MS SQL Server 2014 Instance STIG Version Comparison

MS SQL Server 2014 Instance Security Technical Implementation Guide

Comparison

There are 4 differences between versions v1 r9 (Oct. 26, 2018) (the "left" version) and v2 r1 (July 23, 2021) (the "right" version).

Check SQL4-00-030600 was changed between these two versions. Green, underlined text was added, red, struck-out text was removed.

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Text Differences

Title

Where availability is paramount, the SQL Server must continue processing (preferably overwriting existing records, oldest first), in the event of lack of space for more Audit/Trace log records; and must keep processing after any failure of an Audit/Trace.

Check Content

If the system documentation indicates that availability does not take precedence over audit trail completeness, this is not applicable (NA). If neither SQL Server Audit nor SQL Server Trace is not in use, use for audit purposes, this is a finding. If SQL Server Audit is in use, review the defined server audits by running the statement: SELECT [name], [max_rollover_files] FROM sys.server_file_audits WHERE is_state_enabled = 1; By observing the [name] and [max_rollover_files] columns, identify the row or rows in use. If the [max_rollover_files] is greater than zero, this is not a finding. Otherwise, this is a finding.

Discussion

It is critical that when SQL Server is at risk of failing to process audit logs as required, it take action to mitigate the failure. Audit processing failures include: software/hardware errors; failures in the audit capturing mechanisms; and audit storage capacity being reached or exceeded. Responses to audit failure depend upon the nature of the failure mode. When availability is an overriding concern, approved actions in response to an audit failure are as follows: (i) If the failure was caused by the lack of audit record storage capacity, the DBMS must continue generating audit records, if possible (automatically restarting the audit service if necessary), preferably overwriting the oldest audit records in a first-in-first-out manner. (ii) If audit records are sent to a centralized collection server and communication with this server is lost or the server fails, the DBMS must queue audit records locally until communication is restored or until the audit records are retrieved manually. Upon restoration of the connection to the centralized collection server, action should be taken to synchronize the local audit data with the collection server. Systems where availability is paramount will most likely be MAC I; the final determination is the prerogative of the application owner, subject to Authorizing Official concurrence. In any case, sufficient auditing resources must be allocated to avoid audit data loss in all but the most extreme situations. Use of SQL Server Audit is recommended. All features of SQL Server Audit are available in the Enterprise and Developer editions of SQL Server 2014. It is not available at the database level in other editions. For this or legacy reasons, the instance may be using SQL Server Trace for auditing, which remains an acceptable solution for the time being. Note that Microsoft intends to remove most aspects of Trace at some point after SQL Server 2016. However, although Trace supports FIFO rollover, SQL Server Audit does not: its CONTINUE option stops the production of new audit records when there is an audit failure.

Fix

If SQL Server Audit is in use, configure SQL Server Audit to continue to generate audit records, overwriting the oldest existing records, in the case of an auditing failure. Run this T-SQL script for each identified audit: ALTER SERVER AUDIT [AuditName] WITH (STATE = OFF); GO ALTER SERVER AUDIT [AuditName] to file (max_rollover_files = IntegerValue); GO ALTER SERVER AUDIT [AuditName] WITH (STATE = ON); GO