Database security is the system, processes, and procedures that protect a database from unintended activity. Unintended activity can be categorized as authenticated misuse, malicious attacks or inadvertent mistakes made by authorized individuals or processes. Database security is also a specialty within the broader discipline of computer security. Traditionally databases have been protected from external connections by firewalls or routers on the network perimeter with the database environment existing on the internal network opposed to being located within a demilitarized zone. Additional network security devices that detect and alert on malicious database protocol traffic include network intrusion detection systems along with host-based intrusion detection systems. Database security is more critical as networks have become more open.
Databases provide many layers and types of information security, typically specified in the data dictionary, including:
• Access control
• Integrity controls
Database security can begin with the process of creation and publishing of appropriate security standards for the database environment. The standards may include specific controls for the various relevant database platforms; a set of best practices that cross over the platforms; and linkages of the standards to higher level polices and governmental regulations.
An important procedure when evaluating database security is performing vulnerability assessments against the database. A vulnerability assessment attempts to find vulnerability holes that could be used to break into the database. Database administrator information security administrators run vulnerability scans on databases to discover misconfiguration of controls within the layers mentioned above along with known vulnerabilities within the database software. The results of the scans should be used to harden the database in order to mitigate the...