Database Security: 3 Best Practices for Small Businesses

According to Statista, the amount of data created and consumed in the world is expected to reach 180 zettabytes by 2025, which is equivalent to 180 billion terabytes, or 180 trillion gigabytes.

With the growth of data at lightning speed every year, the need for data security is also increasing many times over. In reality, 36 billion records were compromise between January and September 2020, according to Risk Based Security’s QuickView Q3 2020 report on data breaches. This equates to roughly four records from every person on the compromised planet. In addition, the report confirmed that there were 2,953 publicly reported violations during the same period.

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The average the cost of a data breach is $ 4.24 million, according to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM in 2021. This is an important number for small and medium-sized businesses who hope to grow their businesses and can take them back a few steps. This restores the need for data security against potential threats. With that said, let’s find out why database security is so important and explore database security best practices for small and medium-sized businesses.

The role of database security

Database Security is responsible for protecting the data in the database including, but not limited to, the database management system, physical and virtual servers, and other associated hardware, the associated applications and the network infrastructure used to access the database. It is important to maintain data confidentiality as the loss of private information can have an unimaginable impact on an individual or an institution.

Intellectual property, like ideas, strategies and inventions, can be compromised when data is breached. This can lead to a loss of competitive advantage, which can be difficult to recover from. That’s why data security makes or breaks a business: it’s one of the most important determinants of people’s trust in a brand or a company.

One of the most famous and recent data breaches of this year was when Amazon was hacked and user information was allegedly sold on the black market. An incident like this leaves a memorable impression and can negatively impact user confidence.

Additionally, global regulations are in place to protect confidential information. Companies that fail to comply with these regulations are subject to legal action such as fines and penalties and / or revocation of business licenses. Additionally, a data breach adds additional costs such as the costs of investigating the breach and informing stakeholders, legal fees, etc. Hence, it is imperative to protect the database with best practices to avoid sensitive data breach.

3 best practices for database security

1. Provide physical security

Data centers are vulnerable to physical attacks from both internal and external threats. In addition, data on physical servers can be corrupted or stolen if their security is compromised. This is why it is important to ensure that data centers are protected. There are several ways to guarantee the same.

When choosing a web hosting provider, one should opt for a company with strict security measures for its data centers. While hosting the servers independently, it is imperative to have security measures such as cameras, locks and biometric entry points as well as security personnel to mitigate the risk of physical attack. Also, it is best to keep the database on a separate server.

2. Monitor and encrypt

Real-time database monitoring is one of the most powerful weapons to keep a database secure. Active and automated scans help detect database breach attempts in advance, helping to increase security. In addition, an escalation protocol must be in place to act instantly and notify in the event of an attack.

All confidential information must be encrypted to ensure data security. Encrypted data is generally safe, even in the wrong hands, unless the hacker steals the decryption keys, which is highly unlikely if the company follows best practices. That said, it is recommended to encrypt the stored data and store its keys separately to add an extra layer of security against attacks.

3. Automate backups and updates

Data security is not only about protecting data from hacking, it is also about protecting data from corruption or loss. That is why data must be regularly backed up on different servers to have data redundancy, which protects the data from damage or loss. This ensures a secure copy of sensitive information when the primary database is compromised or corrupted.

It is also imperative that the applications managing the databases are up to date. The database management software should not only be patched and updated, but also these patches and updates should be checked. Otherwise, applications may have known vulnerabilities, which can help compromise data servers.

In summary

Database security is a complex business with many faceted tasks: from the physical security of database servers to preventing the risk of human error. Therefore, best practices and database security protocols should be followed to mitigate the risk of security threats and malicious attacks. These prove to be beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses to build a reputation and maintain user confidence.

Interesting related article: “What is cybersecurity?” “