They are two simple words, but they are two of the most feared words in business: Data Breach! When companies lose their data, they also lose stakeholder trust and the ability to conduct “business as usual.”

One common security gap is that many companies focus on network security while falling short on database security. Your network is important and should be secured, but it exists to move your data—the lifeblood of your business. 

To help you focus on safeguarding your database in 2023, here is an Oracle database security assessment checklist. These are some of the best practices and controls you can put in place to secure and protect your data.

Key Oracle Database Security Assessment Questions

When many people think about security, it is usually in a general way. They want security, but don’t really define what security looks like. Here are some Oracle database security assessment questions to help you focus your attention on database security.

Are You Using Built-in Oracle Security Features?

Your Oracle database has many security features built in. These can be the first line of defense for your entire database. Many of these features are free and don’t require subscriptions, but are part of your database package.

Do You Have a Current User List?

A database should have a list of privileged users and over-privileged users. This list should show who can do what with the database. This list must stay current as a level of protection and accountability for your company.

Who Is Overseeing Oracle Security Updates?

Oracle often releases security updates, patches, and fixes to help ensure your data stays protected. With the speed of business today, these can be overlooked. You should have someone who makes sure these fixes are implemented immediately. 

Are You Conducting Regular Database Audits?

Database auditing is how administrators review their users’ actions. They do this to see who is accessing the database. This helps ensure that only people who are supposed to access the database are doing so. Database auditing tools can also automatically identify and report on a wide spectrum of vulnerabilities including misconfigurations, missed security patches, use of default or weak passwords, and much more.

What Is Your Password Policy?

Passwords must be actively maintained in accordance with current best practices, or they can become an easy entryway into databases. You must make sure that there aren’t any default, weak, easily guessable, compromised, or non-expiring passwords with access to the system.

Are You Using the CIS Benchmark for Oracle?

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a nonprofit that provides “benchmarks”—configuration guides—to help businesses assess and improve the security of specific applications or systems. CIS has an Oracle database benchmark that specifies Oracle-specific configuration settings to mitigate known vulnerabilities and harden your database against attacks. CIS benchmarks also offer a prescriptive, proven approach to compliance with cybersecurity frameworks like NIST 800-171, ISO 27001, and CMMC. 

Using the Oracle Database Security Assessment Tool

To help users have safer databases, Oracle developed the Database Security Assessment Tool (DBSAT). The DBSAT is a free tool that Oracle users can implement, which acts as a database security guide.

DBSAT will scan a database and give you a profile in different formats that helps you see the state of your security. The formats you can choose from include HTML, SLS, TEXT, or JSON. This makes the information quick and easy to digest.

The tool will show you some of the security risks that you currently have in the system. It will then recommend relevant products and features of the system you can use to help stop the risks.

The DBSAT focuses on three specific core areas with its security assessment:

1. The General Security Configuration of Your Database 

The DBSAT can perform a scan to make sure you are minimizing database risk. It will look for missing security patches that you can implement. It will also check to see if you are using encryption auditing within your system.

2. Users and Their Entitlements

One of the main features of the DBSAT is its focus on your users and how they are accessing your system. It will identify your privileged users and show you what areas they can access, plus any areas they are accessing but shouldn’t be.

3. Identifying Sensitive Data in Your Database

The DBSAT will help you stay in compliance with regulations from PCI-DSS to HIPAA to GLBA to GDPR by focusing on your sensitive data. It will help you identify your sensitive data and recognize how it should be treated. This also helps you develop healthy database auditing processes.

Using DBSAT Guidance

DBSAT can help you with your security practices by giving you the information you need to implement and enforce strong security for your database. With the many reports it can generate, your database security doesn’t have to be forgotten.

DBSAT helps you understand your user accounts, along with the roles and privileges of each user. This helps you find and fix short-term risks. Plus, it can give you enough information to have a long-term security strategy.

Get a Database Health Check

Just like a person should have a check-up every year, you want to make sure your database gets a regular health check. The recommended approach is to have an unbiased third-party expert come in and review your database configuration and policies.

A trusted database security assessment partner can review your parameters, database maintenance procedures, alert logs, and trace files. They can also help with many other things, like finding your data blocks and identifying invalid objects.

Look for a health check protocol that includes a focused report so you can take action where it is needed most. The report should show you possible problem areas, help prioritize them, and recommend how to address the problems.

Your Oracle Database Partners

As this Oracle database security assessment checklist shows, there is a lot to think about when it comes to database safety. Too often IT staff are so focused on protecting the network, while the database environment is overlooked.

You want to find people who are database specialists and will make your database their own. Buda Consulting is a group of database experts who listen to your needs and deliver on our promises.

Our passion is protecting your database and helping it to function smoothly. We handle all aspects of database creation and management. Plus, we can show you how to extract valuable insights from your database.

Contact us for a free 15-minute call and let us show you how we can be your database experts.