Over the last five years, the concern over data breaches has been growing. This comes amidst the backdrop of huge data losses by big brands, which have raised more concerns over the vulnerability of small businesses. Some of the large names who have faced the consequence of data breach include AOL, MySpace, Compass Bank, AT&T, NHS, LinkedIn, Apple, JP Morgan Chase, Anthem and lately the Clinton Campaign.
Database security has become a hot debate, both in the public and private organizations. As a business owner, it is important to choose a database solution that is optimized to avoid such breaches. If you are launching a business website or set up your company database to take advantage of business intelligence, it is important to find the most secure solution because this averts the risk of data breach and losses.
Common Database Security Issues
According to Breach Live Index, there are over 5 billion lost data records since 2013 and this highlights the importance of data security. There are myriad risks to your database both physical, intentional and others emanating from technical glitches. Any database system you choose should be able to mitigate these common database security issues.
Other specific database security threats include:
Denial of service (DoS): Buffer overflows because DoS issues and this is a common threat to your data. It can also be caused by data corruption and when such an attack occurs, the server crashes and you are not able to access data. Your website or services will stay down and this leads to loss of business and a poor reputation.
Privilege escalation: This is one of the most serious threats to your database and it can cause total chaos in your business. This problem makes your database prone to data loss, malicious addition of data and modification.
Buffer overflow: This is the most common database security threat. A program can precipitate this by trying to copy too much data into a buffer and this leads to overflow. This can cause overwriting of data already in the memory and if an attack occurs at such a moment, they can wreak havoc on your website.
SQL injections: This is by far the biggest security threat to your company database. They are a risk both to web apps and databases and the problem occurs when data that has not been sanitized finds its way to the database. A hacker can then access sensitive information and this can ruin your business.
There are other database security problems that can arise and efficient database management is crucial in ensuring security of your data. DBA services help to do this professionally and you will not have to worry about the health of your database. These professionals also guarantee your site is secure through real-time monitoring to avert underlying threats before they become real.
Important Factors You Should Consider
When looking for a database security solution, it is important to consider your needs first. There are fancy products in the market, which will not serve your needs and you might be paying top dollar for a license yet that is not the product that fits your security needs.
1. Database Activity Monitoring (DAM)
This is one of the most important components when securing your database. DBA services use this consideration when protecting your system. The DAM is crucial, as it monitors everything that goes on in your database and sends alerts about anything suspicious. You will know who is accessing the database and at what time. A comprehensive reporting system is crucial to protect your database against hackers and other intrusions.
There are different statutes in different industries and the protection product you deploy must meet such standards. The focus in compliance requirements is mostly on real-time monitoring.
3. Duty Separation
Access to the database should only be for those who have tasks related to the data stored therein. A good protection system should make it possible to control access based on the actual task. By limiting access to your database, you will protect against any malicious breaches while also reducing any risk of external threats.
4. Data Masking
The risk of data loss even for a small business is real and it is important to safeguard against this using every strategy possible. Data masking entails garbling data to avoid free access even by remote database services. For instance, while your remote DBA might need access to the database, there is no reason to warrant free access to everything. Your DBA can see the files in the system without having to read the details.
This is the oldest trick in the book; data encryption can save you a lot of trouble. You can encrypt everything in the database in case someone has access to the information without your consent. There are different levels of encryption depending on the type of data you have stored. You can also encrypt data emanating from your database before it reaches the user. This protects the data in case someone other than the intended recipient tries to use such data. The user will need to use their authentication credential for the data to become accessible on their end.
Choosing a database protection solution can be a daunting task, but your remote DBA will be at hand to help you. By extending the best resources to your DBA, they will be able to constantly protect your database. It is important to discuss with the database administrator about the business importance of protecting your data. You should also invest in unlimited power supply (UPS) to protect against data loss during outages.
Mastering these common database security issues is an integral part of modern business operations. You can protect your business against legal claims in case of data losses. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) says that over 60% of small businesses that suffer data losses collapse within 6 months if they can’t retrieve this data. As such, it is imperative to invest in the best database protection solutions in the market. Your DBA can help you deploy the best protection systems. These professionals will also help you understand the best database security practice.
Sujain Thomas is an IT consultant and tech writer based in San Francisco. She has experience in database management and has worked in the industry for over 18 years.