How To Mitigate Security Issues While Working With Hosting Databases
Put simply, a database refers to a collection of data that can be easily retrieved and accessed. It offers an organized method of storing and retrieving the data. Service offered by hosting providers is known as database hosting. These services enable users to run database-supported applications.
Database hosting is highly popular among clients, especially to those who use applications that require more memory to increase the reliability and speed of those applications. A database server is capable of hosting a huge amount of information that can easily be retrieved. Unlike a normal web server, a database server can retrieve huge amount of information within seconds.
Key security threats with database
Almost every day, hackers come up with attacks targeted to steal confidential data, and a company’s database servers are usually the primary targets of those attacks. The main reason databases are usually targeted is quite simple – they act as the core of a company, storing valuable records and other sensitive business data. If some nefarious people gain access to these data, the value can quickly be extracted, and thus, business operations can be impacted or damaged. Apart from these losses, data breaches can lead to fines, legal fees, and regulatory violations. Here’re the most common security issues experienced by databases.
Attacks due to poor encryption
Your hosting database contains several network interfaces that can easily be tracked by hackers if the communication isn’t properly encrypted. A VPN is a great way to develop secure communications between remote computers and demonstrate the connection as if it was a local private network. This offers a way to configure the services as if those were on a private network and to connect with remote servers over secure connections. Utilizing private networking is always preferred and suggested over using public networking. However, as other users within a datacenter are capable of accessing the same network, additional measures need to be implemented to ensure secure communications between the servers. Effective use of a VPN can help you chalk out a private network that can only be seen by your servers. Communication will be completely secure and private. You can configure other applications to pass their traffic through the virtual interface offered by the VPN software. This way, you can ensure that only services, which are consumable by the clients over the public internet, are exposed over the public network.
On the user front, implementation of a reliable VPN service offers a multitude of benefits. From creating secure tunnels to bypassing internet restrictions, and more – a lot of things can be done. If you’re a multimedia user and want to learn how a VPN can benefit you, read this post.
Database injection attacks
NoSQL injections and SQL injections are two main types of database injection attacks. The former usually target traditional database systems while the latter target “big data” platforms. Though it’s technically true that big data platforms are impervious to these injections, a successful injection attack can enable an attacker to gain unauthorized access to an entire database.
Unmanaged sensitive data
Sometimes, companies struggle to maintain a proper inventory of their hosting databases and the critical data objects that remain present within them. Sometimes, these forgotten databases contain sensitive information and new databases can emerge without proper visibility to the security team. Critical data in those databases may be exposed to threats if the required permissions and controls aren’t implemented.
Exploitation of vulnerable databases
It usually takes companies a significant amount of time to patch databases, during which they may remain vulnerable. Hackers are well aware of the ways to exploit databases that still contain default configuration parameters and accounts or unpatched databases. There’re lots of issues that usually make companies struggle to maintain database configurations. These may include mounting backlogs for the responsible database administrators, high workloads, and challenges of mapping out a maintenance window, among others.
Storage media exposure
Often, backup storage media remains completely unprotected from attacks, which may lead to the theft of database backup files. In addition, failure to monitor and audit the activities of administrators who’ve low-level access to critical information can put the data at risk.
Threats generated from excessive administration access
When employees are granted limitless database access that exceeds their actual job requirements, these privileges can be easily abused. Failure to limit the number of user accounts can make the job of hackers much easier when they try to gain access to the entire database. In addition, some organizations fail to update access privileges for responsible employees, who change roles within the company or leave.
Apart from these, there’re some other factors that can make a company’s hosting database vulnerable to attacks. A defensive mix of database security best practices and proper internal controls is required to protect databases, and mitigate the risks of security threats associated with them.