer all the time, I’d like to know what types of security questions give you headaches?

5 thoughts on “I’m writing a SQL Server security presentation and I need your help.

  1. Andy says:

    Why can’t I reseed an identity column when I truncate a table via SSIS reload process.

  2. Someone says:

    It might be beyond the scope of your presentation, but authorizations involving linked servers (to other SQL instances) can get confusing. Especially when connections are made using a specific security context.

  3. Sean Redmond says:

    It’s not (yet) a problem but they get a bad press: linked servers.
    I find them extremely useful for reports. If they are not to be used, what are? SSIS-packages?

  4. I’d ask
    — Who can generate an execution plan?
    — Does the user have access to the sys files?
    — Can the user see the Reports Tab off of the server?
    — Can the user see all of the reports/links off of this tab

    These are current issues our DBAs need to resolve – generally you’d need a higher level of access to see these.

  5. Robert says:

    I would also include ways of unintentionally enabling privilege escalation, such as db owner being an sa account, or setting a user to security admin. Both allow a non-sa account to elevate their access to an sa. There are other ways that also exist. Knowing about them is probably the hardest part.

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