Data is a crucial asset of your company. Companies gather a lot of data daily from their customers and daily operations. The data stored in databases are then utilized to handle and automate different functions within and outside companies.
Because of its importance, data protection is crucial to business protection.
In this post, you’ll be learning more about database security threats and what you can do to protect your database:
1. Database injection attacks
SQL injection attacks are the primary form of database injection attacks.
It usually attacks relational database servers or RDBMS that utilizes SQL language. While NoSQL databases are immune to these attacks, they’re prone to NoSQL Injection attacks- while these are less common, they can be equally dangerous.
Both of these attacks operate by bypassing data entry controls of web applications so that they can get comments on the database engine to expose data and its structures. Usually, in extreme cases, a successful injection attack will provide the attacker unrestricted access to the heart of the database.
2. Denial of service (DoS/DDoS) attacks
This attack usually happens when the cybercriminal overwhelms the target service. In this case, this is typically the database server- using a volume of fake requests. Thus, the server cannot carry genuine requests from actual users- it will either crash or become unstable.
Usually, in a DDoS, fake traffic is generated by a significant volume of computers. It is a botnet that the attacker controls and creates high traffic volumes, which are difficult to stop, especially if you don’t have a highly defensive architecture. A cloud-based DDoS protection service can scale and dynamically address these big attacks.
Malware is a software developed to take advantage of any vulnerabilities that may harm a database. They could get through at any endpoint device connected to the database’s network.
That’s why malware protection is crucial to an endpoint, especially on database servers, because of their high value and sensitivity.
4. Exposure of database backups
It’s a good practice to make backups of proprietary databases within a defined period. However, many database backup files are often left unprotected from attack. Thus, there are quite a several security breaches that happen through database backup leaks.
To avoid this, here are some helpful tips:
- Encrypt both backup and databases. Store data in an encrypted form to secure the production and back—up copies of databases.
- Audit the database and backups. Doing so lets you know who has been trying to access this sensitive data.
5. Inadequate permissions management
Often, database servers are installed in an organization with their default security settings, which are often never changed. As a result, databases are exposed to attackers who know the default permissions and know-how to exploit them.
In the same way, there’s the abuse of legitimate permissions- users with access to database privileges may use it unauthorized. For instance, they might divulge confidential information.
Inactive accounts may also pose a security risk that is often overlooked. Malicious individuals may know these accounts exist and therefore take advantage of them, accessing the database without authorization.
6. Credential Threats
In the same way, a weak password and poor authentication also make it easy for the attacker to assume the identity of legitimate database users.
These specific attack strategies involve brute force attacks and social engineering such as phishing.
7. Weak audit trails
If your business database isn’t audited well, this can result in non-compliance risk with the national and international regulations for data security.
Generally, a business should record and register all of its database events and employ solutions for automatic auditing. In the same way, there should also be an ability to carry this out, or this might cause a grave risk on several levels. That’s why you must be tapping into database auditing solutions that don’t place an extra load on database performance.
8. Database misconfigurations and vulnerabilities
Databases may also be unprotected due to misconfiguration. Some systems may have default accounts and configuration parameters.
Hackers are qualified IT professionals and experts themselves. Therefore, they’re well-equipped on how they can exploit any misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in your database and then use this to attack your business. That’s why database management support is crucial.
Some of the countermeasures that you should be enforcing:
- Databases shouldn’t have any default accounts.
- Your in-house IT personnel should be highly experienced and qualified in database administration and management.
9. Privilege Threats
There might also be some cases wherein a user accidentally misuses access rights or when an admin grants the user exclusive access out of negligence or oversight on their part.
As a result, the privilege account abuse happens when the privileges associated with the user account are used fraudulently or appropriately. It can be either accidentally or maliciously done or through willful ignorance of policies.
Privilege escalation might occur when the attackers take advantage of the data management software vulnerabilities. They’ll convert low access privileges to high-level access privileges. Usually, this will require more effort and knowledge than simple privilege abuse.
10. Accessible backups
While your database may be protected with layers of security, backups of these databases can also be accessed by unauthorized users who’ll be making copies of these backups.
These malicious individuals may then use these to mount them on their servers and get all the sensitive information that these may contain.
Strategies to Protect Databases
Now that you know of the most common database security threats, here are some helpful tips to protect your database:
- Train employees with risk mitigation techniques and best practices
- Manage user access rights, eliminate excessive privileges, and remove inactive users
- Access to any database vulnerabilities
- Block any malicious web requests
- Monitor all database access activity and usage patterns in real-time
- Archive your external data
- Encrypt databases
- Mask database fields to hide any sensitive information
Over to You
So there you have it. These are the nine major database security threats. Enhance your database security to mitigate any security risks from a data breach.
Keeping your database safe and secure from these malicious attacks is essential. While data breaches are becoming more frequent, ensuring healthy security protocols lowers the risk of being targeted and the chances of having a successful breach attempt.
Andi Croft is a freelance writer interested in topics related to business, technology, and travel. She has a passion for meeting people from all walks of life and bringing along the latest tech to enhance her adventures.
Andi is a guest blogger. All opinions are her own.