Sybase is adding to the encryption and manageability security of Adaptive Server Enterprise in a new version of the companys relational database management system.
In ASE 15.0.2, announced July 30, customers can encrypt individual columns with a single command, and need not encrypt a full table or the entire database.
"The reason to do encryption level at the column, rather than the whole table or—worse—the whole database, is a matter of system efficiency," said Tom Traubitz, director of trusted infrastructure products for Sybase, in Dublin, Calif. "The more you encrypt on storage, the more you need to decrypt to resolve queries. As a result, excessive encryption and decryption by encrypting data that does not need to be encrypted, can hurt response times. Sybase combines column-based encryption with intelligent, encryption-aware query optimization to minimize the impact of encryption on response time."
In addition, the company has taken strides to address the insider threat. With the new version of ASE, users can now safeguard sensitive data even from internal personnel such as database administrators. The product uses secure keys that even database administrators cannot access to decode the database unless the DBA is also the objects owner, Traubitz said.
"This allows customers to set up encryption protection that insiders cannot break, significantly lowering insider threats," he said.
Several new features of ASE 15.0.2 are aimed at making life easier for application programmers. The product includes Transact-SQL user-defined SQL functions, which Sybase officials contend are simpler to use than other user-defined SQL functions. Since these functions are written in a SQL, they can be incorporated within stored procedures without requiring developers to learn an additional programming language, company officials noted.
In addition, the new version of ASE includes updatable views using the "Instead of Trigger" feature, four new statistical functions and XML table function for improved handling of unstructured text, officials said. ASEs Archive Database Access facility allows DBAs to validate or selectively recover data from database backups by presenting the backup as if it were an online database.
"We believe that for mission-critical, high-performance computing, Sybase ASE offers greater performance, with less system resources and higher security than rival offerings for real-world applications," Traubitz said.