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What is an SQL Injection Attack and How to Prevent Them

Structured Query Language is at the heart of most websites and applications nowadays, which is why SQL injection attacks represent a significant risk for individuals and Philippine businesses of all sizes. SQL injection attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications to gain access to databases and sensitive information.

Understanding what SQL injection attacks are and how they work are the first steps to protecting your business. In this article, we’ll explain the mechanics of SQL injection attacks and how to prevent an SQL injection attack.

What is an SQL Injection Attack?

An SQL injection attack is a type of cyberattack that exploits vulnerabilities in a web application’s input fields to infiltrate systems or networks through malicious SQL queries. Attackers use these SQL statements to bypass security measures, retrieve security information, modify data, or take control of the database server entirely.

SQL injection attacks are considered a significant threat because attackers often execute them to steal and sell sensitive data, which could lead to data breaches, financial losses, and damaged reputation for businesses and identity theft-related crimes for their clients.

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How Does an SQL Injection Attack Work?

An SQL injection attack occurs when a web application fails to properly validate and sanitize user-supplied input before executing SQL queries. This allows attackers to insert malicious SQL code into input fields, such as login forms, search boxes, or user registration forms.

Once the attacker successfully injects malicious code into the web application, they can manipulate the database and extract sensitive information, such as personal information, intellectual property, and trade secrets. Attackers could also alter or delete data that would affect the application’s availability and, thus, the business’s operations.  

How to Prevent an SQL Injection Attack

Filter User Database Input

This is a key step to protecting your Philippine business from SQL injection attacks.

Implement strict input validation and sanitation measures to filter user-supplied input and prevent malicious SQL injection attempts. Treat all user input, even from authenticated or internal users, the same way – always validate.

Validate input against predefined patterns or whitelist acceptable characters, rejecting any input that deviates from the expected format. You can sanitize input by escaping special characters or using parameterized queries, which ensures that user input is treated as data rather than executable code.

Restrict Database Access

Implement the principle of least privilege – grant users the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks. By limiting user access, you minimize the exposure of sensitive database operations to potential attackers in case of compromised user credentials.

Implementing basic cybersecurity best practices like putting up a firewall can make a big difference in filtering out malicious attacks.

Furthermore, consider other ways potential attackers may learn about your database architecture. For example, limit the read-access configuration of the database and display minimal information from error messages. These small things, no matter how small, can be exploited by malicious entities against you.

Avoid Heavy Reliance on Blacklists

While blacklists can help block known malicious inputs, they are inherently reactive and prone to evasion by more determined attackers. A more proactive approach is implementing a whitelist-based input validation.

Whitelists define acceptable input patterns or values from users and then filter out all other unvalidated statements that do not meet the predefined criteria.

Whitelists are an effective additional barrier preventing attackers from learning more about your database, thus helping minimize the risk of SQL injection attacks.


Regularly Scan Code for SQL Injection Vulnerabilities

Attackers are always on the hunt for new ways to circumvent database and application security measures. A reliable way to prevent an SQL injection attack is to conduct regular code reviews and security audits to identify and address potential vulnerabilities in web applications.

You can use automated penetration testing tools to identify flaws and insecure coding practices that could be exploited. These tools simulate real-world attack scenarios and analyze the database or application’s response, so you can fix them accordingly.

By proactively identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in the code before they can be exploited by attackers, you can bolster your defenses against SQL injection attacks and mitigate the risk of data breaches.

Always Update to the Latest Versions

Older versions of web development technologies may not be well-equipped to defend against the latest SQL injection attacks that are constantly evolving. To continue having the best protection, take advantage of vendors’ efforts to strengthen their products and update to the latest software or patches as quickly as possible. This will ensure that you have the strongest possible protection against attackers.

Fend Off SQL Injection Attacks with Kital


SQL injection attacks can be sneaky and pose risks to your sensitive data and organizational integrity. It’s important to know what SQL injection attacks are and how you can protect your business from them so you can be proactive in minimizing the risk of data breaches.

Businesses in the Philippines can navigate the digital landscape with confidence and minimize the risk of data breaches by knowing what an SQL injection attack is and prioritizing data protection best practices to prevent SQL injection attacks.  

Fortify your business’s protection against cyberattacks with Kital. Don’t hesitate to send us a message to learn more about how we can help you protect your business.

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