The Biggest Database Security Threats and Risks You Need to be Aware of to Keep Your Data Safe

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    • Database Security Risks and Threats
    • Database Security Risks and Threats

In today’s interconnected world, databases are the lifeblood of any organization. They store everything from customer information to financial records. However, the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks has made database security a pressing concern.

According to a report by Spiceworks, data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020 alone.


“In an era where data is the new oil, protecting your databases isn’t just an IT task; it’s a business imperative,” ~David Stanton, Head of Cybersecurity/CISO


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the seven most critical database security risks and threats you should be aware of and offer actionable insights on how to mitigate them.


Understanding Database Security Risks


What Are Database Security Risks?

Database security risks are vulnerabilities or weaknesses that could potentially be exploited to compromise the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of the data stored. Understanding these risks is the cornerstone of any robust security strategy to avoid data breach.



Why Is Understanding These Risks Important?

Being aware of these risks enables you to take proactive measures, thereby reducing the likelihood of a successful attack. According to a study by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. Knowing the risks can save you from such staggering financial losses.

To give you a better idea of the risks you could be facing, here are the most prevalent of them broken down for you:


1. Financial Consequences

Immediate Costs: These include the costs of identifying the breach, containing it, and notifying affected parties. There may also be legal fees and fines.

Long-term Costs: Increased insurance premiums, loss of business, and the cost of implementing new security measures can add up over time.


2. Reputational Damage

Loss of Customer Trust: Once a breach becomes public knowledge, customers may lose faith in the organization’s ability to protect their data.

Brand Devaluation: The brand value can take a significant hit, affecting everything from customer retention to the ability to attract new customers.


3. Legal Consequences

Fines and Penalties: Regulatory bodies like the GDPR in Europe can impose hefty fines on organizations that fail to protect user data.

Lawsuits: Affected parties may file lawsuits, seeking compensation for damages, which can be a lengthy and costly process.


“As we navigate the complexities of database security, it’s crucial to remember that the strength of a chain lies in its weakest link. In the realm of data protection, this means consistently fortifying every aspect of our security protocols to safeguard our most valuable digital assets.” ~Manish Yadav, Senior Vice President


4. Operational Impact

Downtime: During the period of identifying and containing the breach, normal operations may be halted, affecting revenue and productivity.

Resource Diversion: Significant resources may need to be reallocated to handle the breach, affecting other projects and operational efficiency.


5. Intellectual Property Loss

Competitive Disadvantage: If the breached data includes intellectual property, it could give competitors an unfair advantage.

Loss of Exclusivity: Patents, designs, and proprietary algorithms can lose their value if they become public knowledge.


6. Psychological and Social Impact

Employee Morale: Knowing that their organization is susceptible can affect employee confidence and morale.

Social Stigma: There can be a lasting social stigma attached to both the organization and its leaders, affecting future partnerships and collaborations.


Common Database Security Issues and Their Impact

Before we get into the finer points of database security risks and threats, here are some of the more common ones you’re likely to run across:


General Issues

Some of the most prevalent database security issues include poor access controls, outdated software, and lack of encryption.

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Impact on Business

These issues can lead to unauthorized data access, data corruption, and even business downtime.

According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 45% of breaches featured hacking, and 22% involved social attacks such as phishing or pretexting.


Discover more about correct database management and best practice right here:


The 7 Biggest Database Security Threats You Should Know

The cyber-world is fraught with various types of database threats that can compromise your data’s security. Here are the seven most critical ones:


1. SQL Injection

SQL Injection attacks involve the insertion of malicious SQL code into a database query. This is often done through web application forms or HTTP requests.

If developers do not adhere to secure coding practices or if the organization does not conduct regular vulnerability testing, the database becomes susceptible to these attacks. SQL Injection can lead to unauthorized access, data theft, and even database corruption.


2. Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized access occurs when individuals gain entry to a database without proper permission.

This can happen due to weak passwords, poor access controls, or even social engineering. Many employees are often granted privileged user access, making insider threats a significant concern for unauthorized access.


3. Data Leakage

Data leakage refers to the exposure of sensitive data due to misconfigurations, inadequate security measures, or human error.

This can result in reputational damage, legal consequences, and loss of customer trust. Often, data leakage occurs because of a lack of encryption or poor access controls.


4. Denial of Service Attacks

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks aim to overwhelm a database with excessive requests, rendering it unavailable to legitimate users.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a more advanced form, involving multiple computers generating large volumes of fake traffic. These attacks can crash or destabilize the database server, affecting its availability.


5. Insider Threats

Insider threats come from employees, contractors, or anyone with privileged access to the database.

These individuals can misuse the database for personal gain or malicious intent. According to Imperva, insider threats are one of the most common causes of database security breaches.


6. Malware and Ransomware

Malware is software designed to exploit vulnerabilities or cause harm to a database.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data and demands a ransom for its release. These threats can arrive through any endpoint device connected to the database network, making endpoint security crucial.


7. Data Corruption

Data corruption involves the alteration or destruction of data, either accidentally or maliciously.

This can happen due to software bugs, hardware failures, or targeted attacks. Data corruption compromises the integrity and availability of the data stored in the database.


Attack Vector

Relative Threat Level

Optimal Defense Strategy

SQL Injection High Use parameterized queries, input validation, and regular vulnerability testing.
Unauthorized Access High Implement strong password policies, multi-factor authentication, and least privilege access controls.
Data Leakage Medium Use encryption, data masking, and configure proper access controls.
Denial of Service Medium Employ rate limiting, intrusion detection systems, and cloud-based DDoS protection services.
Insider Threats High Conduct regular audits, limit privileged access, and employ behavior analytics.
Malware/Ransomware High Keep all software up-to-date, employ endpoint security, and regularly back up data.
Data Corruption Low Use checksums to verify data integrity, employ real-time monitoring, and maintain up-to-date backups.


The Role of Professional IT Services in Database Security


Database Security Risks and Threats


Protect Yourself from All Types of Database Attacks with Buchanan as Your IT Partner

Professional IT services like Buchanan Technologies can offer specialized expertise in database security, from risk assessment to implementing advanced security measures.

In summary, database security is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. By being aware of the risks and implementing robust security measures, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability.

Choose a qualified, highly renowned managed IT service provider to manage your database and database security needs most effectively.

Reach out to Buchanan Technologies for a free consultation, and let’s collaboratively diagnose your IT needs for a more secure future.

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Contact Buchanan Today.