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Database Security during COVID-19 and beyond

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced individuals as well as organisations across the globe to embrace new practices such as social distancing and remote working. With government-imposed lockdowns taking place to slow down the spread of coronavirus, there is a sudden and sharp increase in “Work from Home” (WFH) practices. In fact, employees working on even the most critical systems and accessing the most sacrosanct databases and applications are working from home.  The scenario has forced organizations to reimagine the entire security landscape and ensure a thorough check of all access points that lead to their vital systems and data.

While organizations are focusing on enhancing security and digitisation their operations, the cyber attackers are capitalizing on the WFH related security loopholes to crack into various important enterprise systems.  Credible industry sources have reported a substantial spike in cyberattacks wherein attackers are using COVID-19 as bait to impersonate brands and mislead the employees and customers. Currently, all focus lies on business continuity, but organisations must also realize that COVID-19 pandemic delivers extraordinary array of cybersecurity challenges which cannot be ignored.

One such key challenge is to ensure the security of your enterprise databases on which the most vital core business applications run. Such mission-critical databases must be completed safeguarded to ensure business continuity and restrict access to strategic information. .

Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) tools play a pivotal role in providing an additional layer of security and protection against malicious attacks. In addition, DAM also helps to meet the legal and compliance needs that are critical, especially for health and financial institutions.

What is Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) and Why Is It Important?

Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) is a security technology for monitoring and analyzing database activity that operates independently of the database management system. It does not rely on any form of native auditing or native logs such as trace or transaction logs. DAM enables organizations to monitor, capture and record database events in near-real time and provide instant alerts about policy violations based on the recorded events. The ultimate goal of DAM is to differentiate between regular activity and a cyberattack. Furthermore, the DAM tool can also provide vital forensic evidence in case of an actual data breach.

When you have to manage multiple credentials, myriad databases and mission critical components scattered across multiple users and devices, simple tasks such as checking an audit log for a point of failure can also become cumbersome.. In such wide-ranging infrastructures, finding the source of an issue is extremely difficult and often consumes time – a privilege that you cannot afford in case of security practices and issues.

This is where seamless database activity monitoring becomes extremely important.  DAM is useful in scenarios such as when an attacker breaches your database by means of data exploitation, SQL injection, or DDoS, and there’s a need for automated real-time triggers/ alerts.. Such triggers offer enhance protection and lead to better security audit.

In order to monitor the activities and generate necessary triggers, the DAM tool collates information from database and any other connected application at periodic intervals. The tool keeps track of critical database aspects such as design, roles and permissions, networks, data objects, source code, database operations etc.

Key Tasks Performed by DAM:

  • Collect data/information from traffic interacting with the databases
  • Securely store the database activity information outside the monitored database
  • Correlate the activities with legitimate as well as illegitimate user-base
  • Detect patterns and anomalies
  • Generate triggers/responses for various types of threats

Key Advantages of DAM:

  • Identifies compliance as well as security gaps and ensures that the databases are safeguarded from cyberattacks or unauthorized access
  • Enables to reduce time spent on finding the problem areas in databases
  • Improves end-user experience as DAM has the ability to troubleshoot performance problems on a proactive basis, before they affect the end user.
  • Assists in effective capacity planning.
  • Provides valuable insights into “if” and “how” scenarios to improve database performance.

Conclusion:

Given today’s COVID-19 scenario combined with increase in CyberAttacks, it’s critical that data-centric security measures be deployed by organizations irrespective of their size and nature. DAM is an extremely valuable tool from compliance as well as security point of view. While selecting the DAM tool, it is advisable to ensure that it safeguards your organization against SQL injections, excessive privileges, privilege abuse, and anomalous user activities.

Clover Infotech’s Approach for DAM Implementation:

At Clover Infotech, our team of CyberSecurity experts first identify the legitimate sources of connection, and then start building security policies to ensure all suspicious activities are instantly detected and alerts are triggered. And this is done without interfering with your day-to-day business operations. Do ensure that your organization is empowered with the best database activity monitoring practices during COVID-19 and much beyond. It is critical from not only the business perspective but also to avoid any reputation risks that may arise out of a security breach.

Please feel free to write to us at marketing@cloverinfotech.com  if you wish to know more about Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) and our team would be glad to assist you.

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