5 Key Steps To Ensure Access Database Security

5 Key Steps To Ensure Access Database Security

Worried for the security of your Access database? Well, it’s obvious to get worried as it contain huge of your crucial data.

With the raising rates of database security threats, rapid rate of cyber crime and identity fraud; Access database security is the top most concerns of every database and business users.

Though there are so many advanced forms of security threats available today that is difficult to provide protection against.  Here are some common security vulnerabilities that affect Access Database performance and ultimately results to data theft situations.

Along with that the post will also provide you an overview over how to keep your Access database safe and secure.

6 Security Vulnerabilities That Harshly Affect Access Database Performance:

6 Security Vulnerabilities That Harshly Affect Access Database Performance

1.Deployment Failure

System vulnerability arises due to the problems occurred in deployment.  So, if the starting step is taken wrong then it will keep you walking in wrong direction.  Deployment failure will pull you towards greater problems, out of which the most common one is security threats.

2.Broken Databases

Another reason is the single loophole in Access database as this will give an open chance to virus to get your database. Possibility is also that it might these viruses will destroy complete of your Access databases. So check it out that all your Access database are completely secured and doesn’t contain any security loopholes.

3.Data leaks

One very important part of the database contained in the back-end is considered free from such security threat glitches coming from web. These myths actually keep users from encrypting data in the back-end and as a result data leaks and security threats like issues arise. Use SSL or TSL to encrypt data.

4. Data Theft

It is assumed that attempt to stealing data is performed outside the organization. But actually it’s a misconception. Because many times people within organization attempt to steal data for varied reasons like, sadism, revenge and other weird reasons.

5. Abuse of Database Features

Many times, hackers gain easy access to database through trusted credentials. This problem generally arises due to loopholes in the system.  Once the grab the opportunity, they start running arbitrary code or abuse/exploit certain features which further create issue for other Access database users.

6.Illegitimate use of Privileged Accounts

Those who are in an organization will get an easy access to a privileged account.  So instead of assigning all powers and function to one user, it’s better to create segregation between accounts and distribute power and roles.

All the aforementioned security threats are very basic and the most commonly occurs.  These are not just a Access Database Security Warning, you need to secure your database otherwise the database will get corrupted in near future.

If you are running a business then it’s important for you to understand some MS Access Database Security problems and most importantly how to avoid them.

Once you resolve questions like how, where and why about Access database security then prevent future problems from occurring.

Commonly Rendered Access Database Security Issues

Commonly Rendered Access Database Security Issues

  • Varied Security Methods for Applications: 

Application developers vary the method of security for different applications which are being used by the database.  This will create an issue with creating policies for using the application.

So, a database must have a proper access controls for regulating the various methods of security otherwise their sensitive data comes under the great risk.

  • Post-Upgrade Evaluation: 

At the time of database up-gradation it is necessary for administrator to perform post-upgrade evaluation in order to ensure that security is consistent across all programs.  If you fail to perform this operation, this will allow the database to attack.

  • Split the Position:

Organization fails to split duties between the IT administrator and database security manager.  Company tries to cut costs by having IT administrator do everything. This will ultimately affect the security of data due to responsibilities involved with both position.  It administrator has the responsibility to manage database while security manager accomplishes all day-to-day security processes.

  • Application Spoofing: 

Hackers create application which is almost similar to the existing application connected with the database.   Well these unauthorized applications are difficult to recognize and this helps hackers to access your database through the application in disguise.

  • Manage User Passwords:

Situation also occurs where IT database security managers will forget to remove IDs and access privileges of older user. This will cause password vulnerabilities in the database. So, it will be better to set password rules and strictly restrict the opening of database by unauthorized users.

  • Windows OS Flaws:

Windows OS proves ineffective when it comes to database security. It is too often to encounter issues like password theft and disowning of services. Well to avoid this situation database security manager can make daily routine maintenance checks. 

Now you are much familiar with some most common database security problems which exist within organizations.  The best way to secure Access database is by employing qualified personnel and separate security responsibility from daily database maintenance responsibility.

What Happened To Access User-Level Security?

Access User-Level Security

You must have heard about the Access user-level security features but do you know user- level security feature are not available in Access web apps, web databases that uses Access new file format (.accdb, .accde, .accdc, .accdr).

So, you can use MS Access user level security files uses a former Access file format (.mdb or .accdb).


If you are an user of Access 2007/ 2010/2013/2016/2019 and using User-Level Security wizard to identify the default workgroup information file then use the /WRKGP command-line switch to point to switch your workgroup information file when you start Access.

 To catch more information on how to use command-line switch with Access, check out the following tutorial Command-line switches for Microsoft Office products.

How To Manage Access User-Level Security For An Earlier-Format Database File

What Happened To Access User-Level Security


If you want to continue with the usage of Access user-level security then don’t convert your database to new file format. As this feature works only for the database which uses earlier Access file like .mdb format.

  1. First of all open your Access database which uses user-level security settings that you want to manage.
  2. Now go to the database tool tab, and in this select the Administer After then tap to the Users and Permissions.
  3. Hit the following commands:
    • User and Group Permissions:  This option will grant user or group permissions, or allows the modification of database objects owner.
    • User and Group Accounts:   Through this option you can create or delete a user or a group, do password change or group membership user, or modify database logon password.
    • User-level Security Wizard: By making use of this option you can start the security wizard that makes unsafe backup of your database.  It will also guide you through process of improvising user level security features.

How Microsoft Access Can be Used Securely?

How Microsoft Access Can be Used Securely

1#Upsize An Access Database To SQL Server

Apart from problems mentioned above, most of the users either don’t know or won’t get idea for securing their sensitive MS Access data. Well this problem can be easily overcome with the upsizing the Access database to incorporate use of SQL server.  Let’s know what benefits of upsizing a database to SQL Server.

Benefits Of Upsizing A Database To SQL Server

This will allow improved security using trusted connection. SQL server integrates with windows system security to give single integrated access to network and database. It makes easier to administer complex security schemes.

All in all, when you upsize an Access database to SQL server you will move all Access table and data to more reliable and robust MS SQL server database. After then link the SQL server table back with your Access database front-end file. It’s a common but a secure way use Access database. Most clients uses SQL server backend database with Access as their front-end file.

Just by shifting all your Access database data to sql server backend database you can take advantage of robust SQL server security capabilities. For best security features SQL server active Directory Security application is best option to go with.

In the linked article, Microsoft lists many benefits of upsizing Access data to a SQL Server backend. The linked article is well worth your read. The benefit of Improved Security is highly important. By moving all of your Access data to a SQL Server backend database, you can immediately take advantage of the robust SQL Server Security capabilities. Specifically you can use SQL Server Active Directory Security.

2#Make use of AutoExec Macro –

Make use of AutoExec Macro to check modification done in the security session at the time of last session. This feature of AutoExec Macro helps you in resetting the security settings.

It’s a kind of macro which executes automatically at the time of execution of database. For making a new AutoExec, assign name like Macro AutoExec.

3#De-select few Features –

Certain feature in database starts automatically when you execute the Access database. By choosing those to de-select few of those automatically running features make your database are more secure. So the feature that you need to un-select is the ‘Display Database Window’.

Un-selecting the features won’t allow easy access to database window thus hides the content off. So, once you unselect the feature you need to select one or more feature to avoid database window exposure

The feature that you need to de-select is ‘Use Access Special Keys’, users will be able to unhide the Database Window by hitting the F11 key.

4#Harden Your Database to Fullest Extent Possible

Make sure that the database you are using is still supported by vendors or open source project responsible for it. Running the most up to date version of database software with database security patches installed to remove known vulnerabilities.

That’s not enough, it’s important to uninstall or disable any features or services which are not in use. Make sure you change password of default accounts from default values. Or it will be better if you delete any default accounts which you don’t require.

At last make a check whether all the database security controls provided by database are enabled unless and until there is a specific reason for any to disable.

After doing all this, you should audit the hardened configuration of your Access database using automated change auditing tool if required.  To make sure you are quickly been informed if any changes to hardened configuration is made which breaks off your Access database security.

5#Audit and Monitor Database Activity

In this database security step you need to monitor logins to the OS and database. Also, review logs regularly to detect anomalous activity are also important.

By making sharp monitoring you can spot when your account has been compromised. This will also help you when employee carries out any suspicious activity or when database is under attack. Apart from this it will also help you in determining users sharing account which are created without any permission.

You can also take help of Database activity monitoring (DAM) software. As, this will provide you in easy monitoring of native database logging and audit functions this will also help you in monitoring administrator activity.

Vulnerable Databases Are Often Prone To Data Corruption

Vulnerable Databases Are Often Prone To Data Corruption

If you have a fear that your database is not secure as it is accessed by multiple users from different systems. Then your wariness is correct as this may corrupt Access database files at some point. Without the user level Access management and restricting specific rights, every user can enter or change data as per their need.

Well in some cases Access Database conflicts and logical errors might creep which further results in compromising underlying database file.

In order to deal this situation you need to use Access Repair n Recovery Tool. This tool can quickly recover contents from any Access database file format .mdb/.accdb.  along with that the tool can also extract all types of content that is stored in your Access database file including images, objects, tables, queries.

Wrap Up:

After reading the complete post now you must have got enough idea on how to create high performing database architecture and factors that affect database performance. Apart from that the blog will also help you in knowing how to manage user-level security for an earlier-format database file. And initiatives to clear Access database security issues.

Along with that it’s better to create proper Access database backup, delete un-encrypted file from your hard disk to protect it from prying eyes.

Further Reading:

7 Ways To Use MS Access DLookup( ) Function That You Can’t Miss…!

How To Fix Microsoft Access “Can’t Create This Relationship And Enforce Referential Integrity” In Access 2013/2016?

Top 10 Smart Ways To Prevent Access Database Corruption…!

tip Still having issues? Fix them with Stellar Repair for Access:

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  1. Download Stellar Access Database Repair Tool rated Great on Cnet.
  2. Click Browse and Search option to locate corrupt Access database.
  3. Click Repair button to repair & preview the database objects.


Pearson Willey is a website content writer and long-form content planner. Besides this, he is also an avid reader. Thus he knows very well how to write an engaging content for readers. Writing is like a growing edge for him. He loves exploring his knowledge on MS Access & sharing tech blogs.