Information is stored in a database in plain text. Consequently, some extremely sensitive information, such as government identification numbers or passwords, may not be sufficiently protected by access control measures. It may be possible to gain access to a server's persistent storage files, either directly through the file system or by accessing discarded disk drives or archive media.
Database encryption allows individual attributes to be encrypted as they are stored in the database. When configured, every instance of a particular attribute, even index data, is encrypted and can only be accessed using a secure channel, such as SSL/TLS.
For information on using database encryption, see the "Configuring Directory Databases" chapter in the Red Hat Directory Server Administrator's Guide.