A Complete Guide to Database Security Best Practices

Bineesh Mathew | March 1, 2022 | 131 views

Database Security
Database security is critical because it contains a vast volume of highly sensitive data. These features of the database make it prone to cyber-attacks. However, what measures can be taken to safeguard data against such threats? In addition, some catastrophes, such as system outages, unauthorized access, and data loss, can occur if you do not have best practices for database security.

  • According to the Q3 report of Risk Based Security 2020, 36 billion data were compromised between January and September 2020. The report also emphasizes the importance of adequate database security best practices to prevent data loss.
  • According to IBM, data breach costs increased from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million in 2021. In the 17-year history, this is the highest average total cost.

“We believe that data is the phenomenon of our time. It is the world’s new natural resource. It is the new basis of competitive advantage, transforming every profession and industry. If all of this is true – even inevitable – then cybercrime, by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, and every company in the world."

- IBM

Database security practices differ from website security practices. Software solutions, physical actions, and even employee education are part of the former. Therefore, it’s crucial to secure your site to limit the attack routes that cybercriminals might use.

Database Security Challenges

With the evolution of the internet and the growing dependence, numerous services based on internet-based databases have emerged. Therefore, the threats and challenges that databases face have increased manifolds.This provides online foul players increased chances to turn things into their benefits.

Online fraudsters are looking for a chance to get into database accounts and make use of them in their favour. So, there should be a well-planned strtategy to mitigate risks, and understand all the potential breaches.

Some of the challenges and threats faced by database security are:
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Malware
  • Backup attacks
  • Database survivability
  • Physical location security
  • Data quality
  • Human error
  • Insider threats
  • Software vulnerabilities


Database Security Best Practices

The term refers to a set of procedures used to prevent security breaches in a database management system. As a result, the database's reliability can be kept up by following certain rules on a regular basis.

Read on to learn about database management best practices and the steps your company should take to secure them.


Respond to Potential Attacks by Actively Scanning Your Database for Breach Attempts

The more often you check your database for possible data breaches, the more secure you are and the faster you can react to any problems.

You can use monitoring software, such as SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer, SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor, Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, and SQL Power Tools, to keep track of all actions on the database server and receive alerts if there are any breaches. Set up escalation measures in the event of a potential attack to keep your critical information secure.

Another database security best practice is conducting frequent security audits and cybersecurity penetration tests. These allow you to identify potential security flaws and fix them before a breach occurs.


Create Backups for Database to Mitigate Losing Sensitive Information

While it is common to have a back-up of your website, it is critical to back up your database also. This significantly reduces the chances of losing sensitive data because of malicious attacks or data corruption.

Also, to boost database security, ensure that the backup is stored and encrypted on a different server. This ensures that your data is recoverable and secure even if the primary database server is compromised or unavailable.


Regular Updates and Monitoring Can Save you from Hackers and Breaches

Always use the latest database management software, such as MySQL, Microsoft Access, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and dBASE, as an adequate database security best practice. In addition, keep your operating system up to date to stay protected from the latest security threats.

Any program connecting to the database from a third party can pose a security risk. To avoid external flaws, keep all plug-ins up-to-date. Ensure that all database security settings are turned on by default, especially when connected to multiple third-party apps.


Understand the Various Types of Data and How to Categorize to Protect it Effectively

To secure data successfully, you must first understand what types of data you have. Then, your data repositories will be scanned, and the results will be reported using data discovery technologies. Using a data classification technique, you can organize the data into categories. Data discovery engines commonly use regular expressions for their searches, which are highly flexible but challenging to create.

Data detection and classification technology allow you to limit user access to vital data and avoid storing it in insecure locations, lowering the risk of data loss and inappropriate data exposure. All essential or sensitive data should be tagged with a digital signature that indicates its categorization to safeguard it according to its importance to the company.


Summing Up

Database security best practices encompass a wide range of security concerns and activities. However, the most effective security measures discussed in this article help keep your database secure.

Keeping your database safe from unwanted attacks is a multi-faceted task that includes everything from the physical location of the servers to limiting the possibility of human mistakes.

Even though data breaches are becoming rampant, following sound database security best practices reduces the chances of being targeted and helps prevent breaches.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is database security?

Businesses take steps to protect their databases from both internal and external threats. Database security protects the database, the data it holds, the database management system, and the numerous applications that access it.


What are the types of database security threats?

There are many types of database security threats. Some of them are:
  • Insider Threats
  • Human Error
  • Exploitation of Database Software Vulnerabilities
  • SQL/NoSQL Injection Attacks
  • Buffer Overflow Attacks
  • Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS) Attacks
  • Malware
  • An Evolving IT Environment


What are the different types of databases?

Databases can be relational databases, NoSQL databases, cloud databases, columnar databases, wide column databases, object-oriented databases, key-value databases, and hierarchical databases.

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