data matrix code c# Using Views for Security in C#.NET

Generating Data Matrix in C#.NET Using Views for Security

Using Views for Security
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Security is always an issue when building your database. So far, the book has covered the different database-provided roles, when to use them, how to set up different types of roles, and how useful they are. By restricting all users from accessing or modifying the data in the tables, you will then force everyone to use views and stored procedures to complete any data task. (There will be more on stored procedures in the next chapter.)
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CHAPTER 9 BUILDING A VIEW
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However, by taking a view on the data and assigning which role can have select access, update access, and so on, you are protecting not only the underlying tables, but also particular columns of data. This is all covered in the discussions involving security in this chapter. Security encompasses not only the protection of data, but also the protection of your system. At some point as a developer, you will build a view and then someone else will come along and remove or alter a column from an underlying table that was used in the view. This causes problems; however, this chapter will show you how to get around this problem and secure the build of a view so that this sort of thing doesn t happen. Imagine that you have a table holding specific security-sensitive information alongside general information an example would be where you perhaps work for the licensing agency for driver licenses and alongside the name and address, there is a column to define the number of fines that have had to be paid. As you can see, this is information that should not be viewed by all employees within the organization. So, what do you do The simplest answer is to create a view on the data where you exclude the columns holding the sensitive data. In this way, you can restrict access on the table to the bare minimum of roles or logins, and leave either a view or a stored procedure as the only method of data retrieval allowed. This way, the information returned is restricted to only those columns that a general user is allowed to see. It is also possible to place a WHERE statement within a view to restrict the rows returned. This could be useful when you don t wish all employee salaries to be listed: perhaps excluding the salaries of the top executives would be advised! All these methods give you, as a developer, a method for protecting the physical data lying in the base tables behind the views. Combine this with what you learned with roles, and restricting table access, and you can really tighten the security surrounding your data. With more and more companies embracing initiatives like Sarbanes-Oxley, where security should be so tight a company can be defined as having secure data, views are a great method of getting towards this goal. Another method of securing views is to encrypt the view definition, which we explore next.
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Encrypting View Definitions
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As well as restricting access to certain tables or columns within a database, views also give the option of encrypting the SQL query that is used to retrieve the data. Once a view is built and you are happy that it is functioning correctly, you would release that view to production; it is at this point that you would add the final area of security you would encrypt the view. The most common situation where you will find views encrypted is when the information returned by the view is of a privileged nature. To expand further, not only are you using a view to return specific information, you also don t wish anyone to see how that information was returned, for whatever reason. You would therefore encrypt the SQL code that makes up the view, which would mean that how the information was being returned would not be visible. There is a downside to encrypting a view: once the process of encryption is completed, it is difficult to get back the details of the view. There are tools on the Internet that can decrypt an encrypted view. When you encrypt a view, the view definition is not processed via encryption algorithms, but is merely obfuscated, in other words, changed so that prying eyes cannot see the code. These tools can returned the obfuscation back to the original code. Therefore, if you need to modify the view, you will find that it is awkward. Not only would you have to use a tool, but you would have to delete the view and re-create it, as it would not be editable. So, if you
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