What Are Database Challenges Faced BySmall Business Companies? Remote DBA Expert Explains

In today’s world, data plays a crucial role in the operation and functioning of both small and big enterprises. Data has emerged as an important asset and to accommodate its exponential growth, corporations started using database management systems for easily managing data and storing it. So, what is a database management system? At an organizational level, a database management system is used for planning, managing, controlling, retrieving, securing, and delivering data as required.

What Are Database Challenges Faced BySmall Business Companies? Remote DBA Expert Explains

Generally, businesses will store sensitive operational data on the databases for their functionalities. Any malfunction in the database will adversely affect the companies. Hence, if there is a lack of database maintenance or it is not secured properly, there will be attempts at data breaches, resulting in disasters.

When it comes to small businesses, they face various challenges with data itself:

Data Can Be Too Expensive

To adopt data as an overall strategy can be a big challenge for small companies. There is a certain cost involved in incorporating business intelligence systems and this might become a primary concern. There are glaring examples of business failures owing to data management. The need to hire data scientists also adds to the cost. However, since data has become a staple for successful businesses, there are services offered by various companies, such as RemoteDBA.com, who have kept their costs reasonable. Business analytics is not as expensive today as it was a few years ago. Thus, the small businesses can find vendors who offer the services at affordable rates.

Once, this challenge is conquered, the small businesses often face the following database challenges:

#1 Deployment Failure

This one is perhaps one of most common causes for database failures. Usually, every organization will have a testing done before deploying the database. However, deployment failures may occur in spite of pre-testing. Mostly, the deployment tests check for functionality issues, such if the database is working fine. However, what they miss testing is whether the database is doing something that it is not supposed to do. It has to be understood that doing the work simply fine is not enough; it is equally important to check whether the work is done the proper way.

Deploying a database involves challenges that can make the task complicated. If there are teams working on the deployment, it is important that they plan out a database deployment properly. This task involves two steps: deploying the database and upgrading the existing database.

#2 Privilege or Access Issues

Once the database is deployed successfully, the next critical step is to provide access or privileges to users/application of the database. Most disasters happen because of the privilege-based issues, such as excessive privilege abuse, unused privileges, or privilege elevation. Providing unnecessary access increases the attack surface of the database.

Dealing with access issues might not be an easy task. What needs to be remembered is this task does not only involve eliminating excessive rights to the database. It also requires the administrators to monitor the resources constantly so as to prevent any privilege-based abuse. For a small business, this task can be done manually since the numbers of resources are limited. But if you think the manual administration is not an answer to your problems, then there is ready software that can monitor the privileges of employees as well as the resources.

It is necessary for all businesses to understand the content of database access to prevent privilege abuse. The key is to implement proper policies for monitoring client applications and location, date, and time of access.

#3 Broken Database

Numerous issues regarding database attacks and exploitations are reported every day around the globe. Ransomware attack in the recent past is one such database breach. In the 21st century, some of most well-known companies became victims of database attacks, such as JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo, eBay, Uber, Sony’s PlayStation Network, Anthem, Adobe, and so on. Each time these attacks have happened, the hackers have come up with new vulnerabilities to crash systems, gain control, and then exploit databases with vulnerabilities. At the time, they have even held the databases locked for ransom!

While this sounds like a horror story for companies managing databases, there are attack-resistant steps that can be taken to prevent these. Vendors offering database services have worked on vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection and the issues have reduced considerably.  They are also providing patches proactively to vulnerabilities.

The need is to understand the causes for database vulnerabilities. Lack of data maintenance, data leakage, unorganized data or lack of monitoring database can be some of the causes. You have to identify the correct issue so that a proper solution can be placed to deal with the vulnerability.

#4 SQL Injections

What is SQL injection and how can this become a challenge? Well, SQL injection is a technique for data and web hacking. It involves inserting malevolent code into the database via the susceptible SQL data input channels. Also, this is one of the most common ways to attack the database and destroy it completely.

Typically, a hacker injects or places an unauthorized piece of SQL code in the database. This is usually done through the input parameters of web applications. These injected codes are for malicious purposes, to be executed at the database level. When executed successfully, it can also allow the hackers to have unrestricted access to the entire database.

So, what can you do to avoid SQL injection? What is required is a balanced combination of query-level access control, intrusion-prevention system, and event correlation.

#5 Denial of Services

This is a form of cyber attack. In this, a hacker prevents the legitimate users from accessing resources or a service by indefinitely or temporarily disrupting the service host. The database is the most common target for denial of service attack. The hacker will load your database with multiple requests at a time and this will consume the system resources, such as CPU processing power, database memory etc.

To avoid such attacks, allocation of more system resources to accommodate increased user requests can be done. There is software available that can also prevent such attacks by identifying and detecting the legitimate users from malicious attacks.

Conclusion

The need is to secure your databases so as to avoid the challenges of database management. If the small business has proper database maintenance in place, they can easily avoid the horror stories associated with organizational failures due to database challenges.

Author bio: Robert Camp, a Remote DBA Expert, is interested in new releases, features, and upgrades of popular database brands. He shares his views and tips through blogging. For more information on database services, you can visit RemoteDBA.com.