Azure SQL Database Threat Detection reach general availability in April 2017. At general availability, SQL Database Threat Detection will cost of $15 / server / month, also, you can try it out for 60 days for free. It helps customers using Azure SQL Database to secure their databases within minutes. It works around the clock to learn, profile and detect anomalous database activities.

How to use SQL Database Threat Detection

  • Just turn it ON – SQL Database Threat Detection is incredibly easy to enable. You simply switch on Threat Detection from the Auditing & Threat Detection configuration blade in the Azure portal, select the Azure storage account (where the SQL audit log will be saved) and configure at least one email address for receiving alerts.
  • Real-time actionable alerts – SQL Database Threat Detection runs multiple sets of algorithms which detect potential vulnerabilities and SQL injection attacks, as well as anomalous database access patterns (such as access from an unusual location or by an unfamiliar principal). Security officers or other designated administrators get email notification once a threat is detected on the database.
  • Live SQL security tile – SQL Database Threat Detection integrates its alerts with Azure Security Center. A live SQL security tile within the database blade in Azure portal tracks the status of active threats. Clicking on the SQL security tile launches the Azure Security Center alerts blade and provides an overview of active SQL threats detected on the database.
  • Investigate SQL threat – Each SQL Database Threat Detection email notification and Azure Security Center alert includes a direct link to the SQL audit log. Clicking on this link launches the Azure portal and opens the SQL audit records around the time of the event, making it easy to find the SQL statements that were executed (who accessed, what he did and when) and determine if the event was legitimate or malicious (e.g. application vulnerability to SQL injection was exploited, someone breached sensitive data, etc.).

Case: Preventing SQL Injection attacks

Fernando Sola, Cloud Technology Consultant at HSI

“Thanks to Azure SQL Database Threat Detection, we were able to detect and fix vulnerabilities to SQL injection attacks and prevent potential threats to our database. I was very impressed with how simple it was to enable threat detection using the Azure portal. A while after enabling Azure SQL Database Threat Detection, we received an email notification about ‘An application generated a faulty SQL statement on our database, which may indicate a vulnerability of the application to SQL injection.’  The notification provided details of the suspicious activity and recommended actions how to observe and fix the faulty SQL statement in our application code using SQL Audit Log. The alert also pointed me to the Microsoft documentation that explained us how to fix an application code that is vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. SQL Database Threat Detection and Auditing help my team to secure our data in Azure SQL Database within minutes and with no need to be an expert in databases or security.