Simple Countermeasures to Database Security Threats Every Business Should Know

Data is an indispensable asset for every company. Every day businesses across the world collect a large volume of data on customers and daily operations. This data is stored on their databases that manage this critical information and help in the automation of diverse functions both outside the business. Due to its immense importance, data security is a critical part of protecting the business entity.

Data security is the goal of every database management system. Experts in data administration and management state that even small business owners should pay attention to it. They should not assume their businesses are completely safe from cybercriminals. Their companies can be targets, as well, as these criminals lookout for businesses that have poor data security measures or no protection at all. They use this data to sell it in the market, and this means your business reputation and the information of your customers are at stake.

Database protection is the need of the hour for every business

The first step in data security deals with physical security. You need to ensure that the business database is only accessed by personnel authorized to log into it. Database protection is one of the vital ways to retain customers and ensure that you provide them with the best. Besides the above, as a business owner, you need to identify both internal and external threats to the database, and the key ones are listed below-

  1. Excessive privileges to the business database – Users of your business database have different privileges. However, some users may abuse these privileges, and some of them are listed below-
    • Excessive privilege abuses
    • Abuse or legitimate privileges and
    • Abuse of unused privilege

Out of these three, you will find that excessive privileges create potential risks. As per research and statistics conducted by database security professionals in the past, almost 80% of database security attacks on the company databases have been incorporated by employees currently working in the organization or by ex-employees who have left the company.

Countermeasures-

    • Businesses are recommended to deploy and later uphold stringent control of access and privileges policies in the company.
    • Never give excessive privileges to employees of the company and ensure that outdated ones are revoked on time.
  1. SQL injections – This is a common database security threat and comes in the form of an attack with a malicious code embedded in the frontend or web applications and later passed over to the backend database. As a result of these SQL injections, cybercriminals can have unrestricted access to data stored in the business database. There are two kinds of SQL injection attacks, and they are-
    • SQL injection that targets traditional databases
    • NoSQL injections that target larger databases

Countermeasures:

    • Stored procedure that is used instead of direct queries
    • The incorporation of the MVC architecture
  1. Weak audit trails – If a business database is not audited well, it presents non-compliance risks with both national and critical international regulations for data security. A business must record and register all its database events, and the business must deploy solutions for automatic auditing. If there is unwillingness or an inability to carry this out, this represents a grave risk on several levels.

Countermeasures-

Businesses should embrace automatic database auditing solutions that impose no extra loads on the performance of the database. Leading name in database administration and management, RemoteDBA.com states many credible database auditing modules are the best solutions for your business and you.

  1. Exposure to database backups – It is a healthy practice for the business to frequently carry out database backups. However, files of this database backup are often left unprotected, and they become vulnerable to attacks. There are several reports of multiple security breaches that have taken place due to these leaks.

Countermeasures-

    • Encrypt backups and databases. Storage of data in an encrypted form permits security for both back-up and production copies of the database.
    • The database and its backups should both be audited. This helps in identifying the individual who has been attempting to get access to sensitive business data.
  1. Database misconfigurations and vulnerabilities- It often occurs that databases are completely unprotected because of misconfiguration. Some systems have default accounts as well as configuration parameters. Note, business owners should remember that hackers are themselves qualified IT professionals and specialists who are well-equipped on the measures on how to exploit vulnerabilities and misconfigurations of the database and deploy them for attacking the business.

Countermeasures-

    • The databases should not have any default accounts
    • The IT personnel in the business should be highly experienced and qualified in database administration and management.
  1. Lack of education and expertise in IT security – Databases tend to get leaked and breaches due to the inadequate levels of expertise in IT security. Employees that have no technical experience are not educated, and they often put the database at risk and break security rules. The database security personnel might lack the knowledge to incorporate security controls, enforce the necessary policies, and conduct incident response processes proactively.

Countermeasures-

    • Users of the database should be educated extensively in the field of database security
    • Specialists in IT security and database management should be encouraged to upgrade to their professional levels and existing qualifications. If you are a small business owner and cannot afford a full-time IT specialist, you should hire credible remote DBA companies for the task.

The above is some of the most common database security attacks that every business can face. It is prudent for every business owner of both large and small companies. Being aware of their countermeasures will help companies protect their databases and critical data from hackers round-the-clock. When hiring an, IT managed service or remote DBAs for the task; one should ensure the company has experience in the field and is reputed for its services in the market. It is prudent to check out online reviews and client testimonials first before hiring them.

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