SQL injection attacks increased by more the twofold since 2019, according to data compiled by analysts at PCH Technologies. This trend reflects an increasing number of businesses undergoing digital transformations, as more of them bring their operations online.
The use of web-based applications is expected to continue among companies around the globe in 2022, and, accordingly, so are the threats associated with them. It’s, therefore, crucial that companies take the appropriate steps now to protect their digital assets that are at risk for an SQL Injection Attack.
In this article, we take a look at several aspects that define SQL injection attacks, namely what they are, how they originate, and the ways in which they impact your business. We’ll also recommend a few preventative measures you can take to ensure your organization’s data remains safe.
What are SQL injection attacks?
SQL injection refers to a type of attack that opens the door to execute malicious SQL statements over a database server from behind a web application. SQL injection vulnerabilities are indispensable to online attackers because they offer the quickest means to bypass application security measures.
Once hackers find a way around authentication and authorization prompts on a web page or application, they can proceed to capture the content of your company’s entire SQL database. At this juncture, attackers use SQL injection to add, modify, or delete company records held in the database.
Websites or applications using any SQL database like Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL are inherently vulnerable to SQL injection threats. Attackers deploy SQL injection to access information, such as personal customer data, industry trade secrets, proprietary intellectual property, and more. Indeed, while many business owners are often unfamiliar with SQL injection attacks, they continue to represent one of the oldest and most dangerous threats to web application security.
Concerning how SQL injection attacks impact data in the real world, imagine that you intend to make an international wire transfer online. And, presently, your bank’s SQL database is under assault by criminal hackers, which is unknown to the bank. After you’ve verified your credentials to access the banks and input your wiring instructions, those instructions are changed to divert the money to the attackers.
Because your bank hasn’t adequately SQL injection vulnerabilities on their site, however, their system believes your credentials were previously authenticated. Consequently, your bank authorizes the funds to be directed to an unidentifiable source abroad where they are most likely irrecoverable.
A successful SQL injection attack can accomplish any combination of the following:
- Capture sensitive material your company’s database server
- Alter existing database information, including inserting, updating, or deleting it
Instigate authorized administrator operations to shut down the DBMS
- Access files from the DBMS file system and recover them
- Execute commands on an operations system
How do SQL Injection attacks occur?
The key to preventing SQL injection attacks is apprehending how they they start in the first place. Before identifying any exploitable vulnerabilities within your website and apps, an understanding of how the attacks take place is essential.
An SQL attack occurs the moment a malicious hacker discovers a vulnerable user input within your company’s web page or application. If you’re company site demands user input directly into an SQL query, then the site is inherently at risk for SQL injection vulnerability. This means that a criminal hacker can create input content, often referred to as a malicious payload, which forms the core of the attack. Once this content is sent by the attacker, malicious SQL commands are then instigated within the database.
Preventing an SQL injection attack
Robust input validation, and parameterized queries, not to exclude prepared statements, are the most effective ways to prevent SQL Injection attacks. Concerning application code, the best practice is to avoid the use directly to keep all input sanitized. This approach includes not only web form inputs, but also all login forms.
A skilled developer will know how to remove potential malicious code elements such as single quotes, for example, and eliminate other vulnerabilities in open source code. We likewise recommend that visibility to database errors remains off at all times on your production sites. SQL injection can exploit visible database errors to gain full access to your sensitive information.
Who to consult
Preventing SQL Injection vulnerabilities can be a and frustrating task. PCH Technologies, a preeminent IT Support and Cybersecurity Services firm, is prepared to perform a comprehensive assessment of your systems to detect SQL injection vulnerabilities. One of their Senior Lead Technicians can conduct the analysis virtually or in-person
An SQL injection attack on your database is a serious matter that can put your brand reputation at risk. To learn more about how to protect your company’s information, schedule a quick discovery call with PCH Technologies by 844-754-7500 today.