Introduction to Azure Defender for SQL

Azure Defender for SQL includes two Azure Defender plans that extend Azure Security Center's data security package to secure your databases and their data wherever they're located.


Aspect Details
Release state: Azure Defender for Azure SQL database servers - Generally available (GA)
Azure Defender for SQL servers on machines - Generally available (GA)
Pricing: The two plans that form Azure Defender for SQL are billed as shown on Security Center pricing
Protected SQL versions: SQL on Azure virtual machines
Azure Arc enabled SQL servers
On-premises SQL servers on Windows machines without Azure Arc
Azure SQL single databases and elastic pools
Azure SQL Managed Instance
Azure Synapse Analytics (formerly SQL DW) dedicated SQL pool
Clouds: Yes Commercial clouds
Yes US Gov
Yes China Gov (Partial: Subset of alerts and vulnerability assessment for SQL servers. Behavioral threat protections aren't available.)

What does Azure Defender for SQL protect?

Azure Defender for SQL comprises two separate Azure Defender plans:

What are the benefits of Azure Defender for SQL?

These two plans include functionality for identifying and mitigating potential database vulnerabilities and detecting anomalous activities that could indicate threats to your databases:

  • Vulnerability assessment - The scanning service to discover, track, and help you remediate potential database vulnerabilities. Assessment scans provide an overview of your SQL machines' security state, and details of any security findings.

  • Advanced threat protection - The detection service that continuously monitors your SQL servers for threats such as SQL injection, brute-force attacks, and privilege abuse. This service provides action-oriented security alerts in Azure Security Center with details of the suspicious activity, guidance on how to mitigate to the threats, and options for continuing your investigations with Azure Sentinel.


    View the list of security alerts for SQL servers in the alerts reference page.

What kind of alerts does Azure Defender for SQL provide?

Threat intelligence enriched security alerts are triggered when there's:

  • Potential SQL injection attacks - including vulnerabilities detected when applications generate a faulty SQL statement in the database
  • Anomalous database access and query patterns - for example, an abnormally high number of failed sign-in attempts with different credentials (a brute force attempt)
  • Suspicious database activity - for example, a legitimate user accessing an SQL Server from a breached computer which communicated with a crypto-mining C&C server

Alerts include details of the incident that triggered them, as well as recommendations on how to investigate and remediate threats.

Next steps

In this article, you learned about Azure Defender for SQL. To use the services that have been described: