Today, every large organization has massive amounts of collected and stored data. This data resides in databases. Thus, databases are the most pursued target by cybercriminals. To avoid cyberattacks, any database should be appropriately secured. How? Let’s find out!
It is best to keep a database on a separate physical machine, which is differentiated from machines running applications or web servers. In the other words, your database server should be in a secure, locked environment with access controls only for authorized people.
A firewall is the means to protect your database server from possible security threats. The firewall will deny access to traffic by default except the one, which will go from applications and servers that need to access the data.
Also, you can develop a web application firewall. For example, SQL injection attacks of a web application can be used to extract or erase data from the database. A database firewall won’t cope with this event as an app is an allowed source even if it is bombed with SQL injection attacks.
Only a very small number of people should have access to the database: administrators should have the minimum privileges they need to do the job, smaller organizations should grant permission based on groups or roles. In a larger organization, it is better to use access management software, which makes access an automatic process: authorized users will obtain a temporary password and required privileges to access a database. It also logs everything carried out and prevents administrators from sharing passwords.
In addition, standard account security procedures should be adhered to. For example,
To be protected against all the recent vulnerabilities, it is important to update your operating system and database software with all security patches installed from time to time. Also, all database security controls provided by the database should be enabled unless there is a reason for them to be disabled. This applies especially to those databases connected to a large number of third-party applications and requiring patches.
Database activity monitoring software might give you a hand and provide independent monitoring of native database logging and audit functions. It also helps to monitor administrator activity.
After you’ve established your database security infrastructure, you should test it. Hacking or auditing your own database will help you find vulnerabilities if the latter exists. There are third-party services and white hat hackers that you can hire to do the job.
Encrypt your stored data and data-in-transit. Regularly backup your database and ensure that any backups are encrypted and stored separately from the decryption keys.