Top 6 Database Security Solutions Available in 2024

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Database security solutions help protect sensitive business and customer information from external and internal users. They use customized security policies and rules, access controls, and data masking technologies to restrict data access to authorized users that absolutely need it. To help your business select a database security solution, I’ve evaluated multiple providers and their features and narrowed down the final list to the top products.

Here are the six best database security solutions for businesses:

Top Database Security Software Comparison

The following table breaks down some differences between the top six products, including availability of certain features and a free trial.

Data LoggingData MaskingIAM IntegrationsEncryption30-Day Free Trial
Oracleโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธNative featureโŒโœ”๏ธ
IBMโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ
Satoriโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโŒโŒ
DBHawkโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโŒโŒ
Impervaโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโŒโœ”๏ธ
Thalesโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธโŒโœ”๏ธโœ”๏ธ

While different products on this list scored highly in different categories, Oracle Data Safe was the overall winner as our top database security solution. Continue reading to learn about each solution’s features, pros and cons, and pricing, or jump down to see how I evaluated these products.

Oracle Data Safe Best for Oracle Database Environments


Overall Rating: 4/5

  • Core features: 3.9/5
  • Usability and administration: 3.9/5
  • Customer support: 4.5/5
  • Advanced features: 3.8/5
  • Pricing: 4.1/5

Oracle Data Safe is a full-featured database security product specifically for Oracle databases. Its features include alert policies based on rules, least privilege enforcement, and security compliance reports. It also offers an agentless option, which means data isn’t collected through a software agent. While Data Safe doesn’t support other databases, it’s a great choice for teams with existing Oracle databases and falls under Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

  • Plenty of database security features
  • Straightforward pricing information
  • Free trial available for a month

Cons

  • Only supports Oracle databases
  • Limited backup functionality
  • Limited reporting aside from compliance
  • First 100 target databases: $200 per month
  • 101-300 target databases: $150 per month
  • 301-500 target databases: $100 per month
  • Over 500 target databases: $50 per month
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Identity and access management: Set IAM policies in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for Data Safe resources.
  • Least privilege enforcement: Identify users with too-high or risky permissions, and assess user activity and existing password policies.
  • Data masking: Either create policies from an existing sensitive data model or create your own for a specific target database.
  • Compliance reports: Automatically generate reports to present to auditors, including scheduled reports.
Oracle Data Safe main interface.

While Oracle Data Safe scored the highest on our rubric and is a strong security product, it doesn’t support third-party databases. Consider Satori if you’re looking for plenty of database and data platform options.

IBM Guardium Best Enterprise-Grade Database Security Solution


Overall Rating: 3.8/5

  • Core features: 4.1/5
  • Usability and administration: 3.9/5
  • Customer support: 4.1/5
  • Advanced features: 3.5/5
  • Pricing: 3.3/5

IBM Guardium is an enterprise-grade database security tool with a huge feature set, including data backup and encryption options. Some of Guardium’s capabilities include threat detection, data masking policies, and using both agents or agentless data connections. Guardium particularly stands out as a solution for larger businesses, since it offers so many features. Its backup capabilities also make it a strong choice for organizations with data centers.

  • Protects both on-premises and cloud data
  • Both agent and agentless monitoring
  • Offline backups available through InfoSphere

Cons

  • Supports fewer DBs than some competitors
  • No data recovery features
  • Limited privilege management features
  • Custom pricing: Contact for quote
  • Pricing estimates: Guardium Insights offers a calculator
  • Free trial: 30 days for Guardium Insights product; 90 days for Key Lifecycle Manager product
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Policy development: Users can customize security policies to detect threats connected to targeted data.
  • Agentless monitoring: Guardium uses both agent-based and agentless data source monitoring; agentless uses audit logs rather than a software endpoint agent.
  • Support for multiple operating systems: Aside from databases, Guardium supports Windows, UNIX, Linux, and z/OS as well as Hadoop NoSQL.
  • Master Key REST service: The Key Lifecycle Manager allows you to create master encryption keys and transfer them between different keystores.
IBM Guardium Insights interface.

While IBM is an exceptional solution for large enterprises and skilled security pros, it might be too overwhelming for smaller teams. If that sounds like you, check out Imperva instead โ€” it has a more basic set of core features, multiple support channels, and an attractive user interface.

Using a database security tool alone isn’t enough to have a thriving security strategy. Our list of database security best practices goes beyond software solutions to cover steps your team should take to protect your data.

Satori Cyber Best for AI-Focused Data Security


Overall Rating: 3.4/5

  • Core features: 3.5/5
  • Usability and administration: 4.5/5
  • Customer support: 2.1/5
  • Advanced features: 4.1/5
  • Pricing: 2.9/5

Satori Cyber is a data platform focused on analytics and security for AI language learning models. Satori helps protect LLMs by setting access policies to determine which users can view and edit them. Admins can create data access workflows to easily determine who can view specific datasets, and Satori searches for sensitive data like financial information and classifies it. LLM activity monitoring allows teams to see what data is coming and going from models.

  • Advanced features like IAM integrations
  • Helps secure AI model environments
  • Available as SaaS or customer-hosted

Cons

  • Customer support info is extremely limited
  • No free trial
  • Lacks backup and encryption features
  • Custom pricing: Contact Satori for details
  • Base subscription: $70,000 per year, pricing from AWS
  • Business subscription: $150,000 per year, pricing from AWS
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Data privacy policies: Satori locates and classifies sensitive data like personally identifiable information and payment data.
  • Access management: Set data access workflows that designate access to certain datasets and base access controls on either roles or attributes.
  • Self-service usage: Data platform users have access to a self-service portal to find and study the datasets they’re permitted to view.
  • Dynamic masking: Satori masks data based on type and identity and offers masking templates you can use to restrict data access based on users’ specific roles.
Satori data masking rules.

While Satori is a great choice for teams focused on protecting AI data, it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for native encryption and backup features. I recommend IBM Guardium for teams that need those capabilities.

DBHawk Best Managed Database Security Platform


Overall Rating: 3.4/5

  • Core features: 4.2/5
  • Usability and administration: 3.5/5
  • Customer support: 3.2/5
  • Advanced features: 1.9/5
  • Pricing: 3.4/5

DBHawk is a managed database security provider that particularly shines for its selection of core security features. Highlights include data masking, role-based access controls, and activity logging. It also supports a huge variety of databases and database management systems, including Cassandra, MongoDB, and MariaDB. The SaaS plans’ features, like chart and dashboard building and SSO integrations, are helpful for smaller businesses and teams.

  • Plenty of basic database security features
  • Can host Enterprise plan on-premises
  • Available as a managed service

Cons

  • Limited advanced functionality
  • Interface is a little overwhelming
  • Limited customer support channels
  • DBHawk SaaS: Starts at $50 per user monthly
  • DBHawk Enterprise: Contact for quote
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Role-based access controls: Customize your team’s access controls based on roles, groups, or user attributes.
  • Database monitoring: DBHawk alerts your security team when it detects suspicious activity within a database.
  • Okta integration: Users can log into databases hosted on-premises or in the cloud without needing to share login credentials through DBHawk’s integration with Okta.
  • Support for multiple databases: DBHawk supports both SQL and NoSQL databases, as well as data intelligence platforms like Snowflake and Databricks.
DBHawk interface.

While DBHawk is a standout solution for core database security needs, it doesn’t offer as many advanced features. Look at Satori for features like metadata management and integrations with multiple IAM providers.

Imperva Data Security Best for a Mix of Support & Pricing


Overall Rating: 3.3/5

  • Core features: 2.6/5
  • Usability and administration: 3.3/5
  • Customer support: 5/5
  • Advanced features: 2.2/5
  • Pricing: 4/5

Imperva is a data security provider offering both a hybrid data security platform and protection for cloud databases as a service. The cloud data security product is specifically designed for AWS DBaaS. Imperva offers 24/7 phone and email support; constant availability is useful for smaller teams that need extra help. Imperva offers a pay-as-you-go pricing option through AWS, a base plan for up to 50 million events per month, and other plans for more events.

  • Multiple support channels and available 24/7
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing available
  • Integrates with multiple IAM providers

Cons

  • Lacks some features that competitors offer
  • No backup or encryption
  • Limited reporting other than compliance
  • Pay as you go: Free for up to 5 million requests per month; