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Saving Your Site From SQL Injection Attacks: Everything You Need to Know

Saving Your Site From SQL Injection Attacks: Everything You Need to Know

Vallery Henings

March 9, 2021 (modified on March 22, 2021)


In 2016, Qatar’s National Bank was hacked using SQL injection as the primary source of the cyberattack. It led to the theft of more than 1.4GB of customer data, which was subsequently leaked to the public.

They are one of the most used web attack vectors to grab sensitive data from companies and organizations. If the mere thought of a cyberattack keeps you up at night, don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place.

Keep on reading for our breakdown of SQL injection basics and what precautions you can take to protect yourself and your business.

What Is SQL Injection?

Let’s start with the basics.

In the simplest of terms, an SQL injection is a technique that hackers use to insert SQL queries into a website‘s input fields. This leads the host website to process that query into the underlying SQL database.

SQL code on laptop

It allows the user-generated entry forms of SQL statements to query the database directly. This opens the door for nefarious parties to grab sensitive data.

Why Is SQL Injection Such a Security Risk?

If hackers still manually abused SQL vulnerabilities, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

Unfortunately, attackers now probe the internet at-large using automated tools, which attempt to exploit any SQL injection to steal any financially-relevant information.

How to Protect Yourself From SQL Injection Attacks

There are complex ways that developers can prevent SQL injection vulnerabilities by using specialized database queries with typed and bound parameters, as well as set up the careful use of parameterized stored procedures in the database itself.

If that didn’t make any sense to you, no worries. Here is what laymen, system administrations, as well as database administrators can do.

After doing your basic internet hygiene of hiring website design services to properly set up your website, you’ll want to keep all your web application software components up to date with the latest security patches.

3 women looking at laptop

Then, you’ll implement the principle of “least privilege”, which will be of great help when provisioning accounts that are connected to the SQL database.

Finally, you’ll want to configure the right error reporting and handling of the webserver, specifically in the code. That way, the database error messages won’t be sent to the client web browser.

After all, a big part of the problem is the attackers leveraging the technical details in the verbose error messages. This way, they can tweak their queries for more successful exploitation.

Preventative Cybersecurity Protocols for the Future of Business

We have to face the facts of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that are more common than we’d like to admit.

It’s a bit overwhelming to deal with, especially for those who aren’t used to the technical lingo. But, we hope our little guide about SQL injection has shed some light on the issue.

Now, it’s time for you to review your own cybersecurity protocols and see if you need to update some archaic protocols and software.