Database security is of utmost importance to sectors including IT, banking, finance and ecommerce. Every other transaction is based on how secure their database is, as it holds every detail including usernames, passwords, customers’ credit card information and so on.
The term “database security” denotes a series of measures initiated by the service provider to proactively protect the information and database management software from malicious threats, phishing attacks, DoS (denial-of-service) and malware. The security is achieved by using streamlined processes, automation, security tools and trained experts who work around the clock.
Different Levels of Database Security
There are different levels of securing your databases, including:
- Data Level Security: The process of protecting the data itself from getting stolen or tampered with in the servers.
- System Level Security: Protecting networking servers, hardware and other inbound/outbound communications from acting as a funnel to distribute malicious software.
- User Level Security: A server is always attacked from a user level, which is why organizations rely on real-time protection software to monitor transactions and also restrict the user from visiting unauthorized websites or downloads from untrusted sources.
Most Commonly Spotted Database Attacks
These are the most common attacks triggered that threaten database security:
- Buffer overflow vulnerability
- DoS attacks
- Privilege escalation
- Weak authentication
- SQL injection threats
Best Practices for Database Protection
Experts recommend following a checklist that includes some of the most widely used and trusted methods to ensure database security:
The first method is securing physical servers using digital locks, using CCTV cameras to monitor them continuously and preventing any unauthorized entry with the help of 24/7 security services.
Establishing Firewall for Servers
Every connection to the database can be set by default to deny all incoming traffic using a firewall. It will also block direct client access and allow only authorized applications. The firewall rules will be strictly monitored and maintained by system administrators (SAs) and database administrators (DBAs). They will also perform network scans and ISP scans to strengthen the server machines.
Using a Trusted Database Software
The database software can either be open source or a paid version supported by the vendor. The software will run only on active devices while inactive devices will be unplugged and default accounts that are no longer in use will be removed periodically. Timely security patches are applied.
It’s also important to take a close look at your software vendor to determine if they’re keeping their code as secure as possible.
Implementing Application Code
The DBAs will ensure all configuration files and source codes are accessible only through authorized operating system accounts. Application code is regularly reviewed to ensure it is not vulnerable to SQL injection.
Role of SAs and DBAs
The role of DBAs and SAs are vital, as they play the role of strict administrators. Authorization is allowed only to select people and all of them will sign an NDA along with a background check.
DBA staff will be allowed to use individual accounts and not shared accounts to access the server. They are required to create and maintain the strongest of passwords that meet the necessary security and safety guidelines.
Change Management and Database Auditing
Another security measure is to keep track of change management by logging all database activities. Every bit of login data will be maintained for at least one year for security audits, and any account that faces maximum failed login attempts will automatically be notified to the database administrator to take necessary steps.
The Triangular Concept for Database Security
- Confidentiality: Maintaining confidentiality is enforced through encryption by encrypting both data that is being transferred and data that is stored in the database in case it gets breached.
- Integrity: A user access control system will be in place to ensure only authorized personnel are allowed access to the data and a log is maintained of everyone who gains access to it to ensure there are not data breaches caused by internal errors.
- Availability: The data stored should be made available to both users and administrators, which is made by reducing downtime. Servers are periodically updated for maximum security while boosting business through continuous service.
When a database administrator is aware of the most common threats and the different methodologies that they should implement to protect data, they can be rest assured that the data stored in servers are protected to the core. Besides, they should also practice best practices in backup and data recovery to safeguard themselves against ransomware.