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.

Risk

12/18/2012
07:42 AM
Adrian Lane
Adrian Lane
Quick Hits
50%
50%

A Guide To Practical Database Monitoring

A look at what database activity monitoring can and can't do, and some recommendations on how to implement the best system for your organization

[Excerpted from "A Guide to Practical Database Monitoring," a new, free report posted this week on Dark Reading's Database Security Tech Center.]

Database activity monitoring, a form of application monitoring, examines how applications use data and database resources to fulfill user requests. DAM captures and records database events -- which, at minimum, includes all SQL activity -- in real time or near real time.

DAM is focused on the database layer, which allows for a contextual understanding of transactions, or how multiple database operations constitute a specific business function.

If you want to understand when administrators perform unauthorized alterations or view sensitive information, or be altered when systems are used in a manner inconsistent with best practices, DAM is a good choice.

DAM can even detect odd behavior that is hard to quantify but just doesn't look right -- such as when someone requests "too much" information or makes unusual requests.

It's the understanding of the database layer that allows DAM to provide both qualitative and quantitative analysis of events across multiple requesting applications and databases. It's this focus that allows DAM to provide value beyond traditional security information and event management or intrusion-detection systems, both of which collect generic system and network events.

DAM systems have been commercially available for more than a decade, and the platforms offer mature functions that scale with the IT systems they monitor. Here are the principal reasons companies use DAM products:

SQL Injection protection. DAM can filter and protect against many variants of SQL injection. While it does not provide completeprevention, statement and behavioral analysis techniques catch a great deal of known and previously unknown attacks. By whitelisting queries as acceptable from specific applications, DAM can detect most queries that have been tampered with and queries originating from unapproved applications.

DAM also can be deployed to block SQL injection and other attacks -- called "virtual patching"-- often before database vendors provide patches. Statements can be blocked before executing in the database, so there is no damage to data or the platform.

Behavioral monitoring. DAM systems capture and record activity profiles, both of generic user accounts and of specific database users. Detected changes in a specific user's behavior can indicate a disgruntled employee, hijacked accounts or even cases of oversubscribed permissions. Or maybe you're worried about attacks from mysterious Russian hackers or the much-hyped "insider threat." Behavioral monitoring is an effective technique to detect misuse, regardless of the source.

For a look at some of the other reasons why companies use DAM -- as well as a detailed guide on how to evaluate DAM products -- download the free report on database activity monitoring.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. 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
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-20466
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
White Shark System (WSS) 1.3.2 is vulnerable to unauthorized access via user_edit_password.php, remote attackers can modify the password of any user.
CVE-2020-20467
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
White Shark System (WSS) 1.3.2 is vulnerable to sensitive information disclosure via default_task_add.php, remote attackers can exploit the vulnerability to create a task.
CVE-2020-20468
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
White Shark System (WSS) 1.3.2 is vulnerable to CSRF. Attackers can use the user_edit_password.php file to modify the user password.
CVE-2021-24368
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-20
The Quiz And Survey Master – Best Quiz, Exam and Survey Plugin WordPress plugin before 7.1.18 did not sanitise or escape its result_id parameter when displaying an existing quiz result page, leading to a reflected Cross-Site Scripting issue. This c...
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.