Of all the attacks that can occur that leaves companies devastated, not many can equal the damage that an SQL injection (SQLi) attack can do. This type of breach leaves a website accessible in and out to hackers as if they owned it. Once they’ve broken in, attackers can do anything from steal data, delete information, and do anything else that will radically change the website or set it up for more attacks.
That said, what can be done to detect and prevent SQLi attacks? These are the two answers we’re going to answer today:
Detecting SQLi Attacks
There are many strategies to detect SQLi attacks. Some of these include monitoring the server for any activities, and others involve checking the database for any possible errors that leave the server vulnerable to SQLi.
One of the more common ways that many businesses put into play to detect any malicious SQL fragments is implementing something called the WAF. Short for web application firewalls, WAF can be integrated to filter out HTTP requests that compare these requests against SQLi records. However, since this integration requires the comparison against an existing record, WAF needs to be constantly updated to detect newer and more dangerous malicious SQL fragments.
Another way to detect SQLi attacks is to use monitoring tools to detect characteristic trial-and-error attempts made by an attacker. This works simply because, in the early stages of an attacker, the suspect will deliberately input various SQL fragments to understand what they are up against. These suspicious events can quickly be detected with a monitoring tool, alerting IT specialists about the possible threat.
Finally, a good way to detect an SQLi attack that’s taking place is to run something known as the SQL Server Audit. This general-purpose audit mechanism is good to track any changes in backups, restores, passwords, and other flags that can signal that an attack was attempted.
Preventing SQLi Attacks
With all the detection tools at the ready, now you need a way to prevent SQLi attacks from being carried out, let alone end successfully. The best way to mitigate such attacks is to reduce just how vulnerable you are. For instance, if you aren’t validating user inputs, an attacker can use this to their advantage to process SQL statements. Fixing this problem by validating inputs closes a door that they can use to attack your website, making it harder for them to breach the network.
Another way to prevent an SQLi attack is to enforce something known as the Principle of Least Privilege. In essence, this principle dictates the number of changes a person can do to a person depending on their credentials. This means that unauthorised personnel can be prevented from carrying out actions such as making changes to the database, reducing the likelihood that an SQLi attack is successful.
Note that even with detection and prevention tactics to catch SQLi attacks in place, this won’t stop an attacker from trying and trying again. The only way to truly keep your website and business safe are to continually monitor your servers, learn from past experiences, and study suspicious activities further. This kind of proactive security is the best way to keep your business safe from SQLi attacks, along with various other attacks that hackers can carry out to ruin your company.
FraudWatch has been protecting brands worldwide since 2003 with phishing, malware, and more. If you are looking for a brand protection company to help you fight against SQLi attacks and more, work with us today!