TechDogs-Explore "Database Security Tools": Part 2

IT Security

Explore Database Security Tools: Part 2

By TechDogs

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If we were to say Equifax, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter to you, two words would probably come to mind: Data Breach. Exposing your customer's data does make headline news and rightly so. Your customers trust you to keep their data safe and woe betide any organization which fails to do this.

In Part 2 of our Database Security Tools series, you'll discover what you can learn about database security from Dumbledore (plenty, it turns out); what features you should look for in a Database Security Tool, what the future of database security could look like and why you should be glad you're not EasyJet.

TechDogs-Don't Be Scared Of Data Threats-"Database Security Tools": Part 2

You know what's better than learning from your own mistakes? Learning from someone else's.

UK airline EasyJet had a dreadful time in 2020 but the EasyJet out there showed the rest of us how easily things can go wrong so that we can be better. In January 2020, EasyJet announced that hackers stole personal email addresses and travel information from nine million customers.

That's not all, it gets worse.

They also stole the credit card data - including the three-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) code - from around 2,200 customers. Although EasyJet informed the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) immediately, they didn't tell their customers until four months later. EasyJet has been coy about sharing the details. What they have said is that the hackers were after EasyJet's intellectual property and the customer data was a crime of opportunity. A bonus if you like.

Under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the victims of the attack can sue EasyJet for up to £2,000 ($2,500) each. That's a possible £18.4 billion fine ($23.7 billion)! We know what you're thinking, "I'm glad, I'm not EasyJet". Today, when everyone from kindergartners to great-grandparents is using online devices, the world is shining a spotlight on all organizations and asking: what are you doing to keep your data safe? You might be glad you're not the EasyJet today but you could be tomorrow. So, let's put you in the hot seat. If database security vulnerabilities is under your remit, what are you doing to keep your data safe?

Before we dive into it, check out Part 1 of our Database Security Tools series, where we talk about what database security is, what Database Security Tools are and why you need them.

Why Is Database Security Important?

Let's say your organization follows in the footsteps of EasyJet and ends up being a victim of a major data breach. What next? If you're lucky, you'll trend on Twitter for a few days, your stock price will take a dip and you'll lose business until the hubbub dies.

Worst case? Your organization will receive million - maybe billion-dollar fines and individuals might go to jail. Meanwhile, you have the cost of communicating with your customers, potential loss of intellectual property, and may even have to close operations until you resolve the breach. What's most likely is that you'll fall somewhere in between the two scenarios. Your brand's reputation will take a hefty blow - but will you recover? Who knows? It depends on the type of brand you work for, the industry in which you operate, and the fallout from the breach.

You will also receive a fine. CFOs that enjoy paying fines are like unicorns. Even if they do exist, nobody has ever seen one. The fine may not be in the realm of Canadian healthcare provider LifeLab's $1 billion penalties but why would you want to pay even a few thousand dollars if you can avoid it entirely? 

Ultimately, you need only one reason to argue for the importance of Database Security Tools - but here are three for good measure:

  • Database Security Tools are the only way you can protect your database from security threats.

  • Not taking database security is against the law.

  • Your customers deserve — and expect — no less.

It's as simple as that.

What's Driving Database Security Tool Adoption?


The explosion in online learning and remote working has pushed Database Security Tool adoption to top-of-mind. More people online = more opportunities for cybercrime = more digital privacy concerns. Nevertheless, database security vulnerabilities were having their heyday long before 2020 reared its ugly head. Here's why:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) And Digital Transformation

    Smart devices and cyber organizations are just some of the 21st-century transformations we've witnessed so far. If Tom Cruise films are anything to go by, there's plenty more where that came from. However, unless we have Database Security Tools, this connectedness leaves our operations open to attack. We might as well have a "Welcome Hackers" sign in the front yard.

    Cloud data storage is a particular problem. It's cheap to implement and easy to deploy (thumbs up) but highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks (thumbs down). Database Security Tools are the only way to take advantage of new technologies without the accompanying risks (crowd cheers).

  • Voice Recognition Technology

    Siri, Alexa, Cortana - no, you're not backstage at a technology show. These cloud-based virtual assistants answer 50% of all internet searches. At the same time, they also store every search command and the contextual database instance surrounding it. That's an astronomical volume of potentially personal data security control.

    (Also, if you've never wondered if they listen to you even when you're not speaking to them, you're lying.)

  • Legislation

    It's the law, isn't it? It's hard to believe that legal provisions around how organizations use and store data didn't exist until 2018. We now have the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation, data privacy acts in California and New York, as well as Australia's Privacy Principles (APP). Who's next?

What Are The Benefits Of Database Security Tools?

Saying why you should invest in Database Security Tools is like listing why you should pet kittens - it's the right thing to do. However, not everyone likes kittens and not everyone enjoys spending money on a new system just in case a data breach happens. Merely proving you can reduce database instance maintenance spending by consolidating database server storage, archiving out-of-date data, and getting rid of legacy systems might not be enough. CFOs are a tough crowd to please.

So, if you need more substantial evidence, here are the further benefits of Database Security Tools, explored through the lens of Hogwarts headmaster Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Muggles, look away now because nothing endears itself more to CFOs - nor aligns itself more to database activity monitoring budget requests - than fictional wizards, amiright?

