Even though we have so many internal and external threats to our databases, in this tutorial we will only cover a few of them.

#1. Unrestricted database privileges

This typically occurs when database users are granted multiple privileges on the system, resulting in privilege abuse that may be excessive, legitimate, or unused. This action can be committed by both current and former employees of the company.

There are some controls that need to be implemented as shown below:

  • Make every effort to implement a very strict access control and privilege control policy.
  • Make sure you don’t grant or approve excessive privileges to all employees, and try to take the time you can to deactivate any obsolete privileges immediately.

#2. SQL Injection

This type of SQL injection attack occurs when malicious code is injected through the front end of a web application and then transmitted to the back end. This process allows an attacker to gain absolute access to the information stored in the database.

The purpose of all this is usually to steal data or corrupt it. SQL Injection targets traditional databases while NoSQL Injection targets BIG Data databases

#3. Bad audit trail

According to some security standards, every event in the database must be recorded for audit purposes. If you cannot provide evidence of a database audit trail, then this can be a very serious security risk, since in the event of an intrusion, it will not be possible to investigate.

#four. Open database backups

Every organization needs a very good backup plan, but when backups are available they are open to compromise and theft. We’ve had many security breaches that were only successful because a database backup was open.

Encrypting and auditing production databases and backups is the best form of protecting corporate sensitive data.

#five. Database misconfiguration

Some of the threats encountered in the database are the result of their misconfiguration. Attackers typically use a database that has a default account and configuration settings.

This is a wake-up call that there should be nothing like a default account when setting up a database, and settings should be configured in a way that makes it difficult for an attacker to do anything.

#6. Lack of security experience

Lack of security expertise and basic database security rules can lead to data leakage. Security personnel may lack the knowledge necessary to implement security controls and other security policies.

#7. Denial of Service (DoS)

This is a type of attack that affects the availability of the service, it affects the performance of the database server and makes the database service unavailable to users.

For example, if there is a request for very sensitive financial data, and the database is unavailable due to a DoS, then this can lead to a loss of money.

#8. Poor data management

Some corporate organizations do not properly manage their sensitive data, they do not keep an accurate inventory of it, and thus some of this sensitive data may fall into the wrong hands. If you do not properly inventory new data added to the database, then they can become vulnerable.

Therefore, it is very important to encrypt data at rest and apply the necessary permissions and controls.

Database security testing

Why do we conduct database security testing? This test is performed to detect any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the database security configuration and to mitigate any unwanted access to the database.

All sensitive data must be protected from intruders, so regular security checks are very important and mandatory.

The following are the main reasons why database security testing is mandatory:

  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Accounting
  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Availability
  • Sustainability

This process includes testing different levels based on business requirements. The test layers are the business layer, the access layer, and the user interface layer.

Database testing process

  • Preparation (for example, environments)
  • Conducting a test
  • Evaluation of results
  • Accurate reporting

Types of Database Security Testing

  • Penetration test : This is the process of simulating a cyber attack on a network, computer system, or web application in order to discover any vulnerabilities in them.
  • Vulnerability Scanner: This is the use of a scanner to scan the system for known vulnerabilities in order to eliminate and fix them.
  • Security Audit : This is the process of evaluating the implementation and compliance with an organization’s security policies and standards.
  • Risk Assessment : This is a general process of identifying all hazards and risks that can cause serious harm to the system.

Benefits of using a database testing tool

The main reason we use the tool is because it completes tasks faster, which saves time. Most modern testing methods are done with some of these tools.

There are both paid and free testing tools on the Internet that you can use and are very easy to understand and use effectively. These tools can be divided into load and performance testing tools, test data generation tools, and SQL-based tools.

Since there is a strong possibility that some kind of instability may be found in the database, this makes it necessary to test the database (database) before running the application.

This testing should be done as early as possible in the software development life cycle in order to be aware of the vulnerabilities that exist in the database system, and using some of these tools will help to detect them effectively and efficiently.

If a database crash occurs, it renders the entire application or system useless, which can lead to more serious consequences. The reason periodic testing is important is because it ensures system performance.

List of some of the best database testing tools:

  • data factory
  • data layout
  • DTM Data Generator
  • MS SQL Server
  • SQL test
  • Oracle SQL Developer
  • NoSQL Unit
  • Se Lite
  • SLOB
  • Orion

Database Security Testing Techniques

When testing database security, various testing techniques can be used. We’ll look at some of these methods below:

#1. Penetration test

This is a deliberate attack on a system to find security vulnerabilities through which an attacker can gain access to the entire system, including the database. If a weakness is found, then the immediate action is to eliminate and mitigate any threat that such a vulnerability might cause.

#2. Risk assessment

This is the process of conducting a risk assessment to determine the level of risk associated with the type of database security configuration that is implemented and the ability to detect a vulnerability. This assessment is usually carried out by security experts who can analyze the degree of risk associated with a particular process.

#3. SQL injection validation

This includes proper sanitization of the values ​​that are inserted into the database. For example, entering the special character ‘,’ or keywords like SELECT should be prohibited in any application.

If such a check is not provided, then the database that recognizes the query language will perceive the query as correct.

If a database error appears on the input, it means that the query entered the database and was executed either with a positive or negative response. In this scenario, the database is very vulnerable to SQL injection.

SQL injection is a major attack vector today because it allows an attacker to gain access to an application’s database containing very sensitive data.

The interface through which this attack is usually carried out is the input forms in the application, and in order to solve this problem, it is necessary to do the appropriate input sanitization. SQL injection checks must be performed for every parenthesis, comma, and quotes used in the input interface.

#four. Password cracking

During testing, it is always very important to make sure that the system maintains a strong password policy. Therefore, when conducting penetration testing, it is very important to check whether this password policy is followed. We can do this by acting like a hacker using a password cracking tool or by guessing a different username/password.

Companies that develop or use financial applications should ensure that they have established a strong password policy for their database management system.

#five. Security Audit

It is necessary to regularly conduct security audits to evaluate the organization’s security policy and find out whether the standards are being followed or not.

There are various enterprises with their own specific security standards, and once these standards are established, they can no longer be abandoned. If someone does not comply with any of these standards, then this will be considered a serious violation. One example of a security standard is ISO 27001.

Frequently asked Questions

Question #1) What are the types of security testing?


Penetration test

Vulnerability Scanner

Security audit

Risk assessment

Question #2) What are the database security issues?


Unrestricted database privileges

SQL injections

Bad audit trail

Open database backups

Lack of security experience

Database misconfiguration

Denial of Service

Question #3) What are security testing tools?

Answer: These are testing tools that are used to detect vulnerabilities, threats and risks in an application and fix them immediately to prevent any malicious attack.

Question #4) How is security testing done?


Access point testing.

Malicious script testing.

Testing the level of data protection.

Error handling testing.


Every organization should make database security an integral part of their day-to-day operations, as data is the key to success. They should not think about the cost that will be spent on creating the structure, but should think about profitability.

There are various testing tools that a company can start using and incorporate into their security testing plan.

When you see how poor database security affects some organizations, you will see the chaos that goes on and how some never survive. So the advice is to take the security of your database very seriously.