Integrationg Database Monitoring and Network Security
How do CFOs sleep at night not knowing whether their chart of accounts, asset information, cash and budget information are safe from external attack? Intrusion prevention is a necessary concern for businesses, with databases being vulnerable to cyber attack. Databases are strategic management systems that serve up data, including applications and reports that business entities consume in order to make decisions, to multiple sources. Database security in a holistic network security view has long been overlooked in view of the array of network security software that exists from network scanning, intrusion detection, firewalls, identity management and spam filters (to name a few). However, database monitoring software presents a real opportunity to harden the security around a database when compared to classic approaches that focus on internal database security (which remains important, but does not represent the complete view of the database in the network security environment). The first aspect of database hardening relies on discovery, which implies that a central security authority is alerted at the creation of all databases on a network and kept informed about their current status. Since databases contain sensitive company information, databases that represent a security risk to the company should be shut down to eliminate any potential exposure. Other aspects of database hardening include login and patching management. Centralized database monitoring tools can log user access and identify logins that are repetitive and then create a cycle of password changes. Such security features increase the hardening of a database by ensuring password management is effective for all aspects of database usage. Auditing and database policies can also assist hardening by discovering current or latent patching of databases and alerting a database security person (proactively) that patches are missing, again ensuring that the hardened state of the database is kept at an appropriate level at all times. A real boon of database monitoring and beneficial effect for database hardening is the seamless integration such network security software packages have with intrusion prevention and a stateful firewall. These tools integrate the features of reporting and coordinating network security prevention at the DMZ all the way to the internal company database and allow for the accurate and timely elimination of any threat. A stateful firewall is something that should be considered for any business’s protection.