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.

Attacks/Breaches

Security's Soft Underbelly

Many companies secure the walls, but databases remain the soft, chewy center

Databases are among the most widely deployed, complex, and fastest growing technologies in corporate infrastructures. Stocked with vast amounts of business-critical, sensitive records, they’re now the focal point in highly-damaging data breaches. It’s a safe bet that perpetrators will target databases even more in the days ahead.

Yet, as businesses rush to provide real-time information flow inside and outside their organizations, database security remains one of the least understood and most under-funded aspects of corporate security -- and IT is yelling for help.

These are some of the key findings in a new study we released yesterday in conjunction with Application Security (AppSecInc). We queried 649 highly experienced IT professionals, more than 70 percent of which are responsible for managing all or part of their organization’s IT budget -- a solid barometer for corporate priorities.

Of the 2007 total corporate IT budget, respondents said they have allocated 34 percent for database infrastructure and 20.6 percent for IT security overall. More than 53 percent believe their databases are critical to their businesses.

But only 15 percent said that extending security best practices to the database is a "critical priority" for 2007. Higher priorities included upgrading applications (25 percent), improving the efficiency of IT (20 percent), and consolidating IT infrastructure (19 percent). Upgrading security overall (13 percent) finished slightly lower, as did supporting Sarbanes-Oxley (10 percent) and upgrading disaster recovery capabilities (9 percent).

Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents are seeking a better tool to help them identify and analyze risk factors that exist within their systems or IT infrastructure. This makes sense, particularly as a majority of respondents plan no, or only slight, increases in IT staff in 2007.

According to our study results, IT security practitioners are fairly confident they can stop hackers from compromising their systems (68 percent), but they are far less certain that they can prevent malicious insiders (43 percent) and negligence (45 percent). Respondents in larger organizations are more confident than those in smaller-sized companies when it comes to their ability to control these threats.

What’s in corporate databases? Lots of valuable data. Some 55 percent of respondents said their databases contain customer data, 54 percent said databases contain employee data, and 50 percent contain confidential business data. Intellectual property -- the most highly-guarded data in our survey -- resides in 38 percent of respondents' databases.

Respondents' database environments are of substantial scale and complexity -- a majority of respondents manage more than 500 databases. Twenty-nine percent have many different database types and technologies. Another 38 percent said their IT environment consists of a few different types of databases. Only 24 percent of respondents stated that their organization utilizes one primary database technology. One of the biggest challenges, then, is coordinating database security across the enterprise.

SQL, Oracle, and DB2 are the most frequently used database solutions for respondent companies. In addition, our results show that both Oracle and DB2 are the most likely to be used for critical or high-priority data. MySQL and Sybase were the least likely to be used for critical data.

What are the features most important to respondents when purchasing a database security software application or tool? Robust access controls, ease of integration, and the ability to identify unauthorized access are viewed as the three most important features. Real time alerts and preformatted policies for Sarbanes Oxley or PCI compliance ranked low on the list.

Clearly, database security is becoming an important part of the security picture, but most organizations still have a lot of work to do. If you have questions about the research, please contact us.

— Larry Ponemon is founder and CEO of Ponemon Institute LLC . Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Privacy Protections for the Most Vulnerable -- Children
Dimitri Sirota, Founder & CEO of BigID,  10/17/2019
State of SMB Insecurity by the Numbers
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/17/2019
Tor Weaponized to Steal Bitcoin
Dark Reading Staff 10/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-8087
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-22
Information Leakage in PPPoE Packet Padding in AVM Fritz!Box 7490 with Firmware versions Fritz!OS 6.80 and 6.83 allows physically proximate attackers to view slices of previously transmitted packets or portions of memory via via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2019-10079
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-22
Apache Traffic Server is vulnerable to HTTP/2 setting flood attacks. Earlier versions of Apache Traffic Server didn't limit the number of setting frames sent from the client using the HTTP/2 protocol. Users should upgrade to Apache Traffic Server 7.1.7, 8.0.4, or later versions.
CVE-2019-12147
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-22
The Sangoma Session Border Controller (SBC) 2.3.23-119 GA web interface is vulnerable to Argument Injection via special characters in the username field. Upon successful exploitation, a remote unauthenticated user can create a local system user with sudo privileges, and use that user to login to the...
CVE-2019-12148
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-22
The Sangoma Session Border Controller (SBC) 2.3.23-119 GA web interface is vulnerable to an authentication bypass via an argument injection vulnerability involving special characters in the username field. Upon successful exploitation, a remote unauthenticated user can login into the device's admin ...
CVE-2019-12290
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-22
GNU libidn2 before 2.2.0 fails to perform the roundtrip checks specified in RFC3490 Section 4.2 when converting A-labels to U-labels. This makes it possible in some circumstances for one domain to impersonate another. By creating a malicious domain that matches a target domain except for the inclusi...