When people speak about database privacy, they usually are referring to the protection of information contained within digital databases and of the databases themselves. It can include security issues surrounding the database and the classification of its information. Database privacy is a concept that is important to organizations and private citizens alike. However, organizations have the responsibility to protect clients' information, because their clients entrust them to do so.
The fact that many individuals don't have control over how their information is stored and handled once it is digitally aggregated can be a source of concern. Old database storage systems were physical and had their own database privacy issues. The data storage methods of computers have presented their own unique obstacles. Computer privacy is inherently tied to the idea of database privacy because many companies and organizations now employ some sort of digital recordkeeping.
Sensitive, confidential and critical information is often kept in databases. To protect this information from being accessed by third-parties without clearance, companies and organizations have to be diligent about data protection. Some of their efforts have to center on guarding against threats to application servers, database servers and storage systems.
There are a number of steps that organizations can take to help safeguard databases and the data they hold. Some of these steps include making sure that servers are configured correctly, assigning proper authentication levels to database workers, providing unique authentication credentials for each application, preventing the theft of authentication credentials and protecting the database against software designed to compromise it or the information it contains. Privacy professionals also can secure storage systems against theft involving servers, hard drives, desktops and laptops. Organizations should ensure that storage management interfaces and all database backups, whether on-site or off-site, maintain their integrity.
If attacks on a database occur, it is an organization's responsibility to take defensive measures. This might first entail the immediate classification of data according to importance. Then, encryption methods might be employed to help protect applications and data based on their sensitivity levels.
Of course, the best method of protecting a database's privacy is prevention. One method of database privacy protection might include assessing a database regularly for exploits and signs that it has been compromised. If an organization can detect exploits or indications of database compromising before the threat becomes real and unmanageable, the database might be able to be rectified with little and reversible damage.