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SQL injection protection: A guide on how to prevent and stop attacks

In this SQL injection protection guide get advice on how to prevent and stop SQL injection attacks, also learn best practices on how to detect vulnerabilities.

SQL injection, an attack method where hacker insert malicious SQL code into a Web form to gain malicious access...

to resources, applications or databases, has been on the rise with the advancement of automated exploit tools, and the attack method, which can enable data manipulation and the spread of malware, is becoming more advanced and popular among attackers.

This guide offers expert advice and best practices on SQL injection protection. Learn how to stop SQL injection attacks and how to prevent SQL vulnerabilities from being actively exploited by a hacker. Also included are tips and information on the latest SQL injection defense mechanisms and techniques, such as secure input validation and perimeter-based vendor products.

 How to prevent SQL injection attacks
An attacker uses SQL injection to manipulate a site's Web-based interfaces and force the database to execute undesirable SQL code, enabling data manipulation and spreading malware. In order to prevent these types of attacks, enterprises must implement secure coding best practices and limit Web application coding privileges, reduce debugging information and test Web applications regularly.

In this tip you will get advice from the experts on these proactive defense methods, as well as several other preventative measures, and learn more about what exactly an SQL injection is, how it works and how the technology is advancing.

 Tactics for SQL injection attack defense
As the rate of application attacks increase and the threat of SQL injections becomes more advanced, the need and importance for organizations to develop defense tactics to prevent these threats is greater than ever.

It is important for organizations to understand how to implement several mechanisms of defense against SQL injection attacks. Here you will learn why fixing front-end Web code and appropriately configuring back-end databases provides the best defense against SQL injection attacks.

 Automate SQL injection testing
In the early days of SQL injection attacks, manual testing was the only way to determine if systems, databases or applications were vulnerable to the SQL injection threat. Manual testing – sifting through error messages and database structure information – is a long and tedious process, and even then is no guarantee that you will find every vulnerability.

Thankfully, there are now several automated tools available to carry out simulated SQL injection attacks on your own databases to see how susceptible your systems and applications are to threats. Here you can learn more about how ethical hacking tools can help detect vulnerabilities before they are exploited and how to perform automated tests for all vulnerabilities, including SQL injections, to stop attacks before they start.

 New defenses for automated SQL injection attacks
For quite some time now hackers have used SQL injection attack methods to quickly find and exploit website vulnerabilities and effectively spread malware. In order to prevent SQL injections, enterprise information security teams must go above and beyond the old SQL defense of testing and patching Web application code.

Organizations must not only build defenses and practice secure coding best practices, but also develop an in-depth understanding of how SQL injection attacks work and how the threat has evolved -- the earlier SQL injection attacks didn't have the vulnerability detection capabilities of contemporary attacks -- as well as learn how to find, isolate and address webpages infected with malware on a website. In this tip, Michael Cobb explains how the SQL injection threat has evolved, what types of defenses, such as toolkits and vendor products, are available today to help thwart the threat and best practices for protection from SQL injection attacks of the future.

This was last published in September 2009

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