Database Security Testing

in Database
Database is the main source of all the data and information of a company and it can be called the heart of a concern because of the important role it plays for the firm. It supplies the required data to the user at any point of time. Hence it is also very vital that the database is secured properly to avoid access by any attacker with a malicious intent. How to secure the database and the means of checking it often are very important.

The testing of security of the database can be done by means such as vulnerability assessment, user rights audit, architecture review, database audit and frequent reviewing of the security code. The testing, if done at regular intervals, finds out the loopholes in the system and also plugs the same to prevent any unauthorized user accessing the data.

Database Vulnerability assessment: This is a part of the systematic checking done for the database security and it is highly useful in reducing the risk involved in both database and website attack. It is also useful in complying with the specific standards and rules related to database security. This will include making use of a tool that is meant for finding out security vulnerabilities at the database level. This will also submit reports on the various processes involved, analysis, and also the findings apart from the root cause, the practices to be adopted and the technical details of the same. The advantages of this assessment are that the user can easily identify the errors in settings, coding, and other issues. This assessment can be conducted on a regular basis for managing the vulnerabilities and also to focus on the concern-causing areas. This is the least expensive method of both finding out the risk and also the solutions to it. The user can focus on the testing or coding which may cause such risks.

User rights auditing: The main challenge of a network administrator lies in maintaining a strict vigil over the different types of users, the roles and other options available with the database. In order to maintain strict control over rules and regulations, it is required to check the requirements of duties of the users and how they are applied. This feature will help in identifying the different users who will have access to systems, the data they may require and access, and the level to which they can access from the database. It will also help in assessing if they can be permitted to access the data to this extent also. The administrator will be able to understand all about the rights granted to the users and various groups. Any deviation of the user from the rules can be found out. It will also help in preparing reports on the process, findings, and the practices to be followed apart from the technical summaries. By using this, no user will have unauthorized access to data and they cannot go beyond the level they are permitted. Compliance of laws, vulnerability management tactics and a check over the areas that cause concern will be reported to the administrator.

Architecture review: This helps in getting a detailed analysis of appropriate database requirements, how they function, how they safeguard the data stored, and the objectives of the security. This will help in understanding the possible areas of attack so that proper check can be applied there. Management and the database development team will be able to understand the various control measures, the goals to maintain confidentiality of the data, availability, and the genuineness of the same. A complete control over the data, the structure of the database, the technologies involved, and all the process to control the data will be explained to the concerned authorities. Better control over the security by viewing the same in a comprehensive manner, finding out the measures needed to ensure the same, and meeting the deficiencies at a low cost are the other advantages of this measure. This has the best effect when it is used at the development stage of the database.

Database assessment: It is only when a thorough analysis of the various stages of the operation of the database is done, that one can be assured about the security of the data, availability of the same and the integrity of the same. To achieve this, operational audits or assessments are absolutely essential. The main objectives of this function are to assess the activities which may prove critical to the confidentiality of the data, to conduct a review of these security measures of the data, and to submit the report on the findings, analysis, and the summaries from the technical side. When this process is completely followed, it ensures that the security of the database is in order as planned and assurance is given for the security to extend for more time. The best results of the operational audits can be achieved when it is conducted to ensure compliance to rules and regulations and provide a greater assurance for the security of the database.

Security code review: This is the review conducted manually by the database developers to find out any issue that will facilitate the attacker in gaining access to the database. The main focus of this function is to find out the highly risky areas of the database and the coding as the whole process is quite expensive but thorough. Any threat assessment to the code, system security, and vulnerability of the database are analyzed to find out which area of the code is to be focused on. The procedure source code is reviewed and importance is given to the logic of the code and the construction of the same. It also provides a report on the process, findings, analysis, and technical summary to the problem. Basically any error in coding techniques is detected and the same is rectified. The developers of the program are educated on the error-free techniques and the practices, and the coding issues are solved even at the development level when it is combined into the Software Development Life Cycle. The highest benefits of this system are reaped for procedures that are absolutely necessary for the security objectives and also when used as a part of certification exercise for higher level of database security.

Thus, when the highly risk prone areas are detected and solutions applied by means of various techniques, the safety of the database is ensured, much to the development of the firm.
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GreenSQL is a leading software provider which help website owners to secure their database server. GreenSQL provides free soultions for SQL server security as well as database activity monitoring and database caching.

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This article was published on 2010/12/21