Data protection defines the safeguarding of crucial data from compromise, corruption, or deletion. It should also provide the capability to restore and access any damaged data in case of a power outage or a successful malicious attack.
Data protection is there to ensure your business and personal data stays away from corrupting hands and is compliant with regulatory requirements. All protected data should be available to you at all times.
However, data protection is a broad term. Although we’re used to hearing “data protection” and “data privacy” as interchangeable terms, in reality, the latter is a part of the former. Let’s explore that a bit further.
|Traditional Data Protection||Data Privacy||Data Security|
Data protection is an umbrella term, compiling traditional data protection practices, data privacy, and data security.
Traditional data protection practices include backup and restore options, data replication, archiving, data retention, physical infrastructure building, RAID and erasure coding, and more.
Data privacy relates to data legislation, privacy policies, privacy best practices, third-party contracts, global variations, and data governance.
Data security relies heavily on protection software to resolve encryption, authentication, threat monitoring, access control, data loss prevention, and breach and recovery data access.
Now that we’ve covered the essentials of data protection, we can go a bit deeper into every one of them. After all, you wouldn’t build a fortress halfway.
To ensure your data is intact and available 24/7, you can implement a regular backup schedule to have a functional copy of all vital operating information. Furthermore, you can choose to hedge your backups – have a physical copy (or better yet – copies) of your data on-site and an extra copy on the cloud. That way, even if your physical archive is compromised, you’d still have a viable option to recover all of your data.
Going over to data privacy now – it’s important to ensure all of your data is compliant with international data legislation. (your cookies need to be perfectly cooked, so no user is burnt in the case of a breach or a data leak)
Lastly, you can cement your data’s eligibility via data protection software. Most modern cybersecurity vendors offer real-time threat assessments, control over who can access essential data, and implement data loss prevention tactics to recover your data even if a breach occurs.
Database Security Threats
Protection against any threat requires knowing said threats in-depth and preparing for them rather than reacting to malicious occurrences. Database protection makes no exception, so let’s explore what threatens the entirety of your data.
In essence, all attempts to compromise your data are external – an unauthorised party tries to access your systems and data. However, the reasons for a successful attack may come from both inside and outside of your operation.
- Negligent employees within your organisation may unknowingly expose databases to attacks through careless actions.
- A third party may access your database through social engineering tactics, snatching database credentials to penetrate your defences.
- In rare cases, an ill-intended insider may gain or grant access to your data to corrupt it.
The human error goes beyond negligent actions – employees with vital data clearance should use strong passwords, multi-step authenticators, and be extremely careful when handling data. Additionally, they should be aware of accidentally erasing or corrupting data, let alone granting unauthorised access to third parties.
Attackers continuously attempt to pinpoint software vulnerabilities and thus breach systems. Open-source database management platforms and commercial database security vendors find and patch vulnerabilities daily, so applying patches as soon as they’re available is crucial to keep your systems up-to-date and protected against malicious attacks.
That brings us to the next step – what attacks should you expect when building your castle walls.
Specifically targeting databases, SQL and non-SQL attack strings can interfere with database queries. Usually, such queries serve as an extension of web app forms or HTTP requests.
Attackers can target any database and potentially gain access to information they’re generally unable to retrieve. Following a successful SQL injection attack, attackers can modify, delete or leak data, causing a persistent change to the app’s behaviour and content.
Denial of Service Attacks
DoS and DDoS aim to slow down a server or make it entirely unavailable to users. Although DoS attacks don’t disclose any of the affected data, they may cost a business time and resources to get their servers back up and running smoothly.
Database Backups Exposure
A regular backup is an essential part of well-rounded data protection practices. However, backed-up data is often left completely unprotected from attacks. After all, why invest in backup protection when you can focus on securing your operating data systems and worry about the backups if you need them, right?
But what happens if your operational data is compromised and you realise that all backups are infected, corrupted, or destroyed? Better yet, would an attacker go through the trouble of penetrating your primary defences if you have an unprotected backup lying around?
Malware comprises viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware, adware, wiper, scareware, rogue software, and more.
In essence, malware refers to software created to damage data or, in this case, to corrupt a whole database. It can infiltrate your system through any endpoint connected to the database’s network by exploiting security vulnerabilities.
Depending on the type of malware, your data could be altered, corrupted, stolen and held hostage, leaked, or erased.
Poorly Managed Sensitive Data
Many enterprises store an enormous amount of sensitive data due to their global reach and many years of experience in the field. Even if your company isn’t as big as them, it’s rare to see a complete inventory of all data managed by an organisation.
Unattended data can often fall victim to hackers, especially if you’ve forgotten about it. Chances are, someone can steal company data, and the organisation would realise it weeks or months after the successful attack.
How to Secure Your Data?
Hacker attacks get more sophisticated by the minute, so the best bet to keep your data safe is by combining best protection practices with robust data security software.
As businesses differ in data storing and strategy implementation, we’ve compiled the most crucial tactics to keep your data safe from unauthorised access.
- Use stored procedures instead of direct queries to counter SQL and non-SQL injection attacks
- Encrypt all operating and backed-up databases; audit databases and backups regularly to monitor access
- Educate your employees (especially your IT staff) to counter human error and data breaches due to negligent behaviour
- Harden TCP/IP chain by increasing the size of the TCP connection queue; additionally, decrease the connection establishment timeframe, employ dynamic backlog mechanism to ensure connection queues are never exhausted, and implement Intrusion Detection System on all of your networks
- Apply required permissions to database access
- Protect all database endpoints and implement solid data protection software
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office provides a full range of protection options to any home user. Moreover, it works well for small-to-medium businesses and home-based organisations. With it, you get access to protected backups (partial or complete, depending on your choice), fast recovery in case of a breach, intuitive disc cloning, and full image backups.
Additionally, you can choose to store your backups locally, on the cloud, or use hybrid cloud backup. Its integrated anti-malware protection intercepts cyberattacks in real-time, scans your devices for viruses, allows web filtering, and more.
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office ticks all the boxes when it comes to the security, encryption, and proper storage of business and personal data.
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