Vulnerabilities / Threats
10/28/2011
03:55 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

3 Steps To Make Your Database More Secure

Database security often takes a backseat to performance and other concerns. Here's how to strike a balance that works.

InformationWeek Healthcare Digital Supplement - Oct. 31, 2011 InformationWeek Green
Download the entire InformationWeek supplement, distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

Databases

Sound IT risk management is all about identifying critical data assets and giving them the most protection. The more critical an asset, the more defenses should be around it. Unfortunately, when it comes to databases, most companies get that formula backward.

The problem is that database performance can take priority over security at many companies. Rather than balancing security and performance issues, database security is too often left for some other time.

"DBAs and the application developers just don't have time or don't want to deal with security. It increases the cost of their product development," says Julie Lockner, an analyst at research firm Enterprise Strategy Group. They're being asked to add more applications and features, and deal with rising data volume, and that's making their test cycles longer. Says Lockner: "It's a priority thing: Do we get the features out? Or do we take the extra cycles to tie in and add the security layers around it?"

Malicious insiders and wily hackers can take advantage of this priority war within IT departments. They're accessing data they shouldn't, launching SQL injection attacks to take advantage of poorly protected app-to-database links, and exploiting vulnerabilities in database management systems to get into potentially huge and valuable data stores.

The only way to truly protect data is to make critical database security a top concern. It starts with these three principles of database protection.

Know Thyself

Many companies aren't able to protect mission-critical data because they simply don't understand how all the moving parts of their database environments work. For controls to work, IT must have a clear understanding of where the important data is, who's using it, and how it's being used.

"You have one data store, but you might have many applications hooked into it. You might not know who it is that's using the systems if you've given out a lot of privileges," says Mel Shakir, CTO of NitroSecurity, a database activity monitoring (DAM) and security information and event monitoring company recently purchased by McAfee. "And you might not even know where the critical data is if it's been copied off the system and moved to, say, test databases somewhere else."

Valuable steps include scanning for unsanctioned, rogue databases that might have been set up on the fly by other departments, documenting privilege schemas, and classifying a company's database assets by risk according to the type of data they hold. That can help get more out of database security investments.

Once IT teams know where all your databases are, they can make sure they're securely configured and patched, and use vulnerability assessment to decide what level of protection they need. For example, they can decide if they warrant constant oversight through activity-monitoring software to track what users are doing in these data stores at all times.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the Oct. 31, 2011 InformationWeek digital supplement

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

CVE-2014-7292
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the Click-Through feature in Newtelligence dasBlog 2.1 (2.1.8102.813), 2.2 (2.2.8279.16125), and 2.3 (2.3.9074.18820) allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the url parameter to ct.ashx.

CVE-2014-8071
Published: 2014-10-23
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in OpenMRS 2.1 Standalone Edition allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) givenName, (2) familyName, (3) address1, or (4) address2 parameter to registrationapp/registerPatient.page; the (5) comment parameter to all...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.