In case you haven't read the book or seen the film, the Goblet of Fire chooses who shall compete in the Triwizard tournament - a life-threateningly dangerous competition between three magic schools. However, there are strict guidelines around who can enter the tournament, which means there are rules around who can access the goblet and what they can do with it. Sound familiar?

  • Identify Vulnerabilities

    Dumbledore identified that underage wizards may try to access the goblet and enter the tournament, which is why he took action to prevent them from doing so. Like Dumbledore, Database Security Tools identify actions, behaviors, and areas that prove a risk to your database system so that you too can protect those most vulnerable.

  • Monitor Activity

    Dumbledore kept track of what was going on with the goblet because there always seemed to be several students loitering nearby - lessons are arbitrary at Hogwarts, apparently - and if anyone tried to gain access uninvited, they turned into octogenarians. Database Security Tools also alert you to audit security threats in real-time, enforce your rules and provide you with full visibility of the status of your data discovery. All this and not an aging potion insight.

  • Final Line Of Defense

    Dumbledore's final line of defense was that only one pupil from each school could be chosen to compete. So, if all else fails, there'll only be one Hogwarts pupil in the competition. (What could possibly go wrong at this school where everything always goes wrong?) Database Security Tools also have a final line of defense: encryption. Database Encryption and tokenization (or data masking) scramble the appearance of the database administrator should anyone unauthorized try to read it. Just like the spell " Illegibilus " that makes any writing completely unreadable.

  • Optimized Data Security

    * Spoiler alert * Dumbledore's security attempts fail. Someone hacks the goblet, fooling it into choosing a fourth, underage, competitor. No points for guessing who this Chosen One was - Harry Potter *gasp*. Dumbledore clearly learned nothing from the first three books, or else he would have known this would probably happen. Fortunately, Database Security Tools do learn from historical database performance and can provide you with advanced analytics and actionable insights so that you, unlike Dumbledore, can succeed.

In short - Implementing Database Security Tools leads to secure database access, improved decision-making processes, transparent encryption technology adoption, updated systems, and a monitoring tool more agile framework.

What Features Should I Look For In A Database Security Tool?

We all love features, don't we? Shopping for Database Security Tools is no different from shopping for a new car or coffee machine. First, we set a budget. Then, we make a list of must-haves. If this is your first time choosing a Database Security Tool, where do you start? Let's look at your add-on options:
  • Data auditing and record deduplication

  • Database management and access permissions

  • Vulnerability risk assessments and reporting

  • Multi-factor authentication

  • Data loss prevention and secure data transfer

  • Virus or malware detection

  • Compliance reporting

Your Database Security Tool suite can be as robust or lightweight as you need it. Just be sure it covers all your security needs - you don't want a data breach because you scrimped on software, right?

What Does The Future Of Database Security Tools Look Like?

Database security is moving at pace. Industry experts and leaders have looked as far ahead as 2025-2030 but beyond that? Who knows what technologies will exist? Maybe we'll have time-traveling DeLoreans to transport us to the future so we can see for ourselves? Until then, using a combination of insight and intuition, we can predict that the future will hinge on two things: people and tools.

As cybercrimes increase, the need for database security professionals will rise beyond supply. Unless the industry can make these careers desirable, there won't be enough people to do the job. Analytical Machine Learning (ML) solutions and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will allow organizations to learn from, recognize and deal with data threats. Database security systems will detect anomalies with accuracy far superior to their predecessors and adapt algorithms based on the new data. In fact, device manufacturers will consider developing new devices with Database Security Tools built in.

So, What’s Next For Database Security Tools?

Unless you happen to have a spare $1 billion lying around, you would best make sure your databases are secure. Where once the power lay firmly with corporations, your customers now (rightfully) call the shots. Instead of fearing this new world, see it for the opportunity it is.

Customers aren't done buying things. Instead, they're buying from brands that treat their data with respect. Make doing the right thing part of your organization's culture. Live, breathe, walk and talk ethical behavior and you'll win the hearts and minds - and dollars - of the most important people to your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is database security important?

Database security is crucial because it safeguards sensitive information stored within databases from unauthorized access, misuse, or breaches. A major data breach, like the one experienced by EasyJet, can result in severe consequences such as financial losses, legal penalties, damage to reputation, and loss of trust from customers. Implementing robust database security measures is essential to protect valuable data assets and maintain the trust of stakeholders.

What are the benefits of investing in database security tools?

Investing in database security tools offers several benefits, including protection against security threats, compliance with regulations such as GDPR, and meeting customer expectations for data privacy and security. These tools help organizations identify vulnerabilities, monitor database activity in real-time, and enforce security policies effectively. Additionally, database security tools provide encryption and tokenization features to ensure data confidentiality and integrity, ultimately enhancing overall data security posture.

What features should I look for in a database security tool?

When selecting a database security tool, it's essential to consider features such as data auditing, database management, vulnerability risk assessments, multi-factor authentication, data loss prevention, and compliance reporting. These features contribute to comprehensive database security by enabling organizations to audit data access, manage database permissions, assess and mitigate vulnerabilities, enforce authentication measures, prevent data loss, and demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements. Choosing a tool that aligns with your organization's security needs and budget is critical to effectively protect your databases from threats and breaches.

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