Data security has become one of the biggest problems in the digital world. Taking a proactive approach when it comes to cybersecurity is one of the best investments a company can make. The impact of a cyber-attack can have an enormous effect on the reputation of a business, its daily working schedule, its clients’ trust, and financial plan, and can even end up with losing important customer data or a lawsuit against the company that has been breached.
Even so, small businesses have a hard time searching for cheap but effective security measures. This eventually leads to downgraded security or no protection at all. Database security practices are a bit different. Physical actions, software solutions, and even staff education are all part of the first strategy. However, protecting your website to reduce the attack vectors that cyber thieves might use is vital.
Here are a few easy things you can do to make your business more secure.
1. Implement physical database security measures
Competitors or even employees inside your company might conduct physical attacks on data centers and servers. A hacker who obtains physical access to your database server can steal or damage the data or even use harmful software to take over your computer remotely. Since these attacks can evade digital security standards, it’s difficult to identify them without extra protection measures.
Check the company’s security record before signing up with them as your web hosting provider. In addition, you should avoid free hosting providers due to the potential lack of security. It is highly recommended that you add security mechanisms such as cameras, locks, and a security team if you host your servers. Furthermore, all access to the servers should be recorded and restricted to a small number of persons to reduce the likelihood of suspicious software.
2. Independent database servers and a secure HTTPS proxy server
Databases must be protected against cyberattacks using specific security methods. Data on the same server as your website makes it more vulnerable to the several attack vectors that specifically target websites. Let’s say you have a business online and want to retain sensitive and non-sensitive data on the same server. It is a bad idea. However, your personal information is now at risk of being compromised due to assaults on the website and the e-commerce infrastructure.
Cybercriminals can access your database by any assault that compromises your site or even the online shop platform. Secure your website or software from cyberattacks by utilizing safeguards offered by your hosting provider and by the eCommerce platform’s security capabilities. You may minimize this security risk by segregating your database servers. Additionally, implement real-time security information and event monitoring (SIEM) for database security, enabling businesses to take rapid action in the case of a breach attempt.
Before it connects to the database server, a proxy server examines requests coming from a workstation. A sort of gatekeeper, this server’s job is to keep out unwelcome visitors. Standard HTTP proxy servers are built on the scalability and reliability of HTTP. To be safe, use an HTTPS server for any sensitive data you’re handling, such as credit card numbers, personal information, or passwords. You’re adding an extra degree of protection by encrypting the data as it passes via the proxy server.
3. Ensure that your database is regularly backed up
As with your website, frequent database backups are crucial as they are common to protect your website. It reduces the possibility of losing confidential information as a result of vicious assaults or data damage. Find out how to generate a database backup on Windows and Linux. Additionally, make sure the backup is encrypted and kept on a different server to improve security further.
As a result, even if your primary database server becomes compromised or ceases to be accessible, your data will be recoverable and secure. Ideally, this should be part of your data, file and database backup process and included in your strategy for backup and disaster recovery as well as overall data center risk management, whether you host your database on-premises or manage it through a private cloud.
4. Avoid the use of standard network ports
When data is sent between servers, the UDP and TCP protocols are utilized. When configuring these protocols, the default network ports are automatically used. The prevalence of default ports makes them popular targets for brute force assaults. Attackers that target your server will have to experiment with other port number combinations as they can’t just use the usual ones, thus discouraging them from continuing their attack. Check the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) before allocating a new port to ensure another service provider is not already using it.
5. Monitor databases in real-time
Actively checking your database for breaches strengthens your security and enables you to respond to possible assaults. You may utilize monitoring software, such as the real-time File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) system, to keep track of all operations performed on the database server and notify you of any breaches. Set up processes for escalation in the event of an attack to further protect your sensitive data.
Further, you can also implement a full stack observability system that lets you centrally monitor your applications, infrastructure, and the database within a unified control and management plane. Remember to check your database security regularly and to organize penetration tests for your cybersecurity. These help you find possible security flaws and fix them before they become a problem for your system.
6. Implement firewalls for databases and online applications
When you need to protect your network from malicious attacks, firewalls are your first line of protection. In addition to safeguarding your website, you also need to set up a firewall to guard your database from various attack methods. A firewall may be classified into three categories when it comes to network security:
- Firewall with packet filtering
- Extensive packet inspection (SPI)
- Firewall for proxy servers
Configure your firewall so that it closes all security flaws. Additionally, it is critical to maintaining your firewalls updated since this safeguards your website and database from emerging attacker techniques.
7. Implement data encryption methods
It’s critical to encrypt your data while transferring or maintaining trade secrets and sensitive user information. It is far more difficult for a data breach to succeed if you have encryption methods set up. As a result, even if thieves steal your data, it will stay protected. These long-term data security techniques are also worth looking at as an alternative.
a. Ensure that all software is up to date
Maintaining up-to-date databases is as essential as using just vetted database management software. You should apply patches as soon as they’re made available. It would help if you avoided third-party programs that haven’t gotten frequent updates, such as widgets and plugins, as well as third-party applications in general.
b. Implement robust user authentication
Passwords are the root of 80% of data breaches. For the most part, this indicates that strong passwords aren’t enough of a security precaution on their own. Add a degree of protection by implementing a multi-factor authentication procedure to your database, however, recent trends mean this approach isn’t ideal. Cyber thieves will have a hard time circumventing this security mechanism even if their credentials are hacked. To further reduce the possibility of a breach, only allow legitimate IP addresses to access the database.
IP addresses may be duplicated or disguised, but it takes more work on the attacker’s part. Improve the security of your database to reduce the likelihood of a data leak. Securing your database against malicious assaults requires a multifaceted approach, involving everything from the physical placement of the servers to measures to reduce the likelihood of a human mistake. Ensuring a company’s up-to-date security measures reduces the danger of becoming a target and helps keep data breaches at bay.