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encrypt a microsoft access database

Posted on 2015-01-14
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Last Modified: 2015-01-20
hi

i have sensitive data on some microsoft access databases so i encrypt the files with veracrypt but its slow down the performance of the database significantly. i tried to use another encryption software "folder lock" but it's has the same problem. is there a software on the market that encrypt without affecting significant the performance , or maybe should i update my hardware ?

my system info:
windows 8.1 i 64 bit my processer is intel core i5-4460 cpu 3.20 ghz and 8 gb ram.
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Question by:bill201
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32 Comments
 
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40548722
If you want a performance improvement, then you need to tell us how the performance is now - in numbers. What would "significantly affecting the performance" mean in numbers?
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548726
thanks for your comment, but what you mean in numbers, how much seconds it's take to upload?
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40548733
You wrote about a significant decrease in performance. How much, does it take 10% longer, or 50% longer, or 100% longer...
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:Monika Bharti
Monika Bharti earned 100 total points
ID: 40548734
There is always an overhead cost associated with encryption and if use any encryption then you are created an “another layer”, so when you access your database the application needs to pass through that “layer” each and every time which in effect causes the application to slow down and in your case it is affecting in terms of performance.
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LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 100 total points
ID: 40548735
If you have sensitive data, then you should really consider moving it to a more secure platform, like SQL Server. SQL Server Express is free, and has a pretty good security mechanism, which will generally remove the need for encryption.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548736
i thinks it's something like 300% slower
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548739
but sqlserver i have to have a server, am i correct?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:frankhelk
ID: 40548740
Think of a usual, but lengthy operation, something that lasts ... let's say 10 seconds on an unencrypted database. How long would that take if encrypted ?

Have you tried the Windows on-bord encryption ?

Another attempt wood be to do the encryption not on file but on data level - encrypt the data in your software when you put it into the datasets, and leave the non-critical fields unencrypted. Decrypt when reading the data.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548744
Scott McDaniel

but it's a lot a lot slower not a bit slower
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:frankhelk
frankhelk earned 100 total points
ID: 40548745
but sqlserver i have to have a server, am i correct?

Not in every case - you could run it on your application machine like Access.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548748
frankhelk
it's taks like a second when it's not encrypted and2-3 second when it's encrypted.
the windows encryption bitlocker i don't can use because my windows is a home version . and is bitlocker faster from other encryption softwares ?

your other solution to split is a little complicated but of course if there is no  any better option i will have to consider it
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40548766
300% slower means everything takes 3 times as long? That's not expected behavior. You should try bitlocker or a hardware based encryption. With win8.1 Bitlocker does support hardware encryption, but it would mean to reinstall the OS.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548790
Mcknife

I will have to purchase a new license for windows 8.1 pro or to upgrade (if it's an option) to be able to use bitlocker
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40548798
Yes, I saw that comment (where you said you haven't bought pro) after posting.
You could also try disk cryptor. We used it on a file server after truecrypt's performance disappointed us. It was a lot faster.
If you haven't got an ssd, I would go for one, if I were you. Some feature full disk encryption without the need for additional software and you can expect to see no performance loss at all. You would only need to make sure that your BIOS supports that option.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548812
I have an ssd (there I have my windows system), how can I check if my bios is supporting an encryption
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40548824
What exact SSD model is it? That's more important.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548829
Kingston v300 2.5 sata3 ssd
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40548868
I must say kingston's documentation is not that easy to find... it seems as though this product isn't a self encrypting drive. Maybe someone else can confirm that.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40548884
Can you recommend for a good ssd driver that support encryption?
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LVL 54

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 100 total points
ID: 40548901
Sure. I would choose a Samsung 850EVO, should cost you about 150USD for 250GB.
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LVL 74

Accepted Solution

by:
Jeffrey Coachman earned 100 total points
ID: 40549805
Late to the Party here...
@bill201
Tough question...
Typically (but I will admit, ...not always) the "faster" the encryption/decryption, ...the less secure the encryption will be...
So if you want "Faster* encryption, are you willing to risk the security?

it's taks like a second when it's not encrypted and 2-3 second when it's encrypted.
...Well then to me, this would not seem too bad.
300% only gets bad as the time increases.
1 second to three seconds is 300 percent, ...but the difference in perception is not all that much. (Two more seconds)
However, 10 "minutes* to 30 minutes is also 300 percent, ...but the time is significantly greater. (Twenty more minutes)

So if it now takes 3 seconds to open the file, ...is that *really* a problem?
This is hardly enough time for the users to think that the app has crashed.
Are the recipients opening and closing this file hundreds of times per day, and the cumulative effect of all the two second delays is becoming meaningful?

As the others have stated, ...It takes time to encrypt/decrypt
So are you looking for a *secure* encryption method, ...or a *fast* one.

All encryption methods are not created equal.
It is not that they are all exactly the same, and some are just "faster"
So even if product X claimed to be "just as secure as" Product Y, ...but faster, ...how would you verify the "Just as secure" claim?
Typically the Security aspect of an encryption method is only discovered when a security breach occurs, (the encryption is maliciously defeated.)
Then *Faster* becomes less of a concern.
;-)

In other words, if the fastest you can get (with the security level you need) is 3 seconds, ...then it is, what it is...
You can shop around for something faster, ...but what if it turns out to be not as secure...?

Just my thoughts

JeffCoachman
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40550353
Jeffrey Coachman

thanks for your excellent comment, but it's so slow and annoying that  I hate working with that databases and it's not worth for me.
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40550709
Another thing: Bill, are you perfectly sure that the encryption is even the culprit? Was that the only thing you changed between the fast and the slow state?
I'm asking because anti virus software is known for terribly affecting database performance (if not configured correctly).
We have all our DB servers encrypted and did not have such a great drop of performance, nowhere next to it.

Did you setup AV software at the same time?
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40550745
I use eset smart security and without encryption its don't affect  the database performance. But now I think that maybe the database work slower because it's have a back end and front end on the encrypted drive and has also linked a table to another database . So its actually work with three files on once.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40550747
With three encrypted files on once.
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40550793
So, what are you going to do, do you need further advice?
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40550803
i will try to combine it back to one file and see if is solve the problem
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40551505
but it's so slow and annoying
it's taks like a second when it's not encrypted and2-3 second when it's encrypted.

So 1 or 2 extra seconds make this annoying?

Again, "faster" may mean "less secure"

JeffCoachman
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Author Closing Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40559204
thanks a lot for you
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40559218
Let us know what it turned out to be, in the end.
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Author Comment

by:bill201
ID: 40559231
i use vertacrypt but on a ssd drive (like you suggested),so it's  Much better than it was before,  and I learned to be more patient even it's slower, like Jeffrey Coachman wrote that slower is more security,  so in fact the answer was a combination between your answer  and Jeffrey Coachman answer , And for others also gave points for trying to help...

ahd thanks again for your kindness :)
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40560982
OK Bill,

But to be clear, I said it "might" be less secure if it was faster...
;-)

There may very well be an encryption that is faster than another, yet still more secure, ...
I just did not want to see you more concerned with the speed.
;-)

Jeff
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