MySQL Security Tips

The Top 5 Security Tips for MySQL

Almost every popular website we have today uses a database of one sort or another. WordPress, a popular blogging and content management platform, relies on MySQL to store information. Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and other web apps use MySQL for the same purpose. Even custom-made apps are using MySQL as the primary database framework.

Like server security, securing the MySQL instance on your server is an important thing to do. It is also a task that must be taken seriously, considering the increasing number of cyber attacks we have today. These top five security tips for MySQL will help you get started with securing your own MySQL instance right away.

Good Server Configuration

Ideally, you want your MySQL instance to run on its own server. Of course, this isn’t always possible. In fact, most servers are configured to have MySQL, PHP, Apache, Nginx, and other services running together on the same machine. However, you can still secure the server properly.

The best way to start is by equipping the server with a good antivirus and antispam software. You also need to configure the server’s firewall for maximum security. Lastly, you can manage the permission privileges of other services running on the server so that maximum protection can be achieved.

Don’t forget to disable services that are not in use. FTP, for example, doesn’t need to stay active all the time. You can activate FTP via SSH when you need to upload files and disable the service once you are finished.

Limit Remote Access

If you are running MySQL on the same machine as other services, you don’t really need MySQL to allow remote access. This is due to the fact that all other services – and the web apps you are running – will access the MySQL server from the same host (LOCALHOST).

To stop MySQL from creating a new network socket, add the configuration

skip-networking

to your MySQL configuration file (my.cnf), usually located in the /etc or /etc/mysql folder. You can also tell MySQL to listen to connections from the same host only by adding

bind-address=127.0.0.1

to the my.cnf file. Restart the MySQL service after making these changes.

Make Scheduled Backups

The best way to avoid having to deal with complete database loss is by having a proper backup routine in place. MySQL has a built-in backup tool with quite a lot of features, so you don’t really need an external tool to back up your MySQL databases. The mysqlbackup command even supports the creation of incremental backups.

There are also more options when it comes to MySQL data recovery. In the event of a catastrophic server failure, for example, you can rely on professional data recovery service providers to help you retrieve the MySQL database directly from the damaged hard drive.

These are just some of the things you can do to start protecting your MySQL server better. With these protection measures in place, you should be able to keep the risks of data breach and loss to a minimum.