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Database Security

Security of databases refers to the array of controls, tools, and procedures designed to ensure and safeguard confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility. This tutorial will concentrate on confidentiality because it's a component that is most at risk in data security breaches.

Security for databases must cover and safeguard the following aspects:

  • The database containing data.
  • Database management systems (DBMS)
  • Any applications that are associated with it.
  • Physical database servers or the database server virtual, and the hardware that runs it.
  • The infrastructure for computing or network that is used to connect to the database.

Security of databases is a complicated and challenging task that requires all aspects of security practices and technologies. This is inherently at odds with the accessibility of databases. The more usable and accessible the database is, the more susceptible we are to threats from security. The more vulnerable it is to attacks and threats, the more difficult it is to access and utilize.

Why Database Security is Important?

According to the definition, a data breach refers to a breach of data integrity in databases. The amount of damage an incident like a data breach can cause our business is contingent on various consequences or elements.

  • Intellectual property that is compromised: Our intellectual property--trade secrets, inventions, or proprietary methods -- could be vital for our ability to maintain an advantage in our industry. If our intellectual property has been stolen or disclosed and our competitive advantage is lost, it could be difficult to keep or recover.
  • The damage to our brand's reputation: Customers or partners may not want to purchase goods or services from us (or deal with our business) If they do not feel they can trust our company to protect their data or their own.
  • The concept of business continuity (or lack of it): Some businesses cannot continue to function until a breach has been resolved.
  • Penalties or fines to be paid for not complying: The cost of not complying with international regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SAO) or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) specific to industry regulations on data privacy, like HIPAA or regional privacy laws like the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could be a major problem with fines in worst cases in excess of many million dollars for each violation.
  • Costs for repairing breaches and notifying consumers about them: Alongside notifying customers of a breach, the company that has been breached is required to cover the investigation and forensic services such as crisis management, triage repairs to the affected systems, and much more.

Common Threats and Challenges

Numerous software configurations that are not correct, weaknesses, or patterns of carelessness or abuse can lead to a breach of security. Here are some of the most prevalent kinds of reasons for security attacks and the reasons.

Insider Dangers

An insider threat can be an attack on security from any three sources having an access privilege to the database.

  • A malicious insider who wants to cause harm
  • An insider who is negligent and makes mistakes that expose the database to attack. vulnerable to attacks
  • An infiltrator is an outsider who acquires credentials by using a method like phishing or accessing the database of credential information in the database itself.

Insider dangers are among the most frequent sources of security breaches to databases. They often occur as a consequence of the inability of employees to have access to privileged user credentials.

Human Error

The unintentional mistakes, weak passwords or sharing passwords, and other negligent or uninformed behaviours of users remain the root causes of almost half (49 percent) of all data security breaches.

Database Software Vulnerabilities can be Exploited

Hackers earn their money by identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in software such as databases management software. The major database software companies and open-source databases management platforms release regular security patches to fix these weaknesses. However, failing to implement the patches on time could increase the risk of being hacked.

SQL/NoSQL Injection Attacks

A specific threat to databases is the infusing of untrue SQL as well as other non-SQL string attacks in queries for databases delivered by web-based apps and HTTP headers. Companies that do not follow the safe coding practices for web applications and conduct regular vulnerability tests are susceptible to attacks using these.

Buffer Overflow is a way to Exploit Buffers

Buffer overflow happens when a program seeks to copy more data into the memory block with a certain length than it can accommodate. The attackers may make use of the extra data, which is stored in adjacent memory addresses, to establish a basis for they can begin attacks.

DDoS (DoS/DDoS) Attacks

In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack in which the attacker overwhelms the targeted server -- in this case, the database server with such a large volume of requests that the server is unable to meet no longer legitimate requests made by actual users. In most cases, the server is unstable or even fails to function.


Malware is software designed to exploit vulnerabilities or cause harm to databases. Malware can be accessed via any device that connects to the databases network.

Attacks on Backups

Companies that do not protect backup data using the same rigorous controls employed to protect databases themselves are at risk of cyberattacks on backups.

The following factors amplify the threats:

  • Data volumes are growing: Data capture, storage, and processing continue to increase exponentially in almost all organizations. Any tools or methods must be highly flexible to meet current as well as far-off needs.
  • The infrastructure is sprawling: Network environments are becoming more complicated, especially as companies shift their workloads into multiple clouds and hybrid cloud architectures and make the selection of deployment, management, and administration of security solutions more difficult.
  • More stringent requirements for regulatory compliance: The worldwide regulatory compliance landscape continues to increase by complexity. This makes the compliance of every mandate more challenging.

Best use of Database Security

As databases are almost always accessible via the network, any security risk to any component or part of the infrastructure can threaten the database. Likewise, any security attack that impacts a device or workstation could endanger the database. Therefore, security for databases must go beyond the limits of the database.

In evaluating the security of databases in our workplace to determine our organization's top priorities, look at each of these areas.

  • Security for physical security: If the database servers are on-premises or the cloud data centre, they should be placed in a secure, controlled climate. (If our server for database is located in a cloud-based data centre, the cloud provider will handle the security on our behalf.)
  • Access to the network and administrative restrictions: The practical minimum number of users granted access to the database and their access rights should be restricted to the minimum level required to fulfil their tasks. Additionally, access to the network is limited to the minimum permissions needed.
  • End security of the user account or device: Be aware of who has access to the database and when and how data is used. Monitoring tools for data can notify you of data-related activities that are uncommon or seem to be dangerous. Any device that connects to the network hosting the database must be physically secured (in the sole control of the appropriate person) and be subject to security checks throughout the day.
  • Security: ALL data--including data stored in databases, as well as credential information should be secured using the highest-quality encryption when in storage and while in transport. All encryption keys must be used in accordance with the best practices guidelines.
  • Security of databases using software: Always use the most current version of our software to manage databases and apply any patches immediately after they're released.
  • Security for web server applications and websites: Any application or web server that connects to the database could be a target and should be subjected to periodic security testing and best practices management.
  • Security of backups: All backups, images, or copies of the database should have the identical (or equally rigorous) security procedures as the database itself.
  • Auditing: Audits of security standards for databases should be conducted every few months. Record all the logins on the server as well as the operating system. Also, record any operations that are made on sensitive data, too.

Data protection tools and platforms

Today, a variety of companies provide data protection platforms and tools. A comprehensive solution should have all of the following features:

  • Discovery: The ability to discover is often needed to meet regulatory compliance requirements. Look for a tool that can detect and categorize weaknesses across our databases, whether they're hosted in the cloud or on-premises. It will also provide recommendations to address any vulnerabilities that are discovered.
  • Monitoring of Data Activity: The solution should be capable of monitoring and analysing the entire data activity in all databases, whether our application is on-premises, in the cloud, or inside a container. It will alert us to suspicious activity in real-time to allow us to respond more quickly to threats. It also provides visibility into the state of our information through an integrated and comprehensive user interface. It is also important to choose a system that enforces rules that govern policies, procedures, and the separation of duties. Be sure that the solution we select is able to generate the reports we need to comply with the regulations.
  • The ability to Tokenize and Encrypt Data: In case of an incident, encryption is an additional line of protection against any compromise. Any software we choose to use must have the flexibility to protect data cloud, on-premises hybrid, or multi-cloud environments. Find a tool with volume, file, and application encryption features that meet our company's regulations for compliance. This could require tokenization (data concealing) or advanced key management of security keys.
  • Optimization of Data Security and Risk Analysis: An application that will provide contextual insights through the combination of security data with advanced analytics will allow users to perform optimizing, risk assessment, and reporting in a breeze. Select a tool that is able to keep and combine large amounts of recent and historical data about the security and state of your databases. Also, choose a solution that provides data exploration, auditing, and reporting capabilities via an extensive but user-friendly self-service dashboard.

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