Best Practices to Protect System from SQL Injection Attacks

In the earlier time of 2014, many organizations have already faced dark side of cyber world like data breach, Malware attack, hijacking, DDOS and many more attacks. There were few giant retail organizations like Target, Michaels, Niemen Marcus, Hotel Hilton, and Marriot faced the black side of the Internet world. It is believed that many organizations have not yet found how the breaches occurred.

We all know that the world of the Internet is not so safe nowadays, and hackers are evolving new techniques on a daily base to intercept the end-user or enterprises’ activities. There might be a chance that SQL injection was involved in a major data breach. In this piece of information, I would like to focus on the best practices that can reduce the possibility of an SQL injection. However, before revealing it, let us understand SQL injection briefly.

What is SQL Injection?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language – A programming language. According to Neira Jones, a former head of Barclaycard payment security, SQL injection is responsible for 97% of data breaches worldwide. SQL is an attack that happens on database websites in which attackers use a compromised code of a system that is connected to the internet. Attackers get this code by avoiding the firewall and stealing information from a database hosted on computers. With SQL injection, organizations can face loss of data confidentiality; data loss, data integrity, and make their entire network being compromised.

Preventive Measures:

It is true that if your system has a strong input validation, then you can avert SQL injection, so let us discover the best exercises that help to avoid SQL injection attacks.

Use Prepared Statements:

Prepared statements or parameterized queries compel the developer to set all SQL code and then pass each parameter to the query. Through this coding style, data and code will be separated. A prepared statement assures that an attacker cannot change the intent of a query even in the case of injected SQL command. Organizations should construct secure coding guidelines on this behalf.

Error Message:

To make a successful SQL attack, a poorly crafted error message can help a lot. A better solution for SQL attacks is to use a generic error message that states an error with a unique ID. Here the technical team will access the unique ID to solve the error message. In case of unexpected input, developers need to check the type of information to be returned via an error message.

Keep your Database patched:

Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in applications and databases so, regular monitoring is necessary to patch all applications and databases. Hapless management, devoid of vendor notification is a responsible factor in avoiding security patches. Therefore, it is sensible to implement a patch management system instead of manual database patches.

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Network Monitoring:

Continuous network monitoring can bring good results in case of a potential SQL injection attack. Network monitoring can identify addition in errors or attack activities and alert administrators of an attack. With network monitoring, a network admin can filter traffic and deny unauthorized access to the database.

Database Security:

Additional authentication can offer database backup and control for application security that brings extra protection to the database. With a high authentication system, the enterprise can limit access to databases and it can incorporate database audit and logging capabilities. Encrypt your data and password to avert third-party interruption.

Use Firewall based on Software/Application:

To filter the database always considers a Web application firewall either applying a software-based or application-based firewall. Web application firewall (WAF) carries set of default rules that secure attacks like Cross-site Scripting (XSS), Cross-site request forgery, and SQL injection. In the absence of a new patch, a WAF is useful in providing security protection against new vulnerabilities and can distinguish and block many attacks.


SQL injection can be mitigated by minimizing the database privileges. Battling SQL injection requires a different approach and hoping the above practices will help enterprises to fight against SQL injection attacks. If you have any recommendations then you are welcome here to share them.


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