Protecting Your Database – Best Practices for Enhancing Security and Preventing Breaches

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Protecting Your Database

Keep sensitive data safe from unauthorized access. A breach of your database can damage day-to-day operations and revenue generation.

Keep your database servers isolated from other applications and websites. This reduces vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit through lateral movement attacks.

Implement firewalls as a first layer of defense against traffic-based cyberattacks. Firewalls must be configured correctly and regularly updated to cover new attack techniques.

Use Strong Passwords

A business’s database is a treasure trove of valuable information, making it a tempting target for cybercriminals. As a result, it’s essential to protect your database from breaches, leakage, and other threats.

Strong passwords are an essential component of any database security plan. It’s vital to set passwords that are difficult to guess or crack through brute force attacks and to use unique passwords for each account. Additionally, users should never reuse passwords across different accounts. This makes it more difficult for attackers to retarget one of your accounts after successfully hacking another.

Another important aspect of database security is limiting access to files. Only the bare minimum number of people should have permission to access your databases, and you should rely on zero-trust security that validates identities and device compliance every time a user attempts an action. This helps prevent classic SQL injections, blind SQLi, and other attacks.

Moreover, database admins should conduct regular access reviews to ensure that permissions are not overextended. Unnecessary privileges make it easy for hackers to steal or modify files. This can lead to data breaches, a loss of trust in the business, expensive recovery costs, and legal issues.

Keep Your Server Isolated

Data breaches occur when threat actors gain access to databases and related systems. Adequate database security uses a “defense in depth” strategy to create layers of controls that reduce the risk of a breach. This approach encloses sensitive information within layers of controls that decrease the potential harm to breach your database should one of these controls fail.

The first step to protecting your database is knowing where the sensitive information lives. This requires a detailed inventory of sensitive data locations that is regularly updated. Identifying where data is located reduces the number of potential attack surfaces. It may help you comply with HIPAA, GDPR, and other regulations requiring transparency about sensitive data locations.

Keeping your server isolated is another best practice to consider. This means limiting the number of services it runs and restricting access to those necessary for the database. This can be accomplished by running a firewall on your server, which allows only vital connections to the database and blocks access to all other services.

It would be best if you were sure to use a secure SSL connection when communicating with your database. This will encrypt the data while it is being transmitted, making it much more difficult for bad actors to intercept and exploit. Likewise, it would be best to encrypt any database disks to protect them from being stolen in the event of physical theft or intrusion.

Set Up a Proxy Server

Most people need to think about the nuts and bolts of how the internet works. When surfing the web, whether at home or work, your information goes through an intermediary server — often a proxy – on its way to and from the website you’re visiting.

These servers are essential for functionality, security, and privacy. Proxy servers are often used in conjunction with firewalls to help protect networks from cyberattacks and ensure compliance with internal network security standards. They also provide additional layers of security by encrypting data before it is sent over the internet, which can reduce your risk of identity theft and other types of malicious activity.

Many proxy servers also log the IP address of users who use them, which can be helpful for some purposes, but not all do so in a secure manner. Some proxies sell this data to third parties, putting their users at risk of potential security breaches.

Because most attackers gain entry into networks using a “stepping stone” method where one compromised service or machine provides them with the ability to access more, it is best to place your proxy server far away from your internal domain resources. Many organizations implement proxy servers in the DMZ, an externally exposed network layer separate from other services and systems inside your company’s private network.

Encrypt Your Data

Even the most secure infrastructure can fall victim to hackers. That’s why it is essential to take a proactive approach to cyber security to prevent data breaches before they happen. The best way to do this is by implementing best practices like strong password policies, firewalls, and encrypting sensitive information.

A data breach can have serious financial consequences for your business. You may lose valuable customer information, experience reputational damage, and even suffer from downtime and lost productivity. Preventing these disasters requires a comprehensive, robust cybersecurity program. It is vital to implement access control measures, such as two-factor authentication and password policies; protect your network with firewalls; encrypt your data at rest (stored on hard drives or disk); and limit unsanctioned lateral movement through micro-segmentation.

Making backups, limiting physical computer access, and using strong passwords on all devices is also crucial. These measures can help you avoid the worst consequences of a data breach and stop them in their tracks. However, it is essential to remember that there is no such thing as a foolproof system, and you will have to keep reviewing and reevaluating your security practices and making improvements as needed. This is especially true because hackers constantly evolve tactics and develop new ways to exploit vulnerabilities. So, be sure to use the latest security updates, apply them as soon as possible, and keep your software up-to-date as a top priority.