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If a SQL Server is has remote access open, what steps should one take to lock it down?

  1. strong password
  2. restrict the user to the database

Anything else?

Should I disable the sa account?

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A couple of things off the top of my head...

  • Change the TCP port number SQL server is listening on.
  • If client connections to sql server come from a small number of known sites, use a firewall to accept connections only from a those clients' IPs.
  • Rename the sa account?

Another idea is to not publicly expose the SQL server. Instead, use an encrypted SSH or VPN tunnel to connect to it.

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