Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Database Security

8/9/2011
03:24 PM
Adrian Lane
Adrian Lane
Commentary
50%
50%

Data Breaches On The Rise?

Nope -- but publicity is

Sony data breaches. 35 Million Korean users. Bet24. The Sun. Exxon. And too many universities and small banks to list.

While it looks like database compromises are on the rise, in my opinion they are not. If you look at DATALOSSdb, there are the same number of breaches as there have been in previous years. From personal experience, I can tell you there were a lot of unreported breaches as well.

In the 2004-2007 time frame, I was asked into many different Fortune 1000 firms, under NDA, to assist companies reassess and implement new database security measures. And you would be shocked by the names. Some of the largest household name firms had been breached, dozens of which were never made public. Their database security at the time was little more than access controls. The "advanced" firms encrypted their tape archives, but not the data files.

There is no statistical evidence that breaches are on the rise. What we know is that there are more breaches in the news than ever before. You would think companies are less likely to disclose -- worried about the long-term impact to stock value, but it's a major change that attackers like LulzSec and Anonymous publish details about the hacks to the world.

Other than that, not much has changed with data and database security. Databases are still vulnerable to SQL injection attacks because the applications that use databases still do not filter input variables of malicious code. Input validation remains one of the most daunting problems for application -- and, in turn, database security today.

Second, databases remain far behind in patching. While the database vendors have become better at providing timely patches, for many customers the installation of the patches remains a problem. Very poor separation of duties exist for most, and credential management is typically lax.

Finally, it's usually a series of vulnerabilities that are required for a successful breach. After all, you need a way into an organization, you need to locate the data, and then you need a way out. There is a lot of low-hanging fruit for attackers, so while most IT organizations have better security that they did 10 years ago, they are very likely to remain vulnerable to attack.

What's not the same is the database vendors, who are much better at understanding the severity of issues, patching the holes in a timely fashion, and making better security decisions as it relates to database architecture. And most of the vendors offer advanced security controls to help detect and deter attacks if appropriately deployed. Of course, the attackers are motivated professionals who have evolved their abilities to derive money from the stolen data.

What has also evolved is the targeted nature of the attacks. Spear-phishing of individuals has been on the rise, as have the targeted attacks on specific companies. While the motivation varies from attacker to attacker, the net result is the same. In the past five years, general data security has evolved, but only to meet some of the threats from five years ago.

Adrian Lane is an analyst/CTO with Securosis LLC, an independent security consulting practice. Special to Dark Reading. Adrian Lane is a Security Strategist and brings over 25 years of industry experience to the Securosis team, much of it at the executive level. Adrian specializes in database security, data security, and secure software development. With experience at Ingres, Oracle, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 11/19/2020
New Proposed DNS Security Features Released
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/19/2020
How to Identify Cobalt Strike on Your Network
Zohar Buber, Security Analyst,  11/18/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: A GONG is as good as a cyber attack.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15246
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
October is a free, open-source, self-hosted CMS platform based on the Laravel PHP Framework. In October CMS from version 1.0.421 and before version 1.0.469, an attacker can read local files on an October CMS server via a specially crafted request. Issue has been patched in Build 469 (v1.0.469) and v...
CVE-2020-15247
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
October is a free, open-source, self-hosted CMS platform based on the Laravel PHP Framework. In October CMS from version 1.0.319 and before version 1.0.469, an authenticated backend user with the cms.manage_pages, cms.manage_layouts, or cms.manage_partials permissions who would normally not be permi...
CVE-2020-15248
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
October is a free, open-source, self-hosted CMS platform based on the Laravel PHP Framework. In October CMS from version 1.0.319 and before version 1.0.470, backend users with the default "Publisher" system role have access to create & manage users where they can choose which role the ...
CVE-2020-15249
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
October is a free, open-source, self-hosted CMS platform based on the Laravel PHP Framework. In October CMS from version 1.0.319 and before version 1.0.469, backend users with access to upload files were permitted to upload SVG files without any sanitization applied to the uploaded files. Since SVG ...
CVE-2020-28927
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
There is a Stored XSS in Magicpin v2.1 in the User Registration section. Each time an admin visits the manage user section from the admin panel, the XSS triggers and the attacker can able to steal the cookie according to the crafted payload.