Today, any field of study or industry has serious data needs, and with that comes a bigger requirement to store this information properly for access. Databases are an everyday part of data science and analytics, and as such contain information that’s not just relevant, but also highly sensitive at times. A retailer, for instance, has details about their customers that includes credit card numbers, personal particulars, and more. As a result, database safety is an incredibly important part of BI security. When you’re working with sensitive data, it’s vital to do more than just be careful. As attacks become more sophisticated and the information on servers grows more valuable, you must always remain a step ahead of potential threats. Make sure your data is safe by implementing these database security best practices.

Your Security Protocols Should Always be Opt-Out

When you’re developing an algorithm or program, features tend to be opt-in—that is, they’re optional until you decide they’re necessary. Sometimes, this thinking extends to building databases and implementing security protocols. However, this model has large flaws and can create unnecessary vulnerabilities in your security. Instead, your databases should have all security protocols set to maximum unless it’s absolutely necessary to change them or remove them. Most of the time, you’ll find that you can find ways to work around security without compromising your safety. When you do want to remove a security feature, make sure there is no other way to solve your current problem.

Be Strict About Setting Access Privileges—Especially Root Access

When it comes to analytics and security, there’s a constant tug of war. On one hand, business intelligence relies on having free and fast access to data sets. On the other, databases must have the ability to protect the data they contain from being exposed to accidental or deliberate threats. The standard solution is to layer access privileges depending on users’ requirements. However, it’s all too easy at times to be lax about access to higher-level functions based on what people think they need. Not sure which software stack is right for your business? Make the best decision with our free whitepaper, “Choose the Right Software Stack for You” To guarantee your data is safe from an accident or an attack, it’s best to restrict permissions on an as-needed basis. Instead of opening the whole system, and especially root access—which could spell serious danger for your database—define exactly what a user needs before choosing their privilege level. Some may not need the ability to modify or manipulate data, while others might require more in-depth access to sets. Either way, it’s vital to set and establish clear limits on user access.

Add Multiple Layers of Security for Your Database

Even though database servers are essential to business intelligence, they should be separated by as many degrees of security as possible. Commonly, database administrators are content to host both their web servers and database servers on the same platform. This may be convenient, but it significantly exposes user and business data to danger needlessly. Start by separating servers and creating secure bridges for them to communicate. Once you’ve isolated your server, you should also add web application and database firewalls to your systems, which can handle traffic better all while filtering out malicious access attempts. Moreover, your information should always be encrypted when stored. Finally, you can even remove non-vital data from your database and store if offline. This is especially relevant with records you’re bound by law to keep but aren’t necessary for daily operations.

Monitor and Audit Your Database Consistently

One of the biggest headaches database admins face is the number of access attempts and interactions their databases receive. It’s not always easy to keep track of them, and a missed login or query could be responsible for considerable damage. Keeping accurate and consistent logs is a key step towards improving your passive security. If your database is breached or compromised, you can identify the exact moment and location where it occurred. Similarly, you should have a strong audit philosophy. Auditing is linked to logging but collects much deeper-level data that can be vital towards understanding breaches and blocking future infringements. You can perform root-cause analyses and be compliant with a variety of protocols and standards. More importantly, constant audits help you prevent attacks by noticing irregularities and potential holes in your defenses. Database security is always a pressing concern. When your business intelligence needs require sensitive data and online connectivity, it’s important to know your defenses will hold up. Implementing best practices and being compliant with the most current standards are smart practices to bolster security. Ensuring your business and client data is secure isn’t just recommended in an increasingly hazardous world, it’s necessary. Not sure which software stack is right for your business? Make the best decision with our free whitepaper, “Choose the Right Software Stack for You”
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