Even if you follow the recommended best practices for securing your SQL Server environment, you still can be vulnerable to access control problems. Data encryption provides a means of enhancing data security by limiting data loss even in the rare occurrence that access controls are bypassed and a malicious user obtains access to sensitive data such as credit card numbers. Data encryption is the process of obfuscating data through the use of an encryption key or password. This can make the data unreadable without the corresponding decryption key or password. Encryption does not solve your access control problems, but it can enhance data security by limiting access to data, even if access controls are bypassed.