What is database security?

Database security encompasses a range of security controls designed to protect the Database Management System (DBMS). The types of database security measures your business should use include protecting the underlying infrastructure that houses the database such as the network and servers), securely configuring the DBMS, and the access to the data itself.

Database security controls

Database security encompasses multiple controls, including system hardening, access, DBMS configuration, and security monitoring. These different security controls help to manage the circumventing of security protocols.

System hardening and monitoring

The underlying architecture provides additional access to the DBMS. It is vital that all systems are patched consistently, hardened using known security configuration standards, and monitored for access, including insider threats.

DBMS configuration

It is critical that the DBMS be properly configured and hardened to take advantage of security features and limit privileged access that may cause a misconfiguration of expected security settings. Monitoring the DBMS configuration and ensuring proper change control processes helps ensure that the configuration stays consistent.

Authentication

Database security measures include authentication, the process of verifying if a user’s credentials match those stored in your database, and permitting only authenticated users access to your data, networks, and database platform.

Access

A primary outcome of database security is the effective limitation of access to your data. Access controls authenticate legitimate users and applications, limiting what they can access in your database. Access includes designing and granting appropriate user attributes and roles and limiting administrative privileges.

Database auditing

Monitoring (or auditing) actions as part of a database security protocol delivers centralized oversight of your database. Auditing helps to detect, deter, and reduce the overall impact of unauthorized access to your DBMS.

Backups

A data backup, as part of your database security protocol, makes a copy of your data and stores it on a separate system. This backup allows you to recover lost data that may result from hardware failures, data corruption, theft, hacking, or natural disasters.

Encryption

Database security can include the secure management of encryption keys, protection of the encryption system, management of a secure, off-site encryption backup, and access restriction protocols.

Application security

Database and application security framework measures can help protect against common known attacker exploits that can circumvent access controls, including SQL injection.

Why is database security important?

Safeguarding the data your company collects and manages is of utmost importance. Database security can guard against a compromise of your database, which can lead to financial loss, reputation damage, consumer confidence disintegration, brand erosion, and non-compliance of government and industry regulation.

Database security safeguards defend against a myriad of security threats and can help protect your enterprise from:

  • Deployment failure

  • Excessive privileges

  • Privilege abuse

  • Platform vulnerabilities

  • Unmanaged sensitive data

  • Backup data exposure

  • Weak authentication

  • Database injection attacks

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