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CIO/CTO Update Authors: Thanh Tran, Lori MacVittie, Adrian Bridgwater, Reza Koohrang, Carmen Gonzalez

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Can SQL Injections Be Stopped? | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Security

SQL injections are unique compared to other cyberattacks

Can SQL Injections Be Stopped? One Expert Thinks So

SQL injections are unique compared to other cyberattacks. These threats are very common and have been around for a while. One would think that this would mean businesses should have an idea of how to stop these incidents from happening, right? Unfortunately, SQL security remains a thorn in the side of many companies today.

Although firms continue to suffer breaches stemming from SQL injections, one expert believes organizations can put an end to these threats. Johannes Ullrich, research head at the SANS Institute, asserted these attacks should not be able to bypass system vulnerabilities because there are ways to combat these incidents. He told IT World Canada firms should make coders send SQL statements separately to both databases and users.

Ullrich believes this approach is the best way to combat SQL injections, which have been known threats for more than a decade, yet databases did not begin to support prepared statements until just five years ago.

So why haven't more companies taken this approach to their SQL security? Ullrich said to the news provider that prepared database statements can be complicated to write, often containing two or three lines of code rather than only one.

Determining scope of SQL injections is not easy
In an email interview with the news source, KPMG Canada Security Advisory Service Partner Kevvie Fowler explained the process of determining how someone stole passwords from databases is not a new trend.

"There are thousands of Internet systems currently containing data stolen as part of past breaches that have yet to be detected by victim organizations. The alarming point of this finding is the sheer magnitude of records involved," he explained to IT World Canada.

Companies that do experience database breaches are likely to face serious consequences, especially if these events involve customer data. Businesses may receive compliance fines for failing to safeguard consumer information, as well as lose once-loyal audiences who no longer trust their brand to keep content out of harm's way.

Organizations that want to enhance their SQL security should follow Ullrich's suggestion or partner with third-party vendors to shore up system vulnerabilities once and for all.

Compliance does not equal security
Some businesses may think just because they follow compliance regulations to a T means they have necessary security requirements in place. However, Fowler spoke at the Retail Council of Canada's theft prevention event earlier this year and asserted these regulations are not proper safeguards, according to a separate IT World Canada report.

"PCI compliance gives you a bare minimum standard you have to process data. If you look at Target, they were PCI-certified. Organizations need to focus on having maturity, not just check off the list when it comes to compliance, make sure the controls are effective," Fowler explained, as quoted by the news provider.

SQL injections have been around long enough that companies should start getting more serious about stopping these threats from succeeding. Otherwise, another 10 years will pass and major businesses will continue to be victims of these common and effective attacks.

More Stories By Reza Koohrang

Reza Koohrangpour is a product marketing manager at Idera responsible for the company's portfolio of SQL Server management tools and network and application performance management solutions.

Prior to joining Idera, Reza worked as a field sales consultant at Condusiv Technologies, and held roles as a senior technical product marketing manager and Cloud Services product manager (SaaS) at Dell, where he was responsible for the company's $70+M campus networking business and managing its PowerConnect, as well as M-Series Blades and Chassis C-Series family. He has also held engineering and research roles at Cisco, IBM and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Reza was awarded a patent for System and Method for Integrating Asset Tagging with a Manufacturing Process and holds several certifications including Cisco CCNA, Advanced IP networking, PRP (SDLC) 1.0 and 2.0, and advanced switching and routing.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology, a Masters of Science from Chalmers tekniska högskola, and an MBA from the Texas A&M University Mays Business School.