Best Database Security Practices

Database Security: 7 Best Practices You Should Adopt Today

Your database is home to some of the most sensitive customer data. It includes their personal information, financial information and even their contact details. This makes databases a lucrative target for cybercriminals. This is why the number of data breaches and cybersecurity attacks targeting databases are growing exponentially.

On the flip side, this also makes it one of the most important assets your business should protect. How do you protect your database from the prying eyes of hackers and prevent them from accessing, manipulating, destroying or stealing data stored on your databases?

In this article, you will learn about seven best practices you should adopt today to protect your databases.

7 Best Practices To Keep Your Database Secure

Here are seven best practices you need to adopt right now to protect your databases from cybersecurity attacks and data breaches.

1.   Use an Identity and Access Management System

Identity and access management systems help you enforce stringent policies and controls, as well as assist your business in managing and restricting user access. This way, whenever someone wants access to your data, they will have to seek permission. Once the permission is granted, they can access your data. This will go a long way towards minimizing your risk of data theft.

IAM Service Components

Here is a step by step process you can follow to implement an identity and access management system in your organization.

  • Since IAM works on the least privilege principle, every user will only have the right to access data related to their task.
  • Identify how many people need access to your data and who wants administrative or privileged access.
  • Make sure that there are multiple admins so that if one of them makes a change, it should be verified by the other person before being enforced.
  • Keep a close eye on individuals who have administrative access.

2.   Leverage Data Encryption

Data encryption not only protects the integrity of your data but also ensure data privacy. There are two types of encryption:

  • Encryption at rest
  • Transit encryption

As the name suggests, encryption at rest is usually applied to data at rest while transit encryption is applied on data during transit to prevent it from spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks. By encrypting your data, you can drastically reduce the possibility of consumer data theft.

Best of all, it is easier and cheaper to implement so you don’t have to buy expensive hardware or software to encrypt your data or go through complex processes. In addition to this, it can protect you from regulatory fines and you can implement encryption on every device.

3.   Data Masking

Another technique you can use to secure your databases is data masking. Data masking is basically a process of modifying sensitive data in such a way that it is no longer of any use tomalicious threat actors while still being useful for an authorized person. It can help you protect your sensitive data from exfiltration, data loss as well as internal threat actors as well.

Data Masking

For instance, instead of sharing the entire debit card number, you can use data masking and share only the last four-digit to make the transaction. This not only prevents your card data from getting stolen or misused but also helps you perform the transaction you want to make.

4.   Continuous Log Management and Monitoring

Most businesses already do this but they don’t analyze patterns, which makes it difficult for them to identify the red flags. Keep track of IP addresses that are trying to access your servers as well as the country and city of the person trying to access your database servers.

Log Management

You can also invest in security information and event management tools to identify patterns in your log files. As soon as the suspicious or malicious activity is traced, a red flag needs to be raised. Make sure you create network policies based on their rules. It can come in handy when it comes to protecting your database server from external attacks.

5.   Take Advantage of Two Factor Authentication

It is highly recommended that you implement two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication. Even if the attackers manage to gain access to your account or administrative passwords, they won’t be able to get their hands on the data stored in your database. They will have to get over another layer of security. This could be a question or a code. Follow password best practices when setting up passwords and regularly change your passwords every month. Two-factor authentication ensures that only authorized personnel have access to data.

Multi Factor Authentication

6.   Implement Firewalls

Firewalls can act as a gatekeeper and prevent malicious traffic from entering your network. You can use firewalls to protect your database servers from external threats. You can either use a network firewall or a web application firewall. Network firewall operates at the transport layer while web application firewall works at the application layer. You can also use IP-based whitelisting to only allow specific people to access your database servers and create a blacklist to block certain IP addresses from accessing your database servers. They give you better control over accessibility and traffic.

7.   Keep Your Database Server Separate

Last but certainly not the least is to keep your database server separate from the application server and web servers. Avoid keeping all the servers in one place as it can increase the risk of data theft. You can also create a physical or logical subnetwork with the help of a demilitarized zone. This adds a buffer between your website visitors and your organization’s private network without hampering the functionality. It also allows you to disable certain services that are not being used. This prevents attackers from gaining access to information that is connected to your network.

What steps do you take to secure your databases? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Joe Martin

Joe Clark is a content marketing specialist at Anti-Dos. He not only loves to produce high quality content but also spends most of his time in promoting content on different social media channels. His unique point of view gives readers something fresh to read. With a thorough understanding of his target audience, he delivers value through content by providing the readers with the solutions to their biggest problems. This is why his articles and blogs have become very popular among the readers.

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