We host a database for one of our applications on Microsoft SQL Azure. One of our clients was dissatisfied with the fact that TDE is not supported on SQL Azure (and the database is otherwise not encrypted at rest). Their concerns were mostly along the following lines:
Data-center employees that have access to the VMs also have access to the database. We should use TDE to make sure that they can't get access to customer data from our database.
My reasoning is that if a data-center employee has administrator login access to the VM that hosts the SQL Server then they automatically gain access to the keys used for TDE. Which defeats the purpose of TDE in that case. The only real benefit to TDE would be for securing backups of the database.
Am I wrong in thinking so? And are there any alternatives to securing the whole database, relatively painlessly?