There is an old saying that still rings true: there are those who have had a data breach, and there are others who still do not know it. The year 2017 was one of the busiest for hackers, with a large number of data breaches every week. Some of the largest breaches compromised the personal information of US voters and exposed the social security numbers of more than 100 million Americans.
Most organizations today employ perimeter security systems, data encryption, strict policies, and employee education to prevent data theft and fraud. These are necessary measures, but they are not enough. It is crucial to employ strict policies and controls to provide maximum database security .
Here are five steps that can help protect your database:
Make sure you comply with the necessary regulations
Regulations and laws have strict rules for data security. By ensuring compliance, you are already one step ahead when it comes to data protection. The United States has about 20 national industry-specific or medium-specific data security or privacy laws, and hundreds of such laws exist among its 50 states and territories. California alone has more than 25 state data privacy and security laws.
On the other hand, the new GDPR rules impose stricter requirements on companies doing business in Europe. You can hire an outside expert to assess what data you have and how you are actually protecting it, rather than how you think you have protected your database. While it may seem like an unnecessary cost, if you can show potential customers and customers that you conducted a third-party data assessment, you will find that this gives you an edge over your competitors.
Set permissions appropriately
A recent study, Verizon’s ” 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, ” shows that at least 25% of data breaches are caused, deliberately or accidentally, by insiders. Because you never know who will turn out to be a dishonest employee, it is essential to establish and enforce the principle of least privilege: grant each user access only to the systems and data they need to do their job and nothing else.
Of course, all employees who are laid off or who leave the company must have their privileges taken away immediately. Consider setting project-based permissions; employees should only have temporary access to some data, depending on what they are working on. And there must be some policies that apply to everyone; for example, only the database administrator can drop a table, or maybe no one can drop a table.
Monitor changes to permissions
Once you have configured the permissions, track and document all changes made to them. By ensuring that all changes are authorized, you reduce the risk of someone gaining access rights they don’t need, either by accident or on purpose.
Monitor critical file access
Many companies go to extra lengths to protect celebrity files, such as a politician’s tax returns during elections or an actress’s file when she is giving birth or receiving medical treatment. It is important that organizations add additional security measures and establish additional security requirements to override normal procedures. A high-profile data breach can seriously damage your reputation. A clinic in Los Angeles claims it has high-profile patients due to the diligent efforts required to protect sensitive personal data.
Mask sensitive data
Development, test, and deployment teams often pass real customer information back and forth. However, if it falls into the wrong hands, the organization is liable. To maintain the highest level of privacy and protection for people with information on your system, implement encryption or “pseudonym” technologies at the database level. Products like Delphix’s Dynamic Data Platform can help you mask data and protect your database.
Databases are often the backbone of an organization, an invaluable container for a company’s transactions, customers, employee information, and customer financial data. This information must be protected by following clear procedures to manage changes to the database. The clear management of databases can reduce the likelihood of data loss and help everyone sleep better at night.