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5 Database Security Best Practices

Your business database contains sensitive and vital information which unsavory folks and malicious buddies may target in an attempt to steal your money and data. Making a profit may be hard enough, but the security of your database requires extensive experience in handling sensitive data and the knowledge of emerging cyber threats.

You may have gathered new clients, but if hackers can compromise your database, your high-sales dream will be nothing more than a bad dream. Here are five database security best practices.

1.Keeping database security controls on a maximum level

Simple measures can make a big difference in the security of your database. You could start by deleting or disabling any features that you are not using on your database. Hackers may use them to compromise your security, and you may not realize it in the time since you don’t use them. Also, turn on all the security controls and protocols of your website and database server. It may consume a little more of your time but can go a long way in keeping your database secure. Remember to use an up-to-date version of the database software to limit the chances of any possible vulnerabilities. Lastly, be sure to prevent any unauthorized users from logging into your system by changing all default passwords and replacing them with hard-to-crack credentials. Essentially, a strong password should:

  • Have a minimum of eight characters
  • Contain at least one special character such as *, # or &
  • Combine both uppercase and lower case letters
  • Include both letters and numerals

2.Separating servers from web servers

Keep your servers separate – even if it means getting additional workforce. The cost of the extra personnel may not compare to the cost you may incur if rascals break into your system.

Keeping the servers separate increases the security of your database in that if a hacker cracks one of them, the rest will still be secure. Well, you may not afford to separate some of your servers because they need to communicate once in a while.

To circumvent this problem, let the servers retain a connection but set their permissions to the lowest level of privilege to enable them to operate effectively. If an attacker gains access to one of the servers, they will have limited access to the connected mates and hence may not cause a lot of damage.

3.Encrypting all files

No matter how strong your defenses may be, a hacker may always find a way of breaking into your database system. What is more chilling is that while you can keep intruders out, insiders such as your employees may access sensitive information without having to crack anything.

These insiders may pose a more serious threat to the security of your database than the occasional hacker. But you can encrypt all files and backups to make them unreadable to both hackers and insiders.

Keep the encryption key to yourself so that if an employee stumbles upon a file, they shouldn’t see, they won’t be able to read it. Encrypting your files is the last line of defense since a hacker may spend all their time and energy cracking passwords only to end up with garbled data that doesn’t make any sense to them.

4.Use firewalls everywhere

Firewalls strengthen the security of your database by restricting the flow of traffic into your systems; thus, minimizing the entrance of threats. Set your firewalls properly to only allow traffic from specific applications and web servers that require access to your data.

These walls of defense not only keep things out but also things in by preventing unauthorized outbound connections. Secure your web applications with firewalls to prevent attackers from hacking into them and using them to access sensitive data. A firewall has the following benefits:

  • Monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to filter out any unauthorized connections.
  • Prevents strangers from hacking into your network and using your internet connection.
  • Keeps out malicious applications which criminals may use to access, modify, delete or steal your data.

5.Secure third-party additions in your database

Your database and websites may not be complete without widgets, plug-ins and other third-party apps. Cybercriminals often target these third-party additions in the hope of bypassing your database security because some of them may have certain vulnerabilities. But you can limit this threat by ensuring that these additions are patched or updated on a regular basis.

Be on the lookout for updates and patches, and apply them as soon as they are available to strengthen your database defenses. Your internal database security measures may be strong, but third-party applications may create weak points which attackers may exploit to gain entry into your system. Keep them out by applying the latest patches and security updates.

Compromised database security may sound a death knell to your business. Keep your data secure by instituting simple measures that go a long way in protecting your database against potential threats. Keeping your database security controls at maximum, applying patches and updates to third-party applications in your database and encrypting all your files and backups may be all you need to secure your database.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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