Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) Services

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the number of data breaches publicly reported so far this year has already exceeded the total for 2020, putting 2021 on track for a record year. According to IBM’s Cost of Data Breach Report 2021, the average cost of a data breach has increased from $3.86 million in 2020 to $4.24 million in 2021.Organizations store their most valuable and sensitive information in a database. This sensitive information can belong to customers, partners, and/or employees. Perimeter protection and basic security provided with the database don’t ensure sufficient protection from today’s sophisticated hackers or rogue insiders. By default, most databases do not log any activity data, or if they do, it is not enough to enable a comprehensive forensic investigation of historical breach events.  The databases and applications run in complex environments with numerous dependencies. While we want to protect our information, we need to do it in a way that doesn’t interfere with regular business activities. And this is where Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) comes in. 

Gartner defines Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) as a suite of tools that can be used to support the ability to identify and report on fraudulent, illegal, or other undesirable behavior, with minimal impact on user operations and productivity. DAM is a fairly established technology, existing over a decade. The DAM tools have evolved from basic analysis of user activity in and around relational database management systems (RDBMSs) to encompass a more comprehensive set of capabilities such as vulnerability management, application-level analysis, intrusion prevention, identity and access management integration, and risk management support etc. These tools also help to detect irregular activities helping system administrators to enhance the protection of sensitive data.

How does Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) work?

  1. Monitors all database activity, including select transactions and privileged users’ activities, without causing performance degradation.
  2. Securely stores the database activity outside the monitored database
  3. Creates alerts whenever policy breaches are identified
  4. Aggregates and correlates database activities from multiple database management systems
  5. Implements separation of responsibilities of database administrators, controls the administrators’ activities and prevents the tampering of recorded events or logs

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    Key Benefits of Database Activity Monitoring (DAM)?

    Keep track of activities in a database

    Knowing the database activities in real-time helps to prevent untoward activities before they escalate. Also, such logs on database activity help in detailed analysis to pinpoint specific problems. They can also be tendered in as evidence of unlawful activities in the event of a cybercrime investigation. The log can also be sent to Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems that specialize in real-time analysis of threats.

    Measure and track database utilization as well as database performance trends

    DAM tools help to measure the impact of any optimization activities/changes being carried out. Further, forecasts can be made based on the reports from database activity monitoring, which can help in database improvements. E.g. hardware requirements can be predicted based on data usage patterns recorded by DAM.

    Improve ability to demonstrate compliance

    In addition to having appropriate security controls in place, organizations need to be able to prove that they have the required controls in place as required by several regulatory bodies. This obligation includes demonstrating that the necessary alerts are in place, management reports are being generated, and policy documents are up to date. Again, special attention must be placed on the ability to demonstrate that separation of duties is practiced. All of these can be achieved via DAM tools.

    USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of DAM

    While a number of tools can monitor various level of database activity, DAM tools are differentiated by their ability to trigger alerts on policy violations. DAM tools not only record activity but also provide real-time monitoring and rule-based alerting. 

    e.g. you can create a rule that triggers an alert every time a DBA performs a select query on a credit card column which returns more than 5 results.

    Why Clover Infotech for DAM?

    • Comprehensive DAM Services: Consultation, Implementation, Maintenance, and Support
    • The 3000 people strong company has focused practice teams handling various cybersecurity areas including DAM.
    • With hands-on experience in database security and strong technology partnership with Oracle, we extend the capabilities of IBM Guardium and Oracle AVDF Platforms to help enterprises to mitigate possible security threats and data breaches.
    • Strategic and hands-on support across every phase of DAM implementation
    • Our team of experts guide you in the right direction for defining and constructing a criterion for selecting the most appropriate DAM solution for your business needs. 
    • Our team ensures that we deploy the DAM solution in the most effective way possible to generate maximum ROI.

    Given today’s ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity threats, combined with the exponential growth in volume of sensitive data, it becomes imperative that organizations deploy data-centric security measures. Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) tools provide necessary compliance and security coverage for your business-critical data without the costs associated with native database auditing. Leverage our expertise in DAM to eliminate implementation risks by using our proven transition methodologies and management services. Contact us today!

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