When Connecting from clients (such as Windows) to remote databases such as (MS-SQL Server), it is usually advised that this connection be via a service that runs on the database server.
It is possible to establish such connection without a service using ODBC driver. Some ODBC drivers offer SSL. I assume this method would require opening a port on the database server.
My questions are:
Would connection client to a remote database using SSL could be considered "as secure" as connecting via a service?
Is it less secure only because of the port opening requirement?
Is there a way to make ODBC connection a good solution from security perspective?
Note: I understand that words like good, secure, etc. are relative and somewhat vague, however, I am limited to the vocabulary I know.