Vulnerabilities / Threats
10/28/2011
03:55 PM
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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.