Microsoft Access Power Tip: Improve the security of database connections

This post about making ODBC connections more secure is provided by Access MVP Ben Clothier.

Now and then, we come to a point where we decide to upsize an Access database to a server-based RDBMS. The reasons for upsizing can vary, but a common theme is security. With a server-based RDBMS, we have more options for security than when we are working with a file-based data source. Even if security wasn’t the reason for upsizing, we do have an obligation to ensure that we develop a “good citizen” application and protect the company’s assets contained in the RDBMS. When our RDBMS supports Windows authentication (e.g., SQL Server, Oracle, FireBird), we have it easy – no username or password needs to be stored. But unfortunately, we don’t always have Windows authentication available, and even when it is supported, it may not be practical. This article focuses on the case where we have to pass in a username and password as a part of the connection string and we want to do so in a secure manner. The article also assumes we are using ODBC and DAO.

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