54% of surveyed companies believe that it can take between 10 months to two years for a company to recover from the reputational damage that comes from a data breach, according to research by the Ponemon Institute. Other than losing a good part of their customer base, businesses that suffer such data breaches have to deal with fines from regulatory bodies. Simply put, experiencing a data breach is an expensive affair and should be avoided at all cost.
As the complexity and sensitivity of the information you store continues to increase with time, so does the cunningness and tenacity of the data breach strategies by the hackers. This means that database security should never be considered as a one-time venture and should be updated with time. As long as you are a few steps ahead of the cybercriminals, you will have the advantage of steering away from such damaging scenarios.
Here are four ways to boost the security of your database:
1. Invest In Database Security Software
It is mandatory to be aware of every aspect of your database, from who is accessing what to how well it is performing. With database security software, it becomes quite easy to monitor the health of your database while identifying anything that might seem amiss. In case the software detects a loophole in your security system, it will increase the speed of your incidence response while preventing any severe consequences.
The software will also help in access management. If you allow just about anyone to access any part of your database, you increase the access points from which hackers can gain access to your data. Instead, it would be best if you only offered people privileged access while closing down any parts of the database which are no longer in use.
2. Differentiate Between Sensitive and Non-Sensitive Data
Not all data that you store in your database has the same type of sensitivity. As a result, it makes little sense to invest too much in the security of the non-sensitive data, although it will still need to be secured. Take inventory of your data and determine where you will store it.
These are the initial steps for determining the best solutions for securing the data. Having an elaborate inventory of your data can be quite helpful when it comes to backing it up in the cloud. It will ensure that no data is left unattended to during the backing up period.
3. Encrypt the Information
If a hacker succeeds in circumventing your security tools and gains access to your systems, the chances are that the first place they will try to access will be your database. It contains a diversity of information which can not only be used to ask for ransom but also sold to competitors. What if they can’t make out the data in the database?
Encrypting databases is a sure way to confine access to the information to only those who have been authorized. As long as the hackers do not have the access keys, their efforts will be futile.
4. Anonymize Your Non-Productive Databases
Most companies will typically work overtime to protect their productive databases from threats. But when it comes to testing environments, some will tend to copy the original databases and paste them in less controlled and less secure environments, which exposes the sensitive data to numerous cyber threats. Anonymisation is a data protection technique in which a similar structure of the database is created, but the sensitive data is adjusted to protect it from misappropriation.
You can protect the sensitive data by mixing it, substituting words or even encrypting it. The trick is to ensure that the sensitive client data cannot be retrieved through any reverse engineering. While the method will help in preserving the logical structure of the data, it ensures that no sensitive client data is outside the production environment.
Your database is one of the most attractive prizes for cyber attackers – protect it by all means possible. The more visibility and control you have over your data, the easier it will be to keep such criminals away. Invest in solutions that will offer your enough visibility and control to be steps ahead of potential breaches.