Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is Hiding Databases A Good Idea?

In case you missed my previous discussions on Access 2007 security, Workgroup security (otherwise knows as User Level Security) will not be supported in the new ACCDB file format. This led me to think about other credible alternatives and one that springs to mind is Windows File Security. One idea that I discussed a while ago with a friendly chap called Bill was hiding files in Windows Folders. i.e.

Right click on a File in Windows Explorer and select the Hidden Attribute check box

What I would like to find out from experienced Access DBA's is "Is the hidden file attribute a good way to protect your database? "

To help me out on this, read the rest of the conversation that I had on this topic and then post your ideas and knowledge on this topic below.

Garry said "Bill, I would be really interested on the positives and negatives of hiding a database using Windows Explorer. If you are interested I will post your answers in my newsletter and ask the users for their thoughts."

Bill said "No problems that I have been aware of in hiding databases. In our state wide domain, users do not have the ability to see hidden objects or to turn that ability on. Administrators do the backups. Generally we store our back-ends on servers with nightly backup and additional off site storage or mirror to another site."

Bill "Our system default is that standard users cannot see hidden objects and cannot turn that on, hiding adds another level of security and can prevent malicious deletion of files potentially, although I have never run into this, accidental, yes. "

Bill "Other times, we may make a front end visible but hide the back-end to make it harder for a user to copy, just another level of security."

Please post your thoughts below so that readers can ascertain if this is a good idea or not.