Databases can contain sensitive information and maintaining the security of the same should be your top priority. With the large number of users who view and access the data, it is important for you to identify the data and understand how you can protect the same. The pressure of compliance regulations makes it important for you to have a high-level database protection system for the organization. Here are some of the best practices to ensure database security and ensure compliance.
Reduce SQL server exposure
The first and foremost step you need to take is to minimize the security risks of your SQL server much before the installation is complete. When you run a SQL server under an account with the Windows privileges, it might not be a good idea. If a hacker gains possession of an account with the privileges, there would be an unwanted outcome of the same. If you use a domain account with minimum privileges, the risk will be minimized to a great extent. You also need to ensure that you do not leave any open doors for the predators to walk in. Avoid using the default settings in your system. You can change the SQL server port number and reduce the risk of data exposure. Never leave anything unattended at any point of time. You need to remove everything that is not being used regularly and do not use any unnecessary services either.
Control who can access SQL server
Not everyone in your business organization will be equally loyal or trustworthy. You will have to control who can access the server and what they can do with it. Carefully establish the user accountability and do not misuse the privileged accounts. Always choose Windows authentication as compared to the built in SQL server authentication. Never use the shared user accounts for administrators. The administrators should always have dedicated accounts with no privileges in the system. Each of them should also have a personal user account and the same rule is applied for applications as well.
Plan data security and ownership in advance
You need to start by identifying the required level of protection for the database. It is an important concern when you have to deal with sensitive data like credit card information. You need to ensure high visibility into what is happening in the database so as to strengthen the security and reduce the risk of suspicious activities. At the time of creation of the database, you need to ensure that you have all the information about data confidentiality. Ensure that the same login is not applied across all the database. You can reduce risks by establishing the same process for a new database request. You can hire professionals for managed IT services and have them look into the entire system for the security and protection of your data.
Patch the SQL servers
Your security practices will not be complete unless you patch the SQL servers. Since attackers are always on the lookout for flaws in the system, there will be new viruses appearing every other day and with a proper patch management system, you will be able to protect your computer system. You need to deploy the current version of SQL service packs and pay attention to updating the same from time to time. You also need to update the system with applications like antivirus.
Be aware of what is going on
If you can establish accountability in every manner, you can remain updated with the latest user activity and configuration changes. It is a constant process where you need to maintain the state of security policies and ensure that all the changes are authorized and carried out after thorough documentation. You need to check recent activities and changes that affect the security by obtaining an older view of the changes made in the system.
You need to understand that security is not a one-time thing, it is a constant process where you keep working for the betterment of the system. Your goal is to know who did what and how did it impact the system. To create a secure database environment, you will have to implement a continuous audit to minimize the risk of internal and external threats. Ensure complete visibility across the database and update the applications from time to time. Do not overlook the importance of security in your system and always keep in mind that your ultimate aim is to protect the user’s data.