Protocols for MSSQLSERVER Properties (Flags Tab)

SQL Server Configuration Manager

When a certificate is installed on the server, use the Flags tab on the Protocols for MSSQLSERVER Properties dialog box to view or specify the protocol encryption and hide instance options. Microsoft SQL Server must be restarted to enable or disable the ForceEncryption setting.

To encrypt connections, you should provision the SQL Server Database Engine with a certificate. If a certificate is not installed, SQL Server will generate a self-signed certificate when the instance is started. This self-signed certificate can be used instead of a certificate from a trusted certificate authority, but it does not provide authentication or non-repudiation.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections encrypted using a self-signed certificate do not provide strong security. They are susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. You should not rely on SSL using self-signed certificates in a production environment or on servers that are connected to the Internet.

For more in formation on encryption, see "Encrypting Connections to SQL Server" in SQL Server Books Online.

The login process is always encrypted. When ForceEncryption is set to Yes, all client/server communication is encrypted, and clients connecting to the Database Engine must be configured to trust the root authority of the server certificate. For more information, see "How to: Enable Encrypted Connections to the Database Engine (SQL Server Configuration Manager)" in SQL Server Books Online.

Cluster Servers

If you want to use encryption with a failover cluster, you must install the server certificate with the fully qualified DNS name of the virtual server on all nodes in the failover cluster. For example, if you have a two-node cluster, with nodes named "test1.<your company>.com" and "test2.<your company>.com" and a virtual server named "virtsql", you need to install a certificate for "virtsql.<your company>.com" on both nodes. You can then check the ForceEncryption check box on the SQL Server Configuration Manager to configure your failover cluster for encryption.


Force Encryption

Force protocol encryption. Encryption is a method for keeping sensitive information confidential by changing data into an unreadable form. Encryption ensures that data remains secure, even if the transmission packets are viewed during the transmission process. To use channel binding, set Force Encryption to On and configure Extended Protection on the Advanced tab.

Hide Instance

Prevent the SQL Server Browser Service from exposing this instance of the Database Engine to client computers that try to locate the instance by using the Browse button. In the case of named instances on the server, to connect, client applications must specify the protocol endpoint information. For example, the port number or the named pipe name, such as tcp:server,5000. For more information, see Connecting to the SQL Server Database Engine.

For more information, see "How to: Enable Encryption Connections to the Database Engine (SQL Server Configuration Manager)" in Books Online.