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Database security

Are your databases properly protected? Find out all you need to know about database security, why it’s so important, and what you can do to keep sensitive information secure.

What is database security?

If your company collects data about staff, clients or suppliers, you can bet it’s stored on a database, either within your premises or on a server elsewhere. A database is a collection of information, stored on a server within a database management system (DBMS). To keep a database secure, each of these three separate elements – the information itself, the DBMS and the server - must be protected. If the database is linked to any other applications, then these must be kept secure, too.

Database security involves protecting a database (and the data stored within it) from being compromised. That might involve being accessed, copied or used by anyone unauthorised to do so. Databases also require protection from damage, both through cyber attacks and from physical events such as fire and floods.

secure database

Why is database security so vital?

The information stored on companies’ databases can be anything from confidential contact details, to banking information, passwords and other private data. The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) both place obligations on companies to prevent this data from being compromised.

So there’s a legal imperative to protect your data security, but if you want your company to succeed, there are other motivations, too. Data breaches can have catastrophic consequences for business – as Internet giant Yahoo! discovered in 2013, when it suffered a large-scale attack that apparently affected all 3 billion of its users. Personal information, including email addresses, passwords, back-up email addresses and the answers to security questions, was compromised. The company, in negotiations to be sold at the time, was devalued to the tune of $350 million and later agreed to pay $50 million in damages to around 200 million people affected by the breach.

What makes a database vulnerable to breaches or cyber-attacks?

Because there are a number of different elements to a database, it has vulnerabilities in a number of different areas. Here are some of the most common types of database security breach:

database security

How can a database be secured?

Because databases are vulnerable to breaches in many different ways, it’s vital to take a multi-pronged approach to database security.

For expert support in securing your database, contact Pace IT today.

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