Database security refers to various measures taken to secure database management systems from unauthorized access or malicious cyber-attacks. There are several database security programs that are designed to protect the data within the database and also the data management system itself.
All other applications that access the database are also protected from damage, intrusion, and being misused. Database security encompasses different processes, tools, and methodologies that aid in establishing solid security inside the database environment. Security breaches are mainly caused by software vulnerabilities, carelessness, and other misconfigurations.
Common database security threats
There are several common causes and types of database security threats your database is prone to if not protected properly. Cybercriminals often target the operational data store to steal confidential data about your company. Some of the common database security threats include.
Human error is possible when you have a lot of processes being handled by humans. Weak passwords, sharing of passwords, and accidental deletion of the data are major causes of human error.
So, if any hard copy files are related to the database, ensure that you store them out of reach and advise the workers to keep them safe. If your office’s storage space is limited, you can invest in large warehousing facilities to keep the design characteristics of the database objects.
The common sources of insider threats include malicious insiders with ill-intent or an outsider who obtains the company’s credential through social engineering. Sometimes a negligent worker within the organization may expose the database to attackers through careless actions. Insider threats are one of the most typical causes of a database security breach. It happens mostly if the company gives many users privileges to access the database.
NoSQL/SQL injection threats
There are database threats that specifically use arbitrary NoSQL and SQL attack strings in the database queries. The hackers develop these queries as an extension of the website application form or receive them via HTTP requests.
You need to understand that any database system is vulnerable to these injection threats. So, the developers must adhere to proper coding practices, and the organization should carry out regular vulnerability testing.
Buffer overflow attacks
Buffer overflow threats occur when you run processes that are trying to write large volumes of data into a fixed length of the memory block. Remember that every memory block has the maximum data length it can hold.
The excess data is then kept in the adjacent memory addresses, and the attackers can use this opportunity to steal the excess data. They will then analyze the data and use their findings to launch an attack on your database.
Exploitation of the database vulnerabilities
Cybercriminals constantly attempt to target the vulnerabilities of the software and isolate them for further inspection. They then inspect everything they need on the vulnerabilities and build programs that will not be detected due to these vulnerabilities.
Database management software applications are highly valuable targets for cybercriminals. The number of cybercrime numbers increasing rapidly indicates that new vulnerabilities are being discovered daily, which is why database software developers regularly issue security patches.
Denial of service attacks
In this type of attack, cyber criminals overwhelm the target device by using a large number of fake requests. As a result, the server will be unable to work on genuine requests from real users. Eventually, the server will crash, and this will affect all the information that is stored in the database.
With the distributed denial of service attack, the attackers generated fake traffic using many computers that participate in a botnet that the hacker controls. This will generate a lot of traffic that your system cannot stop without implementing a scalable defensive security architecture.
Malware refers to a software package designed to take advantage of the vulnerabilities within the system. These programs can stay on your computer for a very long time, stealing information or learning the security measures you have put in place to safeguard your systems.
Malware programs can get into your system through any endpoint device connected to the company’s database network. This is why companies should invest in quality protection at all endpoints and database servers due to the high sensitivity of the data.
A database server can either be a virtual or physical machine that runs the database. The database server securing process is often referred to as “hardening.” It includes network security, physical security, and secure operating system configuration.
Below are different ways you can secure your database server from unauthorized access.
Disable public network access
In real-world scenarios, the end-users do not require direct access to the database. And this implies that you should block all public access to the database servers. You only need to give access when you are the hosting provider. Set up a gateway server, either the SSH tunnels or VPN, for all the remote administrators.
Encrypt all files and backups
Regardless of the security measures that you have put in place, you need to encrypt all the files and backups. Cyber attackers are not the only threat to the security of the database, your workers may also pose a risk to your business.
Sometimes a malicious insider can gain access to the files they don’t have permission to and steal confidential information. When you encrypt your data, you make it unreadable to both malicious employees and hackers.
Test and update your security features often
Once you have established the right database security infrastructure, you must test and update it regularly. The more the advancement in technology, the more attackers gain new and great hacking skills.
To prevent further unauthorized access, ensure that you perform thorough penetration tests against the database to isolate all the vulnerabilities. You can involve ethical hackers to ensure that the testing is comprehensive.
Database security is vital as it helps keep customers’ data safe and out of reach of unauthorized access. There are several database security programs that you can use to reinforce the security of the database system. Keep watch of the common security vulnerabilities mentioned above and adopt better security practices to thwart these threats.