On using Toad against a database

I got this question once again today in a previous post.

What’s wrong by using Toad against a database?

The worst case scenario:
- some non-technical staff is clicking around in your production database with read-write access :(

The best-case scenario :
- nobody has access to your database :)

Here is a short list on how you could protect your data :
- Give the right privilege to the right person. DBA role to the DBA, CREATE TABLE/CREATE INDEX to the developer, INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE to the application
- Restrict access to your database server. Use some firewall. Allow only the dba workstation and the application server to the Production environment

What if the end-user PC needs access to the Production database with a powerfull user? This often happend in real world. A fat client is installed on the PC, the password is somehow hardcoded, the privileges granted to the hardcoded user are uterly generous…

It is not a bad practice in this case to block access to the database server to Toad/SQLPLUS and thelike. This will very ineffeciently prevent some garage-hacker from corrupting your database, but it will prevent your sales / marketing colleagues from deleting data, locking tables and degrading performance. This could be done by some login triggers or, my preference, some administrative measures like information, auditting and sanctions.

4 thoughts on “On using Toad against a database”

  1. I’m pretty biased here, but I’ll share my opinion anyway and let others judge it :)

    If you do a good enough job on setting up proper privs and controlling who has access to the database, it shouldn’t matter what program they use to log in.

    Also, if you create a logon trigger to disconnect sessions coming from Toad, be warned the user can make the program look like something else by messing with the binary name and other fun tricks – not that I’ve helped people bypass security checks before!

  2. @hillbillyToad Thanks for the comment :) Still I prefer that the end users do not get direct access to the databases and start writing heavy queries (like SELECT * FROM DUAL CONNECT BY LEVEL<1e125 :twisted: ) and use the tool (that is the application) that is designed for them.

    You are absolutly right, controlling who has access to the database is the most meaningful measure !!!

  3. We can both agree here – users should access PROD via the application. If they want to do their own evil magical queries, build them a reporting instance!

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