Databases are invaluable business assets as they store data that not only helps in the running of the business but in also giving it a competitive edge. Given the kind of insights such data contains, it makes sense why cybercriminals are always looking to gain access to it. With the help of SQL injection attacks, this has become possible in the recent past.
For instance, Talk Talk UK (a UK based telecom company) had to accept a 30% loss in the worth of their shares after they were affected by an SQL injection attack. Luckily, with the right security strategies, you can get to identify these injections and battle them before they turn into a menace.
Here is some more information on SQL injection attacks and how to be ready for them:
What Exactly Is An SQL Injection Attack?
An SQL injection attack is an attack where hackers inject malicious SQL codes into the backend of an application database to gain some form of control in the data. Since it is very easy to perform, it requires little to no technical know-how to excel in. A successful attack has the potential to:
- Help hackers gain an authentication bypass without necessarily having to present a password or username
- Help attackers gain access to sensitive information that is stored within the app database
- Make it easy for attackers to compromise data integrity by adding malicious code into it
- Lead to the deletion of data by the attackers
Are Your Vulnerable To An Attack?
SQL injection attacks are ever evolving, and the best way to be safe would be to beef up your database’s security through database monitoring. In case you identify any loopholes, acting upon them quickly will help you to prevent attacks proactively. For a more proactive approach, you should consider launching an attack against your databases.
You can do so by injecting malicious SQL codes to determine how strong your system is. Since formulating these codes can be time demanding, an effortless way would be to leverage common SQL injection attack tools.
Consider Blacklisting or Whitelisting Your Data
In the quest to prevent SQL injection attacks, both blacklisting and whitelisting can be valuable strategies. Blacklisting works by replacing or removing malicious characters from user input. As easy as implementing this strategy is, it is not as effective as using whitelisting since hackers can subvert filters and continue with their attack.
This holds true, especially in a world where hackers are ever looking for new ways to formulate attacks against business applications. Whitelisting, on the other hand, will tend to compare each user input character against a couple of allowed characters. This is more effective as it is effectively restrictive concerning the inputs that are allowed.
Trust No One
Attacks could come from anywhere, including from one of your own employees. It is not that employees will hack your systems, but hackers might embed the malicious code into items that employees use to access your database. Once they access it, they can then wreak havoc into your application and business.
To be safe, filter user data by context as it interacts with your database. In case the data is from emails or phone numbers, ensure that only characters and figures allowed actually get into the database. Lastly, invest in a patch management solution to deal with any exposed vulnerabilities in your application’s database as most hackers will look to exploit these vulnerabilities.
SQL injection attacks are two decades old in the application development industry They are barely losing any momentum. As hackers continue to develop more formidable attacks, it is only wise to stay ready for anything. Consider whitelisting and blacklisting user input to identify the attacks before they can cause major problems for your business.