Data breaches can be catastrophic for organizations, especially in regulated industries where you need to keep your data under strict compliance rules. Attacks can come in many forms, and it is best to be prepared for any type of attack, be it physical or digital. Let’s review some practices to keep your database secure.
1. Use a database proxy.
A database proxy is a gateway residing between your applications and the database. The proxy filters and then accepts or blocks connection requests from applications. After accepting the request from the application, it connects with the database on its behalf. This enables the proxy to protect the database from unauthorized requests.
2. Have physical database security in place.
Don’t think that criminals will only attack your database by digital means. If a cybercriminal gets physical access to your database server, they can cause serious harm by stealing the data, corrupting it, or inserting harmful malware. So, when choosing a data center or a web hosting service, make sure your company has physical security measures in place to protect the servers.
3. Keep data separated.
Data requires specific security measures to keep it safe from attacks. One of these is keeping it separated from other workloads to prevent attackers from gaining access to your data. Let’s say you have an e-commerce website and keep your site data and sensitive transactional data all on the same server. If an attacker breaches your server, they may easily access and steal or corrupt your data.
4. Use real-time database monitoring.
Actively scanning your database for breach attempts boosts your chances of catching an attack before it becomes a serious problem. Database security solutions usually come with proactive monitoring.
5. Don’t use default network ports.
Cybercriminals often use default ports in brute force attacks because they are easily accessible. If you are not using the default port, the attacker needs to try a different one, which may stall them or discourage them.
6. Encrypt all the data everywhere.
Encrypting the data is not only useful to keep it safe from prying eyes. You need also to ensure that no unauthorized user can read your data while it is in transit or at rest. Strong encryption protocols ensure the data is scrambled at all times, which prevents cybercriminals from reading it if they get hold of it.
7. Use database and web application firewalls.
A firewall is the first line of defense against malicious attacks. Deploying a firewall around your database can help you keep your data secure. There are three main types of firewalls used to protect a database:
- Packet filter firewall
- Stateful packet inspection (SPI)
- Proxy server firewall
8. Keep user access limited.
Most data breaches are caused by compromised passwords. Employ strong authentication processes like multi-factor authentication. Also, consider using a role access control function. It is critical that you manage identity and access permissions and privileges.
Some tips that may help:
- Use a strong-password generator.
- Allow root access only to local and authorized clients.
- Restrict the number of IP addresses that can access the database server.
- Keep a separate database user account for each of the applications.