Introduction

A database is a storehouse of important data. These contain information like credit card details that can be something highly valuable to a cybercriminal. Hackers thus find network databases to be an attractive target and this is why it becomes vital to ensure proper database security.

  1. What is Database Security?
  2. Types of DS
  3. Types of Attacks
  4. Importance
  5. Best Practices

1. What is Database Security?   

So let us first understand what is database security. Database security is a plethora of measures, controls, and tools that are designed to preserve as well as establish the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the database. Confidentiality is the most important aspect of data security because this is something that is the most compromised.

The database security should be capable of addressing and protecting the data available in the database, the DBMS or the database management system, any of the applications that are associated with it, the server of the physical database or the underlying hardware and the virtual database server and the network or the computing infrastructure that is used to access the database.

Now that we understand what database security tries to accomplish let us delve into talking about the kinds of database security.

2. Types of DS

Here are the types of database security.

A) Database security controls

The database security control has many controls that include DBMS configuration, access for system hardening, and security monitoring. These are various security controls that help to manage the security protocol circumventing.

B) System hardening and monitoring

The architecture underlying offers additional DBMS access. The systems need to be hardened making use of the security configuration, patched consistency, and immunity from all kinds of access which includes any insider threats.

C) Access

A major outcome of the database security is its data access limitation. The access control will authenticate legitimate users and applications. This limits what they are capable of accessing. The access includes designing and granting the appropriate attributes of the user and the roles. It also limits the administrative privileges.

D) DBMS configuration

DBMS configuration is critical and it must be hardened and configured to take the advantage of various security features. This helps to limit any kind of privileged access that could cause a misconfiguration of the security settings. It is important that the DBMS is monitored for its configuration and it goes through the process of proper change control that helps to make sure that the configuration is consistent.

E) Application security

The application security and the database security framework help to protect from any commonly known attacker exploits which could cause to circumvent the access control. This may also include the SQL injection.

F) Authentication

Authentication is an important part of the database security measure which is the process through which the user credentials are matched as per the details that have been stored in the database. It allows only the users that are authenticated to access the network, data, and the database platform.

G) Database auditing

Auditing and monitoring the actions are a part of the protocol of database security. It delivers a centralized oversight to the database. The auditing helps to deter, detect, and also reduce the overall impact of any unauthorized access to the DBMS.

H) Encryption

The database security includes security management of the encryption keys. It helps to protect the encryption system and the management of the secure and off-site encryption backup. It also gives access to the restriction protocols.

I) Backups

A very crucial part of the database security protocol is the data backup. This makes a data copy and stores it in a different system. The backup allows one to recover any data that may have been lost. The data could be lost because of data corruption, any hardware failure, natural disasters, or hacking.

3. Types of Attacks

There could be many kinds of database security threats. The breach could happen because of any kind of misconfiguration in the software, any vulnerability, if there are any careless patterns, or because of misuse. Most kinds of database security attacks have been listed below.

A) Human error

Using weak password accidents, password sharing and any kind of uninformed or unwise human behaviour could also cause a security breach.

B) Malware

This is software that is written to exploit the vulnerability that could cause damage to the database. The malware may come from any endpoint device that is connected to the database network.

C) Insider threats

An insider threat can happen because of a malicious insider who wishes to cause harm, any negligent insider who makes an entry in the database and makes the database vulnerable to an outside attack, or because of an infiltrator who gets the credentials through a scheme like gaining access to the database credentials itself. 

D) Attacks on the backup

If the organization does not have proper backup data and follows stringent data controls that are used to protect the database then this can be vulnerable to backup attacks.

E) The exploitation of the vulnerabilities of the database software 

The hackers find and target any kind of vulnerability in the database management software. All the commercial vendors and those that offer open-source database management platforms issue patches to address these vulnerabilities. However when there is a failure to use this patch timely then this can cause an increase in exposure.

4. Importance

You need to ensure proper database security measures because:

  • If the intellectual property gets stolen then it becomes impossible to maintain your competitive advantage.
  • A breach of database security causes damage to the reputation of your brand.
  • Some business will stop to operate if there is a breach.
  • There are penalties or fines imposed in case of a non-compliance.
  • There are costs involved in notifying clients and in repairing the breaches.

5. Best Practices

Database security should extend beyond the database confines.

  • The database server should be located in a climate-controlled and secure environment.
  • There should be a minimum number of users who should have database access to help them to do their jobs.
  • It is important to be aware of who has access to the database and how any data is being used.
  • All the data which are included in the database should be protected with the best encryption.
  • The latest version of the database management software should be used and all the patches should be applied
  • Any of the web server or application can be vulnerable to attack and thus should go through continuous security testing
  • Al the copies, backups, and images should be subject to similar security controls like the database
  • All the logins should be recorded in the operating system and the database server

Conclusion

It is a challenging and complex thing to incorporate total database security. This will involve a range of practices and information security technologies. If the database is assessable easily then it makes it more vulnerable to security threats. If the database is invulnerable then it becomes difficult to access it. This gives rise to proper database security measures.

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