What is database security?
Database security refers to the range of tools, controls, and measures designed to establish and preserve database confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This article will focus primarily on confidentiality since it’s the element that’s compromised in most data breaches.
Database security must address and protect the following:
- The data in the database
- The database management system (DBMS)
- Any associated applications
- The physical database server and/or the virtual database server and the underlying hardware
- The computing and/or network infrastructure used to access the databas
Database security is a complex and challenging endeavor that involves all aspects of information security technologies and practices. It’s also naturally at odds with database usability. The more accessible and usable the database, the more vulnerable it is to security threats; the more invulnerable the database is to threats, the more difficult it is to access and use. (This paradox is sometimes referred to as Anderson’s Rule. (link resides outside IBM)
Why is it important?
By definition, a data breach is a failure to maintain the confidentiality of data in a database. How much harm a data breach inflicts on your enterprise depends on a number of consequences or factors:
- Compromised intellectual property: Your intellectual property—trade secrets, inventions, proprietary practices—may be critical to your ability to maintain a competitive advantage in your market. If that intellectual property is stolen or exposed, your competitive advantage may be difficult or impossible to maintain or recover.
- Damage to brand reputation: Customers or partners may be unwilling to buy your products or services (or do business with your company) if they don’t feel they can trust you to protect your data or theirs.
Business continuity (or lack thereof): Some business cannot continue to operate until a breach is resolved.
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