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Are you confident that your SQL database environment is safe? Note your database contains regulated data and secure information, stored functions, and critical applications, so you should make your database security a topmost priority in your company. The number of people accessing and viewing this information might be high, so you must make sure that you know who is looking and accessing the data, when, how, where, and why!
Do you have sufficient security policies and abide by compliance regulations?
The modern scenario often finds security breaches and outages become quite common. Now, the question is, even if you are a small business owner, do you abide by these compliance rules, and do you have strong security policies in place? There are research and reports that state in the USA, almost 90% of security breaches and outages often go unnoticed due to changes in the configurations in the database that are not tracked or even monitored. If you are not careful, you might fall victim to them anytime soon.
3 Super Easy Tips to Keep Your Database Secure in the organization without hassles
If you want to advance the security of your company’s database, the following are the best practices to incorporate for your SQL database so that you can streamline compliance and beef up security-
- Limit Database Exposure- You should not open the doors of your SQL database to everyone. This is the first step that you can take to reduce security risks for your SQL database. This practice should be incorporated before the completion of its installation and configuration. You should apply the principle of least privilege. The SQL Server should not be running on the local administrative privileges under Windows, as this is not a good idea at all. You will invite outages, and to reduce them and save the database from the risks of too much exposure, ensure you deploy domain accounts with the least privileges needed.
This also means you should stop using the default settings. You should always disable or rename the default settings of the system for administration after the installation process is completed. The same should also be remembered when you are giving your SQL server its name. You should also change the port number of the SQL server that is generally 1433 by default. This helps you to reduce data and service exposure for the database.
Along with the above, you should also hide the instances for the SQL server and disable the service for the SQL database browser. Make sure that nothing is left unattended in the database. You need to remove and disable anything that you will not use. This includes databases and services from the production server, like any test or sample data that you had used to verify the successful installation of the database.
- Control the users who can access your database and how- Experts, RemoteDBA.com states you should always control the users who access your SQL server. They say that when you give permission to a user or authenticate any service account, you need to be cautious and establish accountability for that user so that the misuse of privileged accounts is avoided. This means you have the option to select between the Windows or integrated authentication and the authentication that has been already in-built in the SQL server database. Experts suggest you should always choose the first option if it is possible—the reason being that the integrated Windows authentication will always encrypt the message for validating the users.
In contrast, the authentication that is in-built the SQL server passes the user logins and the passwords across the whole network, and this makes them insecure. This means if you need to use the built-in SQL database authentication for the compatibility of your application, ensure that you have a firm policy for passwords in your company. Note that you should never share user accounts for your server administrators.
All the SQL server administrators in your company should have their dedicated accounts without administrative privileges in another system. Ensure that every admin uses their user id and password. This also works well for applications. When you create separate accounts for the server with a descriptive name for every application working on your SQL database, you enhance its security largely. If you want to monitor changes in the future and avoid the misuse of accounts that result in security breaches, you should consider using change auditing for tracking the server and changes to its system configurations that have not been authorized by you.
- You should check and patch the SQL servers regularly- This is an essential point that you should never miss when you are incorporating the best practices for SQL security servers for your organization. Make sure that you have a strong patch management policy in your organization. Hackers and users with malicious intent are always searching for security flaws in database systems, and this is why you will find that new malware and virus crops daily. To keep them at bay, you need to ensure that you have a strong patch management policy for your SQL servers.
This should be mandatory for your security practice policies when it comes to your SQL servers. Make sure that you deploy the current versions of the SQL server pack in time, install cumulative updates, and go in for critical hotfixes for security in the organization. This will allow you to enhance the stability of the performance of your database. You need to pay attention to the periodic updates of the Windows Operating System as well as any other supported application that you might be running on your system like antivirus programs etc.
Therefore, when it comes to the security practices for your SQL servers in your company, ensure that you keep in mind the 3 best practices for protecting your database and keeping outages and security breaches at bay with success. This is sure to work out for you.