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8 Important Tips to Secure Your Database from Hackers and Data Breaches

24 juillet 2022

While you may believe that your site doesn't have anything worth hacking, you'd be surprised how many websites are vulnerable to hacks.

Many website security breaches happen not to steal your data or mess with your layout. It uses your server as an email relay for spam and sets up a temporary server, which serves illegal files.

Another common way to abuse compromised machines is using a server as part of the botnet or mine for Bitcoins. Similarly, you can be hit by ransomware as well.

 Hacking can be done by automated scripts that scour the internet to exploit a software’s known security problems. That’s why, in this post, we’ll talk about the eight practical tips on how you can keep your database safe and secure online:

1. Encrypt data and backups

The standard procedure of most organizations is encrypting stored data. That’s why you must encrypt data in transit as well.

Similarly, it would be best to back up your database regularly. The Database management support will ensure that your backups are encrypted and stored separately from decryption keys. For instance, you shouldn’t store encrypted backups with description keys in plaintext.

Backing up your system protects it from hackers and other failures, like physical hardware issues.

2. Use a VPN

Another way that you can secure your database is to use a VPN. A VPN will protect your data in several ways. An excellent VPN has its private servers. That way, you wouldn’t expose data to public channels, which are easily exploited.

In the same way, a VPN will also encrypt any data that travels between your device and the server. If there is a leak, your activity will add a layer of protection.

3. Use separate database servers and web servers

Using separate database servers and web servers means keeping your database server in a locked and secure environment with access controls in place. Doing so will keep any unauthorized individuals out.

It also means that you’re keeping your database in a separate physical machine, which is removed from a machine that runs applications or web servers.

4. Update your operating system and patches

One of the most common mistakes many users make is failing to install updated versions, software, or plugins and then continue using outdated components, extensions, or plugins. Not updating them over time can lead to severe security risks.

Although running unpatched software doesn’t look like a big issue on the surface, failing to patch and update them can lead to severe consequences later on. It involves applying new security patches and installing updates when they become available.

You can also do the same way for extensions, plugins, widgets, and third-party apps. Similarly, you may want to avoid installing those apps, plugins, and software that doesn’t receive regular updates.

5. Monitor and audit database activities

Effective monitoring ensures that everything goes well with your database. It should also allow you to detect several issues, which include:

In the same way, monitoring also lets you see any logins or frequent logins. Doing so enables you to pinpoint any accounts created with special permissions or if any user is sharing your account.

6. Follow a good password policy

While everyone knows that it’s vital that they should use complex passwords, it doesn’t always mean that they follow this.

Still, as much as you can, use strong passwords, and use good password practices for your users to secure their accounts.

You should enforce password requirements as well. Ideally, it should be at least eight characters with an uppercase letter and a number that will protect the information in the long run.Similarly, passwords should also be stored as encrypted values. If someone hacks or steals your password, using hashed passwords will help limit the damage, as decrypting them isn’t possible.

The best that someone can do is use a brute force or a dictionary to attack, guessing every possible combination until they find a match. When using salt passwords, the password cracking process becomes slower since every guess needs to be hashed separately for every salt and password, which is computationally costly.

7. Pay attention to insider threats

It can be easy to predict threats outside of your organization. But the reality is that insider threats are the ones that can hurt you the most.

Because of their nature, insider attacks can be challenging to detect and prevent. It can be as simple as an employee clicking on an email attachment that they think comes from a trusted source but instead releasing a ransomware worm. These kinds of threats are often prevalent today and are even costly.

8. Use web application and database firewalls

It would be best to protect your database server from any security threats by a firewall, which denies access to traffic by default. Ideally, the firewall should secure your database from initiating any outbound connections unless there’s a specific need.

Aside from protecting your database with a firewall, a web application firewall is also essential. That’s because attacks like SQL injections directed at a web application can be utilized to exfiltrate or delete data from the database.

While a database firewall won’t prevent this if an SQL injection attack comes from an application that is an allowed traffic source, a web application firewall can.

Over to You

So there you have it. Many organizations face the reality of gathering a massive amount of sensitive data and storing them in databases. It makes them the primary target for cyberattacks.

Hopefully, you’ll get to apply these database security best practices to keep your database safe from hackers, data breaches, and any malicious attacks. While keeping your database secure from security threats isn’t easy, it is a must for businesses and organizations, especially if they want to thrive and succeed in the digital world.