access control

Database security

If data is part of your business strategy, database security must form part of your IAM roadmap.

What is database security and why is it important?

Sensitive data is stored in databases where it can be protected until use. But what happens at use, when thousands of people need access to millions of system commands, database objects, programs, and data subsets down to cell level? To handle this, you have to think dynamically.

Database security in its simplest form is protecting information assets stored in a database. With more and more sensitive data, including IP and PII, being collected from users and machines, storing it securely, whether it’s an on-prem or cloud database is business-critical. Poor database management security can lead to losses, which can be in breach of regulations. Ultimately, this can lead to heavy fines and considerable damage to a brand.

However, protected assets do little for an enterprise if they are simply locked away. In today’s data-driven world, they have to be accessed, shared, processed, analyzed and stored securely. This adds a layer of complexity that cannot be solved with simple, static database protection.

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Challenges of database security

The challenges of database security are straightforward, even if solving them is less so. The key challenge is how to share sensitive data while safeguarding and meeting regulations without jeopardizing its integrity. This has to be done cost-efficiently, particularly when multiple databases are in use. Additionally, data security must be straightforward. When somebody changes position in a company, their access rights should automatically change with them.

We look at some of the challenges in a little more detail and find out how dynamic authorization solves them.

Secure data sharing

For many enterprises, data has become their most valuable asset. Being able to share it, is therefore business-critical. Dynamic authorization from Axiomatics enforces business policies, through Policy Based Access Control (PBAC) to ensure only those who have access to database commands, objects, and resources – as written in a policy – get access to them. Our context-aware solution can enforce access rights based on who the user is, where they are located, which device they are using, and what time of day it is. Access rights can also be based on what a user can do with the asset. i.e., view or edit it, among other things. For extremely sensitive assets, access control parameters such as citizenship and country of birth can be enforced.

Cost-effective database security

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) offers large costs and efficiency gains as security is applied to data as opposed to individual databases. Entitlements are enforced centrally at any access point – be it database, application or API. There’s no need to hard code every access point. Authorization code is written once and applied across the enterprise – protecting information assets dynamically.

Sharing cell level data

Database security at row, column and cell level is notoriously difficult and complex. SQL queries usually deliver much more information than the user actually needs or may even have the authority to view. The fine-granularity of our solution filters or masks data at row, column and cell level to deliver unrivaled asset sharing capabilities that meet the most detailed access control requirements.

Multi-database security

Rarely are all the resources needed by a person, department, or function, stored in a single database. Information is spread across an IT environment. Policies aren’t written for resource location but rather its access/usage and the corresponding conditions. In other words, access rights often remain the same, regardless of where the assets are stored – GDPR is obviously a mitigating factor. Axiomatics provides one central server for all your policies; authorization is enforced across multiple databases simultaneously from a single point.

Meeting regulations

Regulations are getting stricter, particularly regarding personal data, which is often stored in databases. Patient health records, clients’ social security numbers, staff’s salary details, customers’ banking activity – all this information must be protected and used. But, provide access to the wrong person in the wrong location and the regulatory implications are severe. By enforcing policies based on regulations, the strictest database protection measures can be enforced to contain access without hindering business-critical asset sharing.


How can I deploy database security?

Entitlement management gives you control of access to data, but it’s only as good as the system it’s running on. With the right software, entitlement management can become a gamechanger for your enterprise.

The Axiomatics entitlement management solution is used by some of the world’s leading enterprises to securely share sensitive data and meet strict regulatory requirements. Development is done in close collaboration with our customers to ensure it meets the needs of the modern enterprise, whether it has fully transitioned to the cloud or remains dependent on legacy systems.

As an established solution provider to companies such as Boeing, Bell Helicopter and Veterans Affairs, among many others, we understand the need to provide user-friendly software that promotes effective data sharing, straight-forward reporting and reliable data security.

Best Practices for database protection and security

If you have valuable information assets stored in databases then you must safeguard them, without hindering operations and business growth.

Categorize assets)

Once you know which assets are sensitive you can develop a strategy to protect them. If you don’t know what sensitive resources you have, it becomes very difficult to secure them without lockdown.

Manage access

Ensure only the right people have access to the right data under the right conditions using policies and enforcing them at runtime.

Keep up to date

Assets in databases are constantly changing and growing. The rules governing who can access them change at the same pace as people, leave and change jobs. Keep up to date by editing and administrating policies.

Use encryption

Sensitive information will leave the database that is not meant for a particular user – it’s almost inevitable. Filtering this will minimize this and encryption – through the use of dynamic masking tools – will ensure information is unintelligible and unusable.

Audit access

Keep track of who is accessing what and why. Having a user-friendly auditing tool will make this much simpler.

How to choose the right database security solution

No matter where your sensitive assets are stored or how complex or distributed your architecture is, we can help you safeguard and securely share sensitive information. Our team are experts in defining requirements and tailoring the products from our dynamic authorization suite to meet customers’ needs.

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