MongoDB database wipe and ransom hack: security best practices to follow

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Database, Security, Hacking, Hack, Computer, Laptop, Mobile Computing

The recent MongoDB security incident that has affected tens of thousands of databases around the world is once again a startling reminder that organizations around the world aren’t still taking security seriously and there is an urgent need to amp up security of your technology infrastructure if you want to keep hackers at bay from your environment.

Security experts have estimated that a whopping 28,000 MongoDB databases have been wiped clean in the first few days of January with more databases still at risk. While the vulnerability that led hackers to access these databases from the Internet has been closed, patching a single vulnerability doesn’t really go a long way into securing your vital information assets.

MongoDB has released a security checklist that database and IT administrators and IT security personnel in an organization can go through and follow to ensure that their MongoDB installation is hack resistant. First and foremost is to ensure that you enable access control and enforce authentication while accessing MongoDB itself as well as the data stored in the database. While strict access controls are good for security, accessibility of data and information is of paramount importance as well for any organization to function and keeping that in mind MongoDB says that you can let people access information but by configuring role-based access control.

Communications and data can be encrypted to ensure that you can fend of eavesdropping. Limiting network exposure also helps a great deal and is one of the best means to reduce the attack surface. Regular audits of your information infrastructure including database servers will ensure that events do not go unnoticed. You can also consider security standards compliance including ISO 27001 that will go a long way into ensuring that the entire infrastructure of the organization is secure.

Few MongoDB recommendatoins are: run MongoDB with a dedicated user; run MongoDB with secure configuration options; and request a security technical implementation guide (where applicable).

In a bid to help MongoDB users, MongoDB Inc has released a guide: How to Avoid a Malicious Attack That Ransoms Your Data.

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