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Maximize Cybersecurity with Multiple Databasesby@hlorenz
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Maximize Cybersecurity with Multiple Databases

by Hanna LorenzOctober 10th, 2022
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“Use the right tool for what you are doing” is a standard recommendation in the tech world. After all, the proper tools are paramount when handling copious amounts of data and information pertinent to your business. It is very common to use various tools in conjunction with each other to achieve a goal—and few goals in technology are as important as maintaining cybersecurity.  Databases are pretty much universally accepted for storing and managing company materials at this point. They are at the core of every business, especially in a digital environment. But as indispensable as they are, database systems are not foolproof, and many data breaches come down to database concerns. Customer and employee information, inventory numbers, and other sensitive data can all be subject to malicious attacks, and if your protection protocols are subpar, you can kiss that information goodbye.
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“Use the right tool for what you are doing” is a standard recommendation in the tech world. After all, the proper tools are paramount when handling copious amounts of data and information pertinent to your business. It is very common to use various tools in conjunction with each other to achieve a goal—and few goals in technology are as important as maintaining cybersecurity. 

Databases are pretty much universally accepted for storing and managing company materials at this point. They are at the core of every business, especially in a digital environment. But as indispensable as they are, database systems are not foolproof, and many data breaches come down to database concerns. Customer and employee information, inventory numbers, and other sensitive data can all be subject to malicious attacks, and if your protection protocols are subpar, you can kiss that information goodbye.

As companies become more dependent on information technology, guaranteeing data security becomes harder to promise. According to a 451 Research survey, 68% of participants stated that security is their top concern regarding database risks for enterprises. And for a good reason—in 2021, the number of data breaches reached record-breaking highs, with the percentage of breaches involving sensitive information, like Social Security Numbers, making up 83% of the total number of breaches. 

And the truth is that when breaches occur, most organizations are not equipped to respond promptly, let alone have the procedures in place to prevent attacks. If securing your company’s intellectual property is such a complex process, how can business leaders efficiently defend their assets?

Data scientist and Fulbright Scholar Asaf Darasah offers this key to maximizing security: multiple databases. 

Multi-layer Defense for Your Database Systems

Too many protection tools are bound to overload the system, but a cyber attack is inevitable without barriers. The more accessible and usable the database, the more vulnerable it is to security threats and false positives; the more secure the database is to threats, the more difficult it is to access and use—this phenomenon is sometimes referred to as Anderson’s Rule.

Darash, the founder and CEO of Regpack, an innovative payments platform, suggests that using multiple databases creates more security for your information by splitting the information's meaning and attributes between them. This makes understanding the data without the algorithm that connects the two very difficult. The result is that multiple databases need to be breached—in addition to the source code—to gain meaningful access to the data. This considerably lowers the probability since each source is defended independently and differently. This security "side effect" was reached by separating the value of the information from its key (aka meaning). 

Think of this process as similar to protecting a bank vault: it creates an extremely high level of security since it prevents the use of data without the full stack of information—like missing the last three digits of the code to access the vault. And when you add to the structure that all sensitive data is encrypted at the database level, you get a security methodology that is unique and also enhances functionality.  

Regpack didn't start using multiple databases to enhance security but rather to solve a technical issue. Darash jointly used relationship databases (specifically MySQL) and document-based databases (specifically MongoDB) to reach a complex minimum constant dev structure for Regpack. MySQL and other relational databases are very structured and suitable for aggregations as long as you really know what you want to gather and how you will use it. The fluid structure of document-based databases like MongoDB allows freedom and flexibility, but it creates complexities when viewing trends and aggregations. These differences are what brought Regpack to use both database systems concurrently to maximize the benefits of each. 

Protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your enterprise’s most sensitive information should always be a priority—just like the tools you use to administer that functionality. Cutting corners and taking shortcuts in your security processes will lead to severe long-term consequences if not dealt with properly. By using multiple databases strategically for vital security measures, business leaders can protect their companies and their clients more effectively.