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Unveiling The Power of SQL Server Audit: Question and Answer

Q1: What is SQL Server Audit?

Ans: SQL Server Audit is a powerful security feature that allows tracking of virtually any server or database actions taken by users. These activities can be logged to the file system or the Windows event log. It helps meet the security requirements of regulatory compliance standards and is available in certain editions of SQL Server.

Q2: How do you Create an Audit Object?

Ans: To create an audit object, you use the "CREATE SERVER AUDIT" statement. This initial step defines a location for SQL Server to record significant events. After creating the audit object, you can specify the events to be tracked by creating audit specifications.

Q3: How do you Enable an Audit Object?

Ans: An audit object is initially created in a disabled state. To enable it, you use the "ALTER SERVER AUDIT" statement. You can't create and enable an audit object in a single action using the "CREATE SERVER AUDIT" statement.

Q4: How can you Rename an Audit Object?

Ans: You can rename an audit object using the "ALTER SERVER AUDIT" statement with the "MODIFY NAME" clause. However, before renaming, the audit must be disabled.

Q5: What are Auditing Options?

Ans: Auditing options are significant settings available for audit objects. These options are declared after the "WITH" keyword in the "CREATE SERVER AUDIT" or "ALTER SERVER AUDIT" statements.

Q6: What does QUEUE_DELAY Mean?

 Ans: The "QUEUE DELAY" option controls the synchronous or asynchronous behavior of audit processing. When set to zero, synchronous auditing occurs. A value of 1000 or higher enables asynchronous processing for improved performance.

Q7: How can you Specify QUEUE_DELAY for an Audit Object?

Ans: When creating the audit object, you can specify the "QUEUE DELAY" setting. To modify this setting for a running audit object, you must first disable the audit, make the change, and then re-enable the audit.

Q8: How does The ON_FAILURE Keyword Work?

Ans: The "ON FAILURE" option specifies what SQL Server should do if an error occurs while recording audited events. It has options like "CONTINUE" (default), "FAIL OPERATION," and "SHUTDOWN."

Q9: What does AUDIT_GUID Mean?

Ans: The "AUDIT GUID" option allows you to assign a specific GUID to an audit, which can be useful in mirroring scenarios. Once created, the GUID value of an audit object cannot be changed.

Q10: What does STATE Mean?

Ans: The "STATE" option, supported by the "ALTER SERVER AUDIT" statement, enables or disables an audit object. It cannot be used in conjunction with other audit options in the same statement.

Q11: How can you Record Audits to The File System?

Ans: You use the "TO FILE" clause to store audits on the file system. It allows you to specify where the audited events should be recorded.

Q12: What is The FILEPATH Option?

Ans: The "FILEPATH" option allows you to specify the location in the file system where SQL Server should create the files recording audited events. Proper directory permissions are essential, and the audit name and audit GUID are used to generate file names automatically.

Conclusion

Understanding SQL Server Audit is essential for robust database security and compliance. This powerful feature allows organizations to track user actions, meet regulatory standards, and enhance their overall security posture. By creating and managing audit objects, enabling key options, and utilizing advanced settings, businesses can maintain a comprehensive audit trail of significant events. Expanding your knowledge of SQL Server Audit through online courses and certifications can empower you to take control of your database security.

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