All the Masking in the World Can Maybe Cover Your Dirty Laundry….

I have spent the last week learning about new features in SQL Server 2016 and one that I want to play with is Dynamic Data Masking (DDM).

What is data masking? It is a way to change or hide sensitive data. If I want to hide an email address that is Batgirl@DC.com,  I could either change it to be Batwoman@Heros.com using a masking software or I could use DDM to cover it like this BXXXXX@XXXXXX.com. I can also determine how many letters I want to cover with the masking in DDM.

If you want to permanently mask it for security purposes and force it to never link back to your production data, SQL Server Dynamic Data Masking (DDM) is not for you.  The built-in feature only applies a mask over the top, it doesn’t actually change the data that is stored in the database.   Think of SQL Servers’ version of data masking like a Halloween mask that sits on your face as opposed to plastic surgery that will forever change the way you look.

SQL Servers’ DDM will mask data to users that you set up to see the mask.  This is helpful for reporting or for curious people who want to look at data they shouldn’t be viewing.  It will not hide the data from privileged users.  It will not protect your data from someone taking a backup and restoring it somewhere else (If you want that, try Alway Encrypted instead). As a side note, DDM and Alway Encrypted won’t work together on the same column.

Now let’s get ready to play with Dynamic Data Masking in SQL Server.  (Coming next month)

Today’s song is Dirty Laundry by Carrie Underwood.

Now all that’s left of our Community is Playlists and a Pile of Cheese….

I have spent the last month thinking about why PASS Summit 2016 felt so empty to me.  I loved seeing my friends from all over the world.  The sessions were hit and miss, just like always, but I left feeling empty and disappointed. Summit is normally my time to recharge and get excited about SQL Server again. This year I had to find other things to get me recharged and it left me thinking, what was different?

I talked to a few other people that had the same experience and after talking it out, I think I found the problem. There wasn’t a community party. There were tons of parties.  Every vendor seemed to have a party and I spent a lot of time trekking around Seattle to attend them.    I saw a few people at each one but I never really got the opportunity to converse with the people that I only see at the community party.  I heard (mostly through the grapevine so it could all be misinformation) that stopping the community party was a way for PASS to save money and to allow people to attend more vendor parties. I think this may have been a misstep and my parents taught me to never bring up a problem without proposing a solution.

I would suggest that the vendors that do their own party change their course and instead sponsor a section of the EMP and bring back the Community Party. But Andrea, isn’t that the point of the vendor reception? If it is, why are they having separate parties? The Vendor reception appears to me to be a time for vendors to sell things and the community party is a time to come together as a community and celebrate. I feel like this year our community was fractured all over Seattle and never really had a chance to connect.

Our Community is what sets SQL Server apart from other database platforms. I want to encourage the growth of this community and offer this humble post as a way to make PASS Summit more united in the future.

Also, in no way is this meant as an attack on any one that serves PASS. I know everyone works really hard to make it a success and I would offer a huge THANK YOU!!! to all those that make PASS possible.

*Hugs* to my awesome #SQLFamily, #DataFamily

 

Today’s lyrics are from Matt Nathanson’s Playlist and Apologies