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MS Access and SQL Server SSL Encryption

Posted on 2014-10-09
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Last Modified: 2014-10-15
How can I implement 256 bit secure SSL connection from MS Access to a remote SQL Server.  The remote server does not enforce all connections to be secure.
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Question by:Bill Ross
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LVL 57
ID: 40372625
Bill,

 You'll need encrypt=true in the connection string and be using the Native SQL client on the machine.

Does the server already have a certificate (sounds like that is all setup)?  If not, you'll want to run through this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316898

Also, depending on the version of SQL and the certificate subject, you may have to setup an alias for the server to use in the connection string for server=

Certificates often use fully qualified domain names for a server, where as in a connection string, you generally use a short name.

Jim.
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by:Bill Ross
ID: 40372712
Hi Jim,

The server is not configured for SSL and the MS Access client is one of many various users.  Is it possible to configure just the Access  client side so that the connection from the local client to the server is SSL?  I'm not sure I can change the server as there are many clients and many databases.

Thanks!

Bill
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LVL 57
ID: 40372743
Bill,

<<Is it possible to configure just the Access  client side so that the connection from the local client to the server is SSL?  >>

  No.  There are a number of steps that need to be done on the server to set it up.   SSL requires a certificate to be installed on the server, that cert tied to SQL, and also installed client side.

Jim.
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:Bill Ross
ID: 40372779
Hi Jim,

OK.  If I can get the server configured do all clients and all databases need to use SSL or can just the Access client use SSL?  Does 128 or 256 bit security make any difference?

Thanks,

Bill
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 40372791
<<f I can get the server configured do all clients and all databases need to use SSL or can just the Access client use SSL?  >>

 You can configure it either way.   On SQL Server, you set it that either all connections are forced or not.   If not, and a client requests a SSL connection, it will still take it.   It would apply to all databases as it's the actual connection between server and client.

<<Does 128 or 256 bit security make any difference?>>

  longer bits are harder to crack, but unless I'm mistaken, SQL only supports 128 at this point (In fact I think as a whole, SSL is still 128 for most things).

  2012 might support 256, I'd have to check as I haven't used it for anything yet.

Jim.
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:Bill Ross
ID: 40383183
Hi Jim,

Actually, SQL 2008 R2 and later support 256-bit SSL.  Thank you for the help!

Bill
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bill Ross
ID: 40383184
Thanks!  You got me on the right track.
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