Cryptography in the Database: The Last Line of Defense

Written by Kevin Kenan

When I pick up a Symantec Press book, I will either love them or dislike them. I never have mixed emotions about them. This book I love. His book should be titled, Database Security. While the primary focus is on encryption, the author dives into several topics I wish some of my past DBAs had known.

The book is divided into four major parts: Database Security, A Crpytographic Infrastructure, The Cryptographic project, and Example Code. I however would calssify the book into two major parts. The first part is reading and understanding some fundamentals that are very important. Throughout this first part, there are many graphical presentations to help the reader understand, in a graphical way, what the author is discussing. This is most visible in the third chapter entitled An overview of Cryptographic Infrastructure.

The second part of the book is actual code written in Java, and designed for plain SQL, the author does confirm that all examples work in MYSQL. The examples give common scenarios such as consumer input. Consumer input requires first name, last name, credit card information, the verification code and other fields. This example discusses and demonstrates a best practice model around that code.

Given the two parts above, this book is solid, and I would have recommended it. However, the author went a step further, and included information on security surrounding the database, penetration testing and methodologies for databases, architecture and design best practices, and so many other important points. This makes this book valuable to anyone working with databases.

The section breakdown is as follows:
* Database Security - Common Attacks Against Databases; Laws and Regulations; and Cryptography
* Cryptographic Infrastructure - Introduction to Keys, and Their Management; Engines and Algorithms; and Vaults, Manifests and Managers
* The Cryptographic Project - Outlines the Security Culture; Hardening, Classifications, and Policies; Securing Design; Securing Development; and Testing
* Example Code - Key Vaults; Manifest; Key Managers; Engines; Receipts and the Provider; The Consumer; Exceptions; and the System at Work.

Overall this book is geared to medium level technicians for best practices and coding examples. Although anyone working with databases in general could find something useful in this book, even if its design, architecture and implementation best practices.

Cryptography in the Database: The Last Line of Defense

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