9 Outdated Online Database Security Practices and Why They’re Obsolete
In the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, some practices have become obsolete. We’ve gathered insights from nine top executives, including a president and a CEO, to shed light on which online database security tips are outdated. From abandoning simple password protection to the importance of regular vulnerability scanning, discover why these old methods don’t measure up today.
- Abandon Simple Password Protection
- Move Beyond Perimeter Defense
- Adopt Dynamic Access Controls
- End Shared Service Account Usage
- Upgrade to Strong Encryption Protocols
- Vet Third-Party Vendor Security
- Expand Database Access with Granular Permissions
- Invest in Employee Security Training
- Implement Regular Vulnerability Scanning
Abandon Simple Password Protection
One such outdated practice is relying solely on simple password protection to safeguard online databases. This method was once the bulwark of database security; however, it has now been rendered antiquated by sophisticated hacking techniques, such as brute-force attacks and social engineering schemes.
The security landscape’s evolution necessitates the integration of multi-factor authentication (MFA), which adds layers of verification by combining something the user knows (their password) with something they have (such as a mobile device for authentication codes) or something they are (like a fingerprint or facial recognition). MFA drastically reduces the risks associated with cracked passwords, as the likelihood of a cybercriminal having access to the second or third authentication factors is minimal.
Move Beyond Perimeter Defense
Remaining up-to-date with online database security practices is imperative. One outdated practice that has lost relevance is the sole reliance on perimeter defense.
Historically, the belief was that fortifying the network’s outer boundaries would suffice to repel threats. However, this approach no longer suffices with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.
Modern security principles stress a layered defense strategy that extends beyond perimeter protection. Threats have the capacity to breach from within and move laterally, making perimeter defenses inadequate.
Instead, adopting methodologies like zero-trust security, which operates on the premise that trust should not be assumed for anyone, whether inside or outside the network, until verified, has become essential.
Adopt Dynamic Access Controls
Relying on static access controls that don’t adapt to changing roles and responsibilities is outdated. Traditional access control models often lack granularity and the ability to enforce the principle of least privilege.
Modern security practices emphasize dynamic access controls that adjust permissions based on users’ roles and responsibilities, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. We regularly review and update access controls to align with changing organizational needs.
End Shared Service Account Usage
Using shared service accounts for database access was once common but is now an outdated practice. Shared accounts make it challenging to track and control who has access to the database, and they lack individual accountability.
Modern security emphasizes using individual user accounts with appropriate permissions and access controls for auditing and accountability. Implementing a robust identity and access management (IAM) system is crucial for managing user access effectively.
Upgrade to Strong Encryption Protocols
In the past, we used minimal or weak encryption methods to protect sensitive data. This practice is no longer relevant because it leaves data exposed to potential breaches.
Today, robust encryption protocols, such as AES-256, are the standard for safeguarding data both in transit and at rest. Implementing end-to-end encryption and regularly reviewing encryption methods to ensure they align with current security standards is crucial.
Vet Third-Party Vendor Security
Neglecting to assess third-party vendors’ security practices is no longer advisable. Relying on vendors’ claims of security without validation can introduce vulnerabilities. Instead, we conduct thorough security assessments of third-party vendors and include contractual obligations for maintaining robust security standards.
Expand Database Access with Granular Permissions
I’ve felt for a while now that it’s a pretty outdated practice to limit your database access to only internal IT staff. The real estate industry is especially collaborative, and restricting access to such a small circle has always bottlenecked and hindered workflow. What if an IT staff member leaves or their credentials are compromised? Everything—and I mean everything—used to be majorly jeopardized!
Modern digital methods that involve granular permissions are still something that I feel are being way too underutilized. I’d highly recommend assigning access based on user roles on an internal level, like agents, brokers, managers, and then access roles for different external agencies, teams, and clients. This keeps information securely compartmentalized and easily accessible.
You won’t have a backlog of conversations to have involving granting permissions or sharing passwords across teams; they’ll have their access built into any documentation to which they’re assigned access. Then, set up monitoring and even automatic audit alerts for user activity, so that you can track access attempts to identify suspicious behavior.
Invest in Employee Security Training
Neglecting employee training on security best practices is no longer acceptable. Cybersecurity threats often exploit human vulnerabilities. Outdated practices include assuming that employees will naturally follow security guidelines.
Instead, we should invest in ongoing security-awareness training to educate employees about evolving threats and safe practices. Conducting simulated phishing exercises and providing continuous security education is essential.
Implement Regular Vulnerability Scanning
Failing to perform regular database vulnerability scanning is no longer considered best practice. Without scanning for vulnerabilities, organizations are unaware of potential weaknesses that attackers could exploit.
Modern security practices involve regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to proactively identify and remediate security gaps. We are implementing automated vulnerability scanning tools and conducting regular assessments to maintain robust database security.