Combating the Risk of SQL Injection Attacks – Part 2

Aashish Yadav | August 2, 2022 | 1450 views | Read Time : 02:00 min

Combating the Risk of SQL Injection Attacks – Part 2
In our previous blog, we put SQL injection in focus and discussed different types of SQLi generally used by cybercriminals. Now it's time to shed some light on SQL Injection Attack prevention and mitigation strategies. Before you dive deeper with us and explore top tips to prevent SQL Injection attacks, you should have a clear idea about SQL injections, for which you can check out our previous article.


How to Prevent SQL Injection Attacks: Top Tips

When discussing how to combat SQL injection attacks, the essential precautionary steps could be the usage of parameterized queries and adequate input validation checks, in addition to employing web application firewalls to block out malicious or risky requests. They are, however, not the only preventative measures accessible.

In addition to these tools, let’s look at a few additional techniques that might save you from SQL injection attacks.

  • Verify User Input
Validating user inputs helps prevent SQL injection attacks. Determine the most relevant SQL statements and establish a whitelist of lawful statements, omitting invalidated entries. This is called input validation or request redesign.

Moreover, you should adapt user data inputs depending on the context. Input fields for email addresses can only allow email-specific characters, like the "@" sign. Contact details and SSNs should be limited to the exact number of digits.

This technique won't stop SQLi attackers by itself, but it will safeguard a common fact-gathering strategy.

  • Don’t Trust Any User-Supplied Input
Input validation helps prevent SQLi attacks from exploiting user input channels. Robust context-dependent validation checks early in the data flow guarantee only inputs that fit a certain set of requirements. Structured data can also benefit from context-based syntactic checking to ensure accurate syntax.

Consider escaping all user-controllable data using the specified character escaping method.

  • Refrain from Using Dynamic SQL Queries Whenever Possible
Insecure dynamic queries result in SQL injection vulnerabilities because SQL code and issuing logic are constructed while processing user input. Parameterized queries create SQL logic before passing user input as arguments. User input can't change the logic and is supplied as a parameter depending on its data type.

Secure stored procedures without dynamic SQL creation are another alternative. Stored procedures are SQL statements with arguments that are stored in the database and invoked during execution. Unchecked stored processes might increase an application's risk instead of minimizing it.

  • Remember the Encryption!
In the world of cybersecurity, an attack surface is a bundle of possible entry points for attackers. In the case of SQLi attacks, this includes either removing or strengthening any database functionality that is no longer required.

However, one application in Microsoft SQL Server is the XP cmd shell improved stored method. This method can be utilized to open a Windows command shell and enter a string to be run.

  • Regularly Install Updates and Patches
Updating software and installing patches to your programs and even the underlying systems on which they operate keeps you safe from known vulnerabilities. A security patch or new version is provided when developers address an issue detected or reported in an earlier version. Until these updates are performed, the program remains vulnerable to compromise by exploiting security flaws that might have been prevented with a simple update.


Closing Lines

SQL injection attacks have been included in the OWASP top ten list since its inception in 2003. It's been around for two decades now and is still relevant, thanks in part to a misguided priority whenever it involves the implementation of security measures. This relevance is likely to change very soon as attackers continue to develop new methods to bypass existing controls.

acks is the best way to prevent future mistakes. As yet, the most crucial thing to consider is data recovery and limiting the effect of the attack.

Spotlight

Digital Shadows

Digital Shadows, a ReliaQuest company, minimizes digital risk by identifying unwanted exposure and protecting against external threats. Organizations can suffer regulatory fines, loss of intellectual property, and reputational damage when digital risk is left unmanaged. Digital Shadows SearchLight™ helps you minimize these risks by detecting data loss, securing your online brand, and reducing your attack surface.

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