Defend Your Database: How to Prevent an SQL Injection

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Published by: Alex Dibben

Protecting your company’s critical systems from a cyberattack is a huge challenge. In 2018, we all watched as major global companies suffered from large scale hacking operations.

For example, the personal data of 50 billion Facebook users was compromised. Other companies such as Marriott and Ticketmaster were also infiltrated. In each case, the hackers accessed valuable personal and financial data from the company’s customers.

One particularly devastating cyberattack is called an SQL injection. Read on for a comprehensive guide on how to prevent SQL injections. There is no better time than the present to bolster your company’s cyber defences.

What Is an SQL Injection?

Before learning how to prevent SQL injections, it is important to understand exactly what they are. It is a common cyberattack deployed by hackers that specifically targets SQL databases. There are many data-driven software applications that utilize an SQL database.

The most common target of SQL injections is a company’s website. The source of the vulnerability is data entry fields that are made available to user input. Hackers then input malicious SQL statements directly into the database.

What Are the Consequences of an SQL Injection?

Once a hacker gets access to the SQL database, there are a number of negative consequences that may occur. Obviously, the hacker wants to steal data and there is plenty in an SQL database.

Sensitive financial data like credit card details and social security numbers are most valuable to hackers. Another valuable thing for hackers to steal is login and authentication information. The hacker’s goal is to use this information to target another website.

Also, hackers sometimes seek to sabotage the website. They can do this by deleting data or drop down tables. These actions corrupt the database and make it virtually unusable.

How to Prevent SQL Injections?

There are many different steps you should take to protect applications using an SQL database. The first tactic is called parameterised statements. This method ensures that the SQL statements input into the database are passed safely and interpreted properly.

Another effective prevention tactic is referred to as object-relational mapping (ORM). The strategy here is for website designers to utilize ORM frameworks to input code into the database.

The result is rarely being required to write SQL statements. In the rare event that a written SQL statement is required, parameterised statements are also used.

Some websites are unable to use CRM or parameterised statement. If this is the case, the best solution is called escaping inputs. Hackers frequently use quote characters to prematurely end a malicious SQL statement.

The goal is to treat the code input as a string instead of a conclusion. Most programming languages have routine functions to prevent the inappropriate use of quote characters.

A Recap of Preventing SQL Injections

Preventing SQL injections is crucial to protecting client data. The most important step is awareness of the vulnerability and a commitment to correct it.

Taking actions such as using parameterised statements or ORM are not overly difficult. If you want to learn more about how to prevent SQL injection cyberattacks, contact us for assistance.

Written byAlex Dibben

Alex Dibben

Alex Dibben, holds a degree in Software Development and Business from the University of Portsmouth. He serves as the Director of Expect Best Ltd and has 20+ years experience in Web Design & Digital Marketing. Expect Best Ltd expertly manages more than 400+ client accounts, showcasing their proficiency in Digital Marketing & Web Design. Visit Linkedin Profile


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