Five Smart Practices for an Effective Database Security

database concept

Business operations and processes are driven by data—millions of it. Companies and organizations then use databases to manage such information better and carry out multiple tasks more easily. Some types of easily manageable data include employee records, accounting, payroll, and project management.

With the amounts of sensitive data and benefits from such databases, they become an attractive target for cyberattack. This then leads to costly problems that can entirely disrupt your business operations and processes. Read on to learn how you can put up a good defense for such attacks.

1. Separate database servers

Aside from scheduling backups and installing firewalls, storing your database in different servers can help reduce the risk of various attack vectors. It means keeping your data in locked environments with multiple access controls to prevent unauthorized access better.

Running your databases in different machines will also minimize vulnerable of sensitive data from website or platform attacks. You can also consider using a security information and event monitoring (SIEM) program designed for database protection, allowing data owners to take immediate actions during attempted breaches.

Furthermore, moving into separate servers doesn’t just isolate your database from a security perspective. Doing so simplifies the upgrades and maintenance of applications and databases and makes performance monitoring and problem diagnosis a lot easier. However, keep in mind that separating database servers is not advisable for all. Be sure to assess your organization’s security requirements first before making a decision.

2. Acquire administration support

Companies looking to keep their database safe from catastrophic breaches or attacks are recommended to acquire server administration support. If your organization uses a database management system such as Microsoft SQL Server, having strict control on data access can’t just prevent cyber-attacks and limit human errors. For proper backup, management, and maintenance, it’s best to obtain a reliable Microsoft SQL Server administration solution from security companies.

Aside from maintaining data security and integrity, database administration also offers other amazing benefits for your business. These include enhancing decision-making processes, boosting sharing and collaboration, predicting customer behavioral patterns, and improving the end user’s productivity.

3. Encrypt sensitive data

Another important data security practice is encryption. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by many organizations and businesses when setting up their security measures. In transit or at rest, every piece of sensitive data must be encrypted, whether over the network or via portable devices.

For desktop systems, you can encrypt your hard drives to prevent loss of vital information during a computer breach. You can try using encrypting file system (EFS) technology to ensure your files or content won’t be view by unauthorized users even if they possess access to the device itself. At the same time, portable systems that store proprietary or critical information must utilize encrypted disk solutions.

4. Create a patching strategy

IT officer cybersecurity

Make sure that all versions of applications on your IT space are updated is also an effective way to protect your database. Set up automatic patch updates for your systems. However, if you own critical infrastructure, you’ll need to have the patches tested first, ensuring that they didn’t bring in vulnerabilities and that every functionality is still working fine.

A patch management strategy is necessary for both applications and operating systems. Depending on the level of urgency, you’ll need to consider certain types of patches for operating systems—there’s Hotfix, Patch, and Service pack.

5. Carry out tests and assessments

To find security vulnerabilities, implementing cybersecurity penetration tests is highly recommended. Applied on web or network applications and computer systems, such tests can be performed manually or automated through software. The primary goal of these tests is to determine security weaknesses.

Plus, it can be utilized to test an organization’s security incident response, adherence to compliance requirements, security policies, and security awareness of the employees. Some penetration test strategies commonly used by security experts include internal and external testing, blind and double-blind testing, black box and white box testing, and targeted testing.

Another effective database security technique to carry out is a vulnerability assessment. It typically consists of vulnerability scanning tools and port scanners to scan the IT environment using an external machine. You can also use the test results for cross-referencing with known patch levels on the endpoint systems.

Managing and securing databases is challenging and time-consuming, particularly for small and mid-sized businesses. Nevertheless, such systems offer amazing benefits such as efficient inventory tracking, good customer data management and relationships, and better business performance. Set your business up for success by implementing the right database security.

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