Database security protects the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and accessibility of data stored within a database. This includes implementing security measures to prevent unauthorised access, data breaches, or other security incidents. Insider threats, exploitation of software vulnerabilities and SQL/NoSQL injection attacks are all common threats to database security. Organisations can reduce the risk associated with database security by following best practices and being informed about new threats.
Database Security Threats
1. Insider threats:
These are threats that originate within an organisation. For example, employees or contractors who have access to the database. Neglect, carelessness, and malicious intent can all lead to insider threats. An employee might intentionally leak sensitive data or delete vital data.
2. Human error:
Database security is at risk from human error. Security breaches can be caused by poor password selection, misconfigurations of database settings, and inability to update software.
3. The exploitation of software vulnerability in database
Like all software, databases are susceptible to vulnerabilities. Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorised access and modify or steal data.
4. SQL/NoSQL Injection Attacks:
SQL/NoSQL injection attacks are a type of cyber-attack that involves inserting malicious code into a query to a database. Attackers can use these attacks to steal data or modify records.
5. Buffer Overflow Exploitations:
This vulnerability is caused by programs trying to store more data than they can handle in a buffer. Attackers can exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code or gain unauthorised access to the database.
Software that causes harm to a computer’s system is called malware. Malware can infect databases and cause damage to them.
7. DoS/DDoS Attacks:
DoS attacks aim to overload a database system with traffic, rendering it unusable to users. DDoS attacks are coordinated attacks that use multiple sources, making them more difficult to defend.
8. Malware Attacks:
Malware can come in many forms, including ransomware and spyware. A database system can be infected by malware using various methods, such as email attachments, malicious sites, and social engineering.
Different Types of Database Security
There are many ways to secure your database from the abovementioned threats. The most popular types of database security are:
1. Access Control:
This refers to who has access to the database and what actions they are allowed. Two-factor authentication, password policies and role-based access control are some examples of access control measures.
Data is converted into a code that can’t be read without decryption keys. Protect sensitive data in transit or at rest with encryption.
3. Auditing and Monitoring:
Auditing involves keeping track of all database activities and events. This helps to identify security breaches and can ensure compliance with regulations.
4. Backup and Recovery:
Business continuity is essential for a security incident. Backups are a great way to restore data to its original state and minimise the damage from an attack.
5. Patch Management:
Software patch management keeps your software current with security patches and other updates. This helps to address vulnerabilities and prevent attackers from exploiting them.
6. Data Masking:
This is when sensitive data are hidden by using fictitious data to replace them. This helps protect sensitive data from unauthorised access or accidental exposure.
Database Security Best Practices
1. Strong passwords are essential:
The first line of defence against unauthorised access to a database is the password. Strong passwords should be difficult to crack or guess. Password policies should require passwords to be at least 8 characters long, with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters. Passwords should also be updated regularly.
2. Access to the database is restricted:
This is an important step in database security. Role-based access control should also ensure that only the users who need it have access to the information and functionality necessary to do their job.
3. Use encryption:
To protect sensitive data in transit and at rest, encryption should be used. Strong encryption algorithms like AES should be used to encrypt data. Encryption keys should also be secured.
4. Make regular backups.
Regular database backups are necessary to maintain business continuity in an emergency or security breach. Backups should always be kept off-site and checked regularly to ensure they are available in an emergency.
5. Regularly update software:
Keeping your database secure by regularly updating the software and any associated applications with the most recent security patches and updates is crucial. This will help to fix vulnerabilities and prevent attackers from exploiting them.
6. Perform Security audits:
Regular security audits should always be done to identify security vulnerabilities and ensure security measures are effective. These audits should include security reviews, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing.
7. Educate users.
Education and awareness are key to preventing security incidents. Users must be educated about best practices in password management, social engineering and phishing attacks. Users should receive regular training and awareness campaigns to keep abreast of security threats and best practices.
8. Plan for disaster recovery:
In an emergency or security incident, a disaster recovery program should be put in place. The plan should contain data restoration, rebuilding procedures, and communication with stakeholders.
Database security is an essential component of any organisation’s overall security strategy. This includes protecting data stored in databases from many threats. Organisations can lower the risk of data breaches by implementing security audits and encryption. Organisations can stay on top of security threats by staying current and taking proactive measures to reduce them.
FAQS on Data Base Security
1. What is data masking and how does it enhance database security?
Data masking is a technique that increases database security. Data masking refers to the act of replacing sensitive data with fictitious data. This is done without revealing sensitive information, but it has the same characteristics. This technique increases database security by restricting access to sensitive data, reducing the risk of data breaches.
2. What can I do to prevent SQL injection attacks against my database?
You can prevent SQL injection attacks by using prepared statements and parameterised queries in your database queries. You should also ensure that user input is clean to prevent malicious code.
3. How can two-factor authentication improve database security?
Two-factor authentication requires two forms of identification from users to gain access to a system or an application. This adds a layer of security to the authentication process and makes it harder for hackers to gain unauthorised access.
4. What should I do if my database is compromised?
You should immediately take action if you suspect your database has been compromised. You should immediately disconnect the affected systems, reset passwords, notify stakeholders, and contact law enforcement. You should also conduct an extensive investigation to find the source of the breach and take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.