Database security simply means the act of using wide range information security controls for the protection of our database (which includes database application, the data, database servers, the database system and the link of networks associated with it) from losing their availability and integrity. Different types of control are involved in these systems which include the physical, technical and administrative control.
Database security is an important topic for the specialist when dealing with Risk management, Computer security and Information security.
Security Risks To Database Systems
As stated by the technology vendor Application Security, the risk attached to database include
- When the data system is misuse by unauthorized/authorized user or administrator e.g. wrong access to sensitive data, changing of database security configuration or structure or program inappropriately.
- High number of users that is allowed to access it.
- Infection by malware that causes incident like disclosure of personal data, unauthorized access, deletion of the data, denial of authorized access to the database, failure of database services.
- When there is an unpatched RDBMS
- Overload more than the capacity which causes inability of the authorized users to use the database like before.
- Database server damage as a result of overheating, liquid spill, lightning, electronic breakdown, obsolesce, static discharge etc.
- When the system, database and the program associated with it has programming bugs, this will lead to security vulnerability, performance degradation and data corruption or loss.
- Data loss or data corruption which occur as a result of input of invalid command or due to invalid data, system administration processes, data base damage.
- Injection of the SQL
- When there is unnecessary DBMS features that is enabled
- It could occur due to broken configuration management
Key Ways To Ensure Database Security
These are the major ways to ensure database security, according to Applications Security, Inc.
- Separate sensitive database==> Ensure accurate inventory of the database, then try to identify the sensitive data inside the database.
- Remove vulnerabilities==> Make sure you assess it continually, then identify and remove the vulnerability that is exposed to the database.
- Watch out for deviations==> Make use of normal policies and checkout for any vulnerability that cannot be removed and any activity that is not authorized.
- Impose least privileges==> Determine the user entitlement, then enforce the user access privileges and control in other to limit the access to the minimum data required for the employees to carry out their jobs.
- Swift response to any suspected behavior==> Quick response to any suspicious or any abnormal behavior per time so as to minimize risk of attack.
You have to develop a database security plan, as part of this security plan, it is also important for the organization to take inventory of the entire database that falls within such organization’s network environment. This can be done by using vulnerability management technology which can run scan through all data automatically to detect the ones that contains sensitive information like customer data and financial information. This technology is also capable of accessing database misconfiguration and vulnerabilities, identify a weak or default passwords, poor access control and will also point out vulnerabilities which can be exploited. Some available tools such as built-in templates which absorb regulatory compliance initiative and best practices framework requirement, these tools can also be used continuously to identify vulnerability and new threats.Another tool such as Database activity monitoring tool also provides visibility into database activity thereby increasing the process of reducing vulnerability. This tool collect, aggregate and analyze data to checkout for the activities that does not comply with security policy or the ones that shows anomalies. The main reason why Database activity monitoring technology is deployed is to monitor users activities (users such as developer, system administrator, outsourced personnel and database administrator, many of which have unchecked access to the corporate database.
In other to ensure compliance with the regulation and minimize threats, The use of Database activity monitoring is essential in identifying anomalous activities like users checking sensitive data, performing unauthorized changes in the configuration, changing of log records etc.
Generally, based on the principle of least access that reduce the users excessive access right, it is known to be the best practice to implement in access control.