Special Report: Database Security

    Date24 Dec 2004
    Posted ByJoe Shakespeare
    Databases control most of the business world's valuable information. Pick a vital application--credit-card processing, EDI, financial analysis, just-in-time production--and you'll find a database under it.

    As businesses strive to make timely decisions based on real-time data, database qualities like high availability and minimal latency become critical. A database failure of even a few hours can cause (at best) a loss of revenue or (at worst) a business failure. Unauthorized database access can have a debilitating impact on brand reputation, regulatory compliance, competitive advantage and privacy. Data corruption can lead to a loss of confidence among customers and employees, business disruption or, at the very least, large costs associated with data recovery and cleanup.

    But when it comes to protecting data, many enterprises are shooting at the wrong target. They pay excessive attention to desktops and not enough attention to databases. Sure, desktop breaches are disruptive, but most endpoints can be sacrificed without harm to the network. Databases and the infrastructures they support, however, are an organization's lifeblood.

    "A Typical Enterprise Database Architecture,", shows an enterprise database application and some common protective mechanisms. The network includes remote and local users and programmers, application servers, and Web services interfaces that operate over the Internet or intranets, with and without firewalls. Also typical in these environments are encryption and text-based interfaces, bulk transfer interfaces, virtual terminals and applications interacting with various databases.

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