Improve MySQL Database Security with Performance Monitoring Tools

by Apr 7, 2021

Improving MySQL database security should be a priority for data-driven organizations using MySQL databases.

Tracking database performance with a tool like SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL can be an important component of an overall database security strategy. 

Enterprise databases store an organization’s most valuable commodity, its data resources. Keeping those critical assets secure is one of the main responsibilities of database administrators (DBAs). It is a difficult but essential part of a DBA’s job. The value of corporate databases makes them inviting targets for hackers intent on stealing information. 

The popularity of MySQL has led to many companies using the database solution for mission-critical and sensitive processes. The threat of these systems being hacked cannot be overstated.

The recent discovery by Israeli cybersecurity experts of over 85,000 MySQL servers being compromised offers vivid proof that there are malicious actors who want access to your systems. 

Protecting MySQL Databases

Complex database environments demand a multi-faceted approach to security. Keeping the following best practices in mind will help increase the  organization’s MySQL database security:

Develop Baselines

Conducting a full inventory and performing risk assessment on all databases in the environment is a necessary first step to establish baselines for use in future measurement and monitoring procedures.

During this exercise, DBAs can verify that there are no abandoned databases that should be sunset to minimize potential security lapses. Obtaining a thorough understanding of normal usage patterns is essential in identifying abnormal activity that may indicate a cyberattack is underway.

Define Security Policies

For thorough MySQL database security, enterprise security policies need to be defined and adhered to throughout the environment. Database teams should be responsible for implementing these standards and have a documented change and approval workflow to ensure security changes and updates are properly installed. 

Identify and Address Excessive User Privileges

Excessive user privileges are a problem for MySQL database security for several reasons. Malicious internal actors can compromise databases from within an organization using privileges obtained in a variety of ways. A full assessment should identify who needs to get to sensitive objects and whose access should be constrained.

Even when there is no malicious intent, excessive privileges pave the way for errors that lead to accidental data breaches. As part of the overall security initiative, access to sensitive information in enterprise databases should be tightly controlled. Users should be granted the least level of privilege necessary to perform their jobs.

Perform Regular Internal Audits

Internal configuration and vulnerability assessments need to be conducted regularly to ensure security policies are being met. These audits can provide the information needed to proactively address security vulnerabilities. They will also alert teams to situations where changes in regulatory compliance guidelines require modified database configuration policies. 

Deploy a Real-Time Database Monitoring Solution

Monitoring provides a database team with visibility into their systems’ behavior. When used in conjunction with well-developed baselines, monitoring will identify anomalies that may indicate suspicious activity or potential cyberattacks. Numerous failed attempts to access sensitive data can be uncovered and investigated to find their source.

Sudden unexplained spikes in outbound activity found through monitoring may be the result of malware infection and crypto-mining, pointing the way for further security investigation.

A Comprehensive Database Monitoring Solution

SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL is a comprehensive database monitoring solution that supports the MySQL and MariaDB platforms. The tool provides over 600 pre-defined monitors and advisors based on industry best practices that can be customized to conform to business requirements. Database teams can design custom dashboards to furnish a focused view of specific areas of interest. 

The customizable monitors of SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL automatically check the security and configuration details of database servers. Alerts can be configured to notify the appropriate personnel immediately when database security issues arise. Setting intelligent metric thresholds will minimize the occurrence of false or irrelevant alerts. 

The complete picture provided to DBAs by SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL gives them the information they need to protect enterprise databases and ensure they are operating at peak efficiency.

Teams can proactively address emerging issues before they become user-impacting problems while maintaining a strong security presence. Hybrid cloud MySQL environments can be fully monitored with a single tool.

MySQL database teams can try SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL with a free 14-day trial