Database administration is one of the most important aspects of business these days. This is because digital warfare is at the highest it has ever been, and it continues to grow to dangerous levels. Therefore, everyone needs to be extremely careful about their data, particularly companies. Companies have access to financial and personal information of thousands or even millions of people. If someone compromises their data, the results are quite chaotic. So, extensive database administration has practically become a necessity.
Resultantly, businesses hire specialized resources for their database administration purposes. Their job description requires a lot more than just making sure the company’s Cox internet plans have strong passwords set on them. These specialists need to be aware of all the security vulnerabilities they could face and know how to tackle them efficiently. Here are a few of the most common security vulnerabilities they need to deal with.
This is the most common issue which database administrators have to deal with on a regular basis. While many people believe that back-end databases are quite secure and difficult to hack, that’s not the case. Modern day databases include network interfaces, which hackers can use to enter the system.
To prevent this, administrators need to make sure all their data is encrypted using TLS or SSL encryption platforms.
Lack of Segregation
If data is not segregated and categorized appropriately, hackers will find it easy to break in and steal it. Therefore, administrators should allocate developer, user, and admin privileges to the right people, with duties and accesses segregated accordingly. This will make it quite difficult for fraudsters to get into the database and create trouble.
Database security experts need to ensure that user accesses are quite limited, so that external hackers cannot get total control over all the databases the business has to protect.
Broken databases refer to a situation when administrators do not pay heed to security patches and other measures needed to protect business data. The most famous example of this is the SQL Slammer worm, which affected 90% of the systems it entered.
However, these situations are quite avoidable. In this particular scenario, administrators simply hadn’t installed a security patch Microsoft had previously released to resolve the bug. Therefore, database administrators need to stay abreast with all system upgrades and security patches. They need to make sure these patches are installed across all company systems, so that the whole database can be safe from bugs and leaks.
Often, major database breaches occur because administrators overlook some very basic issues during deployment. When deploying a database, most people only check whether it is doing the function it was made for. However, very few companies confirm if it is doing something it shouldn’t do.
These overlooked functions provide the perfect gateways for hackers to enter and attack the databases. Therefore, administrators need to ensure a database is only doing what it is supposed to, and is not doing any extra functions which are not required and make the systems vulnerable.
Lack of Vigilance
Often, a simple lack of vigilance can have extremely disastrous results. After all, most database breaches and leaks occur due to simple human error internally. Therefore, database administrators need to constantly run checks and balances to see whether any vulnerabilities are there.
However, it is not just their responsibility. Companies need to train anyone who has access to the databases to protect their systems. Cybersecurity experts should train employees on the basics of data protection, and what actions to completely avoid. These employees should then revise their findings on a regular basis. Many top companies have hired specific departments for this purpose, and regularly test their employees and teach them how to protect personal, customer, and employer data.
Stolen Database Backups
While many internal database leaks are unintentional, there are often cases where these have malicious intent behind them. Some disgruntled employees may steal and leak data for a number of reasons. These include profit, corporate espionage, or even vengeance. This puts data archives in danger.
To prevent this, companies should have solid data protection contracts in place with all of their employees. These should clearly stipulate the consequences of such incidents, and these consequences should be tough enough to deter such leaks.
Database Feature Abuses
This is another common issue database security experts face. Sometimes, people misuse database features by circumventing all the secure procedures involved. This alerts hackers and other malicious parties to security loopholes in the system.
Then, they exploit these loopholes and steal data. This situation is entirely avoidable if everyone who accesses the databases follows all safety standards involved and nobody tries to skip any procedures.
Hackers use SQL injections as one of the most common ways to get into databases and ruin them. These fraudulent SQL queries include components which can corrupt and leak the databases with no easy solution.
Companies need to prevent this by installing firewalls, and continuously test input variables for SQL injections during development itself.
To sum up, database administration is quite a complex field. However, there are some common issues it faces, which every administrator must be familiar with.