In 2021, we experienced the highest average total cost of data breaches across the globe: $4.24 million. Hacker attacks are getting more and more complex and sophisticated, and force businesses to bulletproof their database security standards. Data breaches and exposure leads to detrimental consequences and causes legal, financial, and reputational losses. Implementing regular and consistent database security checks will largely reduce the chances of a successful hacker attack. In this article, we will go over the main threats associated with database security, as well as learn how to evaluate database risks and remove them. Tips from a software development company with vast experience – inside. Keep reading
What is Database Security?
Database security addresses the issues of privacy, integrity, and availability of the database and associated applications. Database security is a study that involves tools, processes, and methodologies that provide data protection within the database environment. Databases are often targeted by attackers as they contain the most valuable source of our time, information. They store sensitive customer data and business information that can be used to gain money and access to other information. This is why we are talking about the importance of database security in this article and trying to figure out the best ways of maintaining data safety.
Database Security Threats
Let’s explore the main threats to database security and learn more about the potential harm. What are the most common types of database security risks?
Poor permissions management
Granting access to employees who do not require this information to carry out their duties. Your current or ex-employee can abuse their permissions and knowingly or unknowingly misuse the information.
Refers to injecting malicious code into the backend in order to gain access to the database and its data.
Many database security issues derive from exposed backups that lack encryption and auditing.
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are among the most common and successful ones and lead to outages and money losses.
Poor data management
Failing to manage sensitive data correctly and properly and keep up-to-date inventory leads to data misuse and exposure.
6 Best Practices for database security risks evaluation
Now that you know the potential threats, how do you mitigate them? Let’s discuss the top 6 database security best practices to evaluate and minimize the exposure of your sensitive data.
#1 Use Separate Servers
Your hosting provider can provide some level of data protection, but your data is still susceptible to attacks. If you use only one server for all your data, any data breach will allow hackers to gain access to your database and sensitive information. Separating your database servers from everything else will minimize the threats. On top of that, you can implement security information and event monitoring practices to receive alerts about breaches in real-time and take immediate action.
#2 Choose the HTTPS proxy server
Another database security control tip is to use an HTTPS server that provides an additional layer of security due to the transferring of data through an encrypted proxy server. Especially for websites that deal with sensitive data such as passwords, payment information, contact data, etc., using HTTPS instead of HTTP is a lifesaver.
#3 Stop Using Default Network Ports
Default network ports are way more susceptible to attacks, simply because they are so common. Attackers often target websites with TCP and UDP protocols with default network ports and succeed, especially in brute force attacks. If you change your network port, you can still be hacked, but you will make the hacker’s job much more difficult, which might eventually discourage them from breaking into your site.
#4 Keep It Up To Date
Outdated software components are a gateway to a data breach as they pose a vulnerability that can and most likely will be targeted. Make sure your database management system is updated and patched up. If you discover that some of the widgets, plugins, and integrations do not offer regular updates, consider not using them.
#5 Conduct Backups
Database backups are essential in case of a data breach as they allow you to restore valuable information. Chances are that you will get hacked at some point in your life due to the increasing frequency of cyberattacks. Being vigilant and prepared is very important and will save you a lot of trouble. Also, make sure that your backup is encrypted and stored in a separate server so you do not lose both primary and backup databases at the same time.
#6 Employ Database Firewalls
Firewalls are not only for websites, they can also facilitate database protection. Acting as an extra layer of defense, database firewalls keep out any suspicious access attempts. There are three types of database firewalls:
- Packet filter firewall
- Stateful packet inspection (SPI)
- Proxy server firewall
Finally, do not neglect to keep the firewalls up to date to avoid the newer methods of hacker attacks
Even though data breaches are growing in mass and frequency and your chances for experiencing a cyberattack at least once are quite high, preparation is the key. If you know your vulnerabilities and issues in database security and take action to remove or mitigate them, cyberattacks will not be as damaging. It is also helpful to define a policy to help everyone involved know how to act in case of an attack. Compose detailed and structured database security guidelines and a plan of action, as well as make sure your employees understand their role.
What is database security and why is it important?
Database security is a set of tools, measures, and methods to avoid and mitigate common security threats and protect your data.
What is the purpose of database security?
The main purpose of database security management is to study your potential risks, minimize them, and come up with an action plan to remove them.
How to maintain the security of a database?
Learn the vulnerable spots and remove them. The more risks and threats you uncover, the higher the chances are for creating bulletproof protection.
Vitaly Makhov, CEO at DOIT Software, custom software development and IT Staff Augmentation company. DOIT Software team is passionate about building bold systems and solving business challenges for startups, product companies, and digital agencies.