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What Every Database Administrator Should Know About Security
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User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2013 | 8:59:23 PM
re: What Every Database Administrator Should Know About Security
Wow... the first thing I though about when I saw the title for this article was this article about how security professionals and DBA's don't get along because security folks don't understand the DBA and his\her job.

"How To Improve DBA And Security Team Relations, Ericka Chickowski"

Now as I read this article I see the same old stuff that I continue to see and hear from the DBA... "whoa is me... he hate me."

"Yet the security team advocates controls that restrict access, add complexity and slow database performance. That's not a recipe for keeping end users happy, and DBAs tend to bear the brunt of criticism."

Actually what any good security team will advocate is "Security Best Practice" and what we attempt to enforce is corporate policy, the security department does not make the rules, the rules are made and governed by what is best for the business, which is called policy, which is defined by management... most likely business management, therefore security has to build or construct best practice and controls around those business needs, however if there are issues that should have more focus or attention because of a threat or vulnerable system because of a specific business requirement is unsafe, would you want for us not to bring that forward? And, it's not our job to keep anyone "happy", it's our job to keep the corporate information assets and data resources safe, and if that hurts somebody's feelings, so be it.

"The considerable skills database administrators bring to the table are often marginalized, with security teams failing to leverage these valuable skills because they feel DBAs lack the "security mindset" needed to comprehend wickedly resourceful attackers who target enterprise data. Security does not trust DBAs because they feel they lack an understanding of the problems at hand."

Personally, I would love for the DBA to assist or come to the table with anything other than what you stated and what most DBA's think we do as security professionals "...smash performance and productivity."

" The goal is to educate DBAs on the problems security teams are trying to address, and to arm them with enough information so that they can both appreciate the motivation of security requirements and help propose implementations that secure data while not smashing performance and productivity."

Why wouldn't the goal be to educate each other and work toward doing what's best for operations AND security... and leaving out the jab about smashing performance and productivity?

"DBAs are not vulnerability researchers... Hackers know databases as well as you do."

Both statements are TRUE... and a good hacker will exploit you LONG before you even realize what even know the data that you're supposed to be "care taking" is out on Pirate Bay or some other website for sale.

Personally, I think the first statement in this article says it all "Database administrators are both the caretakers of database platforms and the managers of data.", and in MY most humble opinion,I don't think many DBA's actually understands exactly what that what that statement really means, it doesn't mean that it's their ball and they set the rules, it means that as the DBA you ARE immediately responsible for the database platforms and data, and security of those resources are part of that responsibility.

I've never tried to pass myself off as an expert of any kind when it comes to database operations, that's why when I have a DB security question or issue I'll ask a DBA, I challenge any DBA to reciprocate.

I think if Adrian came down from that "C Level" perch of his he's see what I'm talking about. I'm sorry, but I just couldn't help myself.

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