Any database must be protected from the many security threats it faces. The most popular risks are the loss, alteration, and theft of important information. Other less critical and dangerous hazards include performance degradation, privacy breaches, and data privacy agreements.
Popular security threats
Below is a list of the most common threats databases are vulnerable to today. Security professionals can address these by hardening database servers and adding additional procedures to common security and audit practices.
Inappropriate permission management
Often, database servers in organizations retain their default security settings, and these settings are never changed again. Unfortunately, this carelessness leaves databases vulnerable to hackers who know how to gain access and effectively manage permissions.
The main form of database injection type attacks is SQL attacks, aimed at relational DBMS servers using the SQL language. NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, RavenDB, or Couchbase are immune to threats but susceptible to NoSQL injection-type attacks. They are much rarer but no less dangerous.
Exploitation of vulnerabilities
DB Corporate IT departments routinely forget to tune their core DBMS software. Thus, even if the vulnerability has already been discovered and the vendor releases a software patch to fix it, it may be months before the company makes the necessary changes to the settings. As a result, vulnerabilities exist for a long time that cybercriminals can exploit.
Access to backup data
Although the database servers are protected with a high level of security, their backups may be available to non-privileged users. In such a situation, there is a risk that unauthorized users can create backup copies and transfer them to their servers to extract sensitive information.
The presence of hidden database servers
Inadequate enforcement of software installation policies in an organization (or lack of such policies) leads to specialists being forced to select database servers of their choice for specific tasks. As a result, servers appear on the organization’s network that security administrators do not even know about. These servers also contain sensitive organization data and expose vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
Database Security Methods and Strategies
A range of practices are required to ensure that an organization’s databases are properly secured, coupled with regular internal controls. The matrix of popular defense practices includes the following aspects:
- Permanent management of user access rights and prevention of excessive privileges and inactive users.
- Training employees in risk mitigation techniques, which includes learning about common cyber threats such as phishing attacks and email exploitation.
- Assessment of the severity level of database vulnerabilities, which includes the detection of compromised endpoints and the classification of sensitive data.
- Tracking all activity related to gaining access to the database in real-time to detect data leaks, unauthorized SQL, and attacks on protocols and systems.
- Automation of the audit using a specially selected platform.
- It is blocking malicious web requests.
- It is archiving external data, encrypting information in the database, and masking its fields to hide confidential information.
You can also use special management software to protect your company’s data.