SQL Server 2012 supports built-in column- and database-level encryption functionality directly through T-SQL. Column-level encryption allows you to encrypt the data in your database at the column level. Back in the days of SQL Server 2000 (and before), you had to turn to third-party tools or write your own extended stored procedures (XPs) to encrypt sensitive data. Even with these tools in place, subpar implementation of various aspects of the system, such as encryption key management, could leave many systems in a vulnerable state.
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