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At work, we are planning to take down a database for 24 hours. We are not going down the track of creating a "Hot standby", the DB will be completely offline throughout. During the downtime, we would like limited access to some information from the DB. Management wants to extract this limited set of information and store it temporarily in an excel file. We have been asked to implement security around this. Can you provide some suggestions on how can we achieve the following during the downtime?

  1. Avoid unauthorized access to the file containing the information.
  2. Protect the Confidentiality and Integrity of the data.
  3. Audit users accessing the file and the data.
  4. Avoid copying or exporting the file.
  • The problem is that there are far too many ways to do this. That makes this question to broad to be able to answer. – schroeder Oct 5 '18 at 7:38
  • Thanks @schroeder. I understand. I was thinking to do the following, would you mind adding your 2 cents. - Have file level encryption. - Have worksheet level password. - Read only access to the file. - Encrypt the folder containing the file. - Read-only access to the folder (avoid file copy). Not sure if this will work. – bluffmast3r Oct 6 '18 at 0:05
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You should create a mirror of the database. It's not possible to access data on the database when it's offline, so a mirror would make it possible, even a read-only mirror.

When you create a mirror, all the permissions, users and groups are exported too. This would solve issues 1, 2 and 3.

For 4, your application logs and database logs will suffice. You don't need to change anything, just keep the logs as you should been doing.

For 5, it's complicated. Database admins and server admins are in position to copy the entire database, and if it's not too large, take the data home on a USB disk without much trouble. This does not have to do with a temporary access, but even your production state must account for. Proper auditing will help, but not protect your data against a determined and resourceful admin. Just ask NSA about Snowden when you have time.

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