The information stored in your database is very valuable and needs to be given the maximum protection available. Not only is the data valuable to your business, it is often sensitive; at times containing your clients’ personal information or that of your employees which can be grossly misused if stolen whether by external hackers or insiders. Further, with increased dependence on databases, any threat to or unavailability of the database, however minor could result in serious financial and other implications for the business.
Database security is defined as the protection of business’ database against deliberate and unintentional threats that may or may not originate from a computer. While it may appear to be the forte of the remote DBA experts or your DBA staff, database security is the responsibility of the entire business encompassing hardware, software, business infrastructure, human resource and of course the information.
One of the ways that you can develop strong database security is by establishing a security policy for your business and set up a plan of implementing it among your staff members. They will need to know what is expected of them in terms of database security and perhaps what penalties would be attracted by failing to observe these rules. Make sure the rules are easy to understand and achievable such a not sharing passwords, even among themselves and always logging off when they will be away from the computer for a long while. They should also avoid bringing in software from outside to use at the office computers.
With the non-technical staff sorted out, the rest of the responsibility is shouldered by the DBA handlers.
These are some of the things they must take into consideration to ensure the security of your business:
• Knowing where the sensitive data is located
This is important in two main ways. First, the most sensitive data will then have stronger controls. Second, there can be mechanisms set up to alert the DBA on a breach of this sensitive information.
• Monitoring database activity and any changes in the database management system
It is important to keep a constant eye on the database and the system to ensure that there are no loopholes that can facilitate breaches. This can also show if there have been attempts at breaching the database security and measures can be taken to ensure this does not happen. It will also be important to show if the threats are internal or external and appropriate measures can subsequently be taken.
• Keeping the data within the security structures
Contrary to popular methods where people want to work offline outside of the network security, it is important for the data being worked on to remain secure within the network. The DBA staff should develop mechanisms to ensure that this is taking place while allowing the other staff members to enjoy working anywhere at any time.
• Encrypt the data to prevent a bypass
Even with all the controls and measures, a system can be bypassed without encryption. It is therefore the duty of the DBA staff to mask the data within the database so that even if hackers or insider could access the data, it would not be usable.