Given the rise of malicious virus attacks and security breaches, organizations are constantly at risk of devastating business losses and network downtime, making security an essential aspect of any SQL Server professional's job. The proliferation of interconnected applications sharing data across intranets and the Internet, makes security more crucial than ever to organizations of all types. The following winning products help make databases and their applications more secure.

Best Content-Filtering Device. Application data traffic is susceptible to unauthorized access or tampering and thus poses serious information privacy and quality risks. Network Appliance's NetApp NetCache Systems product line is a suite of Web delivery and security appliances. NetCache appliances are deployed across the entire network, from the primary data center to remote points of presence (POPs) and local offices worldwide. NetCache appliances address three major customer challenges: Internet security, Web content and application acceleration, and video delivery. The ability to support multiple applications on a single platform lets you scale your network quickly, with efficient manageability.

Best Data-Encryption Tool. One voter said that Imceda Software's LiteSpeed (now a Quest Software product) is "the best encryption software available in the market. \[It has\] feature-rich software with one of the easiest user interfaces." LiteSpeed is a backup-and-recovery software for SQL Server that provides integrated compression and encryption in the backup process. LiteSpeed can also provide fully encrypted database backups for added security. The tool integrates with existing infrastructure without requiring proprietary hardware or applications and is fully programmable and scriptable with T-SQL, command-line interfaces, or an easy-to-use GUI. Readers voted for the improved system performance, reliability, and security that LiteSpeed provides. Communication Horizons' NetLib Encryptionizer for SQL Server and Application Security's DbEncrypt tied for a close second.

Best Patch-Management Tool. Marimba Patch Management from BMC Software enables the management and deployment of security and functional patches on servers, desktops, and laptops across the enterprise. The tool automates patch collection, preparation, testing, staging, deployment, and auditing and helps administrators save time, improve response times, and reduce attack-related risks. The product enables patch and security compliance by detecting vulnerabilities and performing automatic remediation; reduces the maintenance and support cost spikes associated with patch detection and installation; protects employee productivity by providing continued operations for local and geographically distributed employees; reduces costs; and eliminates errors associated with manual patch tracking, reporting, and analysis.

Best Security-Auditing/Scanning Software. Coherent Software's Log P.I. reads the native SQL Server transaction log, which contains all changes made (in a production environment) both to data as well as the underlying schema (security, table columns, table relationships, etc.) Because SQL Server collects the data for recovery purposes, there's no additional overhead on the server. The software provides an audit trail of business processes, recovers data from accidental or malicious damage, and gathers performance histories for the server, database, and logging subsystem. The product also monitors any number of SQL Servers, databases, and their respective transaction logs simultaneously, giving the user an up-to-date summary of the databases and logging subsystem's status and health.

Best User Authorization/Authentication Tool. Customers create enterprise-wide provisioning specifications that enforce policies and standards while ensuring consistency and security by using BMC Software's CONTROL-SA to define profiles and authorizations that map to their business organization, roles, and responsibilities. CONTROL-SA automates and simplifies user administration across the enterprise via a common presentation layer, data consolidation, and a scalable, open architecture. The tool provides performance with flexible configuration options: local and remote management, repository options, and Web and Windows-based GUIs.



Best Security Products

Best Content-Filtering Device


Network Appliance, NetApp NetCache Systems
650-228-5179, 408-822-6000
http://www.netapp.com
Price: $9000

Best Data-Encryption Tool


Imceda Software, LiteSpeed 2005 for SQL Server
888-763-7685, 781-229-6300
http://www.imceda.com
Price: $719 per CPU

Best Patch-Management Tool


Marimba (BMC Software), Marimba Patch Management by BMC
800-841-2031, http://www.bmc.com
Price: Lists at $42,000

Best Security-Auditing/Scanning Software


Coherent Software Corporation, Log P.I.
866-595-6474, http://www.logpi.com
Price: $825

Best User Authorization/Authentication Tool


BMC Software, CONTROL-SA
800-793-4262, http://www.bmc.com
Price: Usage based, starting at $50,000