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Database Security Best Practices

Databases are an integral part of every organization. They can be used to store large amounts of sensitive personal and sensitive information. Every organization must ensure they have adequate technical controls in place to protect the database and to prevent its information from being accessible to unauthorised individuals.

Security for databases refers to the collection of policies, procedures and tools to safeguard the database or database management program from threats that are malicious to the database. The goal isn’t just about safeguarding the data in databases, it is on securing the database’s physical or virtual servers and the applications from third parties that access it.

A compromised database could cause data breaches, or other security breaches that can result in devastating consequences for your company. Data breaches can have the potential to shut down businesses which is why it is crucial to put safeguards in place to reduce the chance of one occurring. In addition the threat of insiders is the main source of security breaches to databases. There are three kinds threat from insiders: malicious insider, an inexperienced insider or an infiltrator who gained access via compromised credentials. Software vulnerabilities can be a risk to databases management software. A recent study conducted by Qualys has revealed that failure to patch security vulnerabilities promptly could expose the organization to hackers to carry out cyber-attacks.

To protect data, you should suggest these steps:

It is essential to ensure the network you use is secured. The majority of databases are network-accessible so vulnerabilities in security or threats to any component of the network infrastructure could be a threat for the databases. Any device that is connected to the network that has connection to the database should be protected. For instance the operating system, applications, and other third-party applications that connect to the database must be updated regularly with security patches to support the company’s patch management.

Limit access to databases and the network. This is a means of implementing the principle of least privilege, which guarantees that employees only be able to access the resources needed to perform their duties.

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Check access to databases for verification that authorized employees have access to the data that are authorized to access. Monitoring tools for database activity will alert you to users’ misuse of access or intrusions in real-time.

All data you send to and stored in the database to guard from unauthorized access and leakage of data. It is essential to ensure that your credentials are secure and encrypted, and encryption keys are handled according to the best practice.

Conduct review of technical aspects. Security-related misconfigurations are rated as the 5th security flaw in the newly updated OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities. It is recommended to review the configurations of your database regularly to ensure any security holes are remedied quickly before they are exploited by an attacker. The vulnerability scanning and penetration testing are a way to find and prioritize vulnerabilities discovered.

Maintain audit trails. Data entry should be documented and recorded, especially the ones which impact security and access to personal or sensitive information. This will help in assessing the security of access controls, and also prove compliance with regulatory requirements.