What are the Best Database Security Practices to Implement?
Business + Managementcybersecurityposted by ODSC Community February 13, 2023 ODSC Community
Data science is a field that, just like the quantity of data we have available to us, is constantly expanding. Since 2021 the world has been creating as much data every 40 minutes as was built in the entirety before 2003. Data is scaling at an incredible rate, making databases more critical than ever to keep things running smoothly.
Yet, as businesses have turned to databases on a large scale, they’ve quickly become the target of hacking attempts, phishing schemes, or brute force attacks. Due to the value of data that companies use, businesses must do everything they can to keep it safe. That’s where database security comes in.
Implementing database security best practices can help keep your private data as secure as possible.
Firewalls Are Your Friends
Almost every cybersecurity expert will be familiar with constructing and using WAF and database firewalls. They are one of the most common ways of ensuring database security, so we won’t spend too much time on them.
Ensure that your databases have a few distinct levels of security that run autonomously. While having security experts monitor the health of your databases will keep them safe, this is impossible to do 24/7. That’s why it’s so important to have passive defenses like these in place.
Before embarking on any adventure into security, you must first ensure that your business has a range of backups. No matter how prepared you are for a breach, there will always be something that goes wrong in the world of cybersecurity. We’ve seen it all across this industry, with even tech giants like Microsoft falling prey to data vulnerabilities from time to time.
Most recently, Microsoft suffered a data breach that exposed over 65.000 customer accounts. If it can happen to a company of that size, it can happen to anyone. That’s why the best strategy you can take is one of preparation. Make sure to have several backups available for your business to fall back on.
If you’re involved in ransomware or another malicious entry into your system, your backups will allow employees to continue working as usual while you deal with the problem. Not only does this decrease the total amount of panic that these events can trigger, but it’ll also ensure you minimize total losses from any cybersecurity event.
Ensure You Have Full Visibility Over User Access
User access is where the vast majority of database security infiltrations will occur. Users have access to databases, making them prime targets for hackers. While hackers could inject malicious SQL into your database itself, most firewalls will protect you from this. That’s why users make such an excellent target, as they’re considerably easier to fool and then use.
It only takes one employee clicking on a link that they shouldn’t have to download malware or ransomware onto your system. Equally, if their username and password are exposed via phishing, then you’re going to be in a difficult situation. While we cannot completely avoid this, educating your staff can reduce the risk.
However, what we can do is ensure that user access is specifically defined for your databases. For example, ensure that only certain users have complete access and that their accounts are extremely well protected. Curtailing access will ensure that even if a hacker does gain entry into an email account, they won’t be able to start creating chaos in your system.
Update Your Systems When Possible
For those that actively work in cybersecurity, this one is going to be second nature. Updating to a new release of a system doesn’t just ensure that you have access to all of the most recent features. Most importantly, updating ensures that you are in line with that system’s most recent security features. Typically, companies will issue security patches to cover certain vulnerabilities that they have discovered.
If you’re not updating your systems regularly, you could be inadvertently exposing your business to a whole range of different vulnerabilities. Without continual updates, this can snowball into exposing your business to hackers and vulnerabilities they have discovered.
The simple solution is to update as soon as security fixes become available to you. Not only will it ensure you have the best possible version of a piece of software, but it also means that you’ll have the safest version, too.
Test Your Systems Regularly
Database security is not a binary medium. It’s a sliding scale, with new vulnerabilities being exposed and fixed on a rolling basis. To keep up with this difficulty, you need to make sure that your cybersecurity team is one step ahead of any potential hackers.
The very best way to do this is to ensure that your teams are regularly testing the current database security systems that you have in place. Pen testing, red and blue teaming, or a mix of various other approaches, will ensure that you understand the current status of your system and can continually improve it.
It’s always better to stumble across a security vulnerability during an internal pen test, rather than a hacker finding one while you’re not looking.
Database security is one of the most important aspects of cybersecurity that your business needs to cover. As databases increasingly become the target for hackers, we must continually improve our defensive strategies to manage the looming threat.
Our list details some of the best methods that your business can use to rapidly increase the overall security of your databases. Without a doubt, incorporating this set of tips into your management system will help to radically decrease the possibility of a security event from occurring.
Best of luck locking down your systems in 2023!
About The Author –
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.