Multiple businesses across the globe use MongoDB for data storage projects. Though this database has some security configurations by default, there is a high possibility to misconfigure the database causing critical flaws. The database allows users to implement changes in it without authentication. As a user, you generally enable all the security features that are offered in the system. However, one wrong move can result in a database security apocalypse if you are not careful.
To boost security and avert flaws, IT managers and experienced database administrators suggest the following 10 powerful tips to safeguard your MongoDB database to keep it safe.
- Protect from public access- Enable the authentication feature to protect your MongoDB from public access. You need to edit the configuration file on the database to enable this feature. Once it is enabled, you need to add your username and password. Note, with authentication enabled; the database can verify the identity of the user. Hackers generally target MongoDB systems with no authentication. The password enabled system will keep them at bay.
- The password must be strong and hard to crack- After you have enabled the authentication feature on your MongoDB database, there is no guarantee it will be 100% free from cyber-attacks. Note, hackers have evolved and become smarter. You need to go a step further by creating a strong password for the database authentication process that is hard for them to crack. Unfortunately, MongoDB lacks an auto-lock tool that stops multiple failed or invalid attempts for authentication, so use a good password generator for getting a robust, strong password to prevent hackers from gaining access to the database.
- Limit External Access- It is prudent to limit external access to the MongoDB database. Attempt to host any application in the VPC environment. In case you are new to VPC environments, consult reliable experts in database management from esteemed companies like RemoteDBA to get an accurate insight into the setup of AWS VPC. They will give you proper guidelines and assist you in the process. Again, on the other hand, in case you do not want to limit external access, secure the database with an IP address. To set this up, you need to visit the MongoDB configuration file and enter your IP address. In case you want to use multiple IP addresses, separate them with a comma.
- Deploy security groups and firewalls- Block unwanted entries with firewalls. They limit access to the MongoDB database. List IP addresses to protect the server from hackers. If you use AWS, limit ports on the database with security groups. It acts as a firewall to protect the MongoDB database. Hackers will not get access to the server.
- Run the MongoDB with different port- Most hackers search for MongoDB ports that are standard. This means you should change your default port for sunning the database. However, specialists in IT and database administration state it might not be a 100% protection from hackers; however, you can reduce the risk of it. For instance, the 27017 port is used for MongoDB servers, so change the configuration for using a different port.
- Access control based on roles- The MongoDB permits access control that is role-based. This means that a user with single or multiple roles has the permission to access the operations and the resources of the database. The MongoDB does not give you access control by default; you need to enable this feature. It can be done by allowing the database to authentication by providing the administrative role to one user. If you give them access to many users, the risks of hackers breaking into your system increases. Therefore, opting for the role-based rights to database access ensures the database is protected from hackers all the time.
- Adding critical files for the replica set- When you specify the key file, you are able to enable communication on the MongoDB when it comes to the replica set. When you allow this key file for the replica set, you can enable authentication in the database implicitly. You should also host the file that can join this replica set. Once this crucial file has been enabled, it encrypts the authentication process of this replica set. This safeguards the database from hackers.
- Disable the status page on MongoDB- You get an HTTP status page of the database running on the port 28017. Experienced DBAs do not recommend this interface for any production, so you should disable it with “nohttpinterface” in the configuration settings on the database.
- Enable MongoDB encryption- Here, you need to pay attention to:
• Encrypting the data when in transport
• Encrypting the data when in rest
In the first case, SSL and TLS can be used for transferring data between the application and the database. They are the most popular protocols to protect data. The MongoDB supports both TLS and SSL to encrypt complete network traffic. This ensures the network traffic can only be read by the intended users. In case you do not enable encryption between the server and client of the MongoDB, it will be vulnerable to cyber threats by hackers.In the second case, the MongoDB 3.2 Enterprise provides encryption for storage at the file levels. All these files of the database are encrypted with TDE or Transparent Data Encryption at the storage levels. In order to access this data, third-party users should give the decryption key in order to decode the data. This boosts the security of the database better from cyber hackers.
- Regular Audit and Backup- Ensure you schedule backups for the MongoDB at regular intervals. Having backup data will eradicate tensions in case a hacker has erased all the information from database collections. Make sure you are ready with the latest backup. Likewise, conduct regular audits for your database. With them, you are able to identify security flaws and take the precautionary measures faster.
Therefore, when it comes to the use of MongoDB for your organization, ensure you keep the above 10 security tips in mind to safeguard your database 24/7 and keep hackers or other cyber attackers at bay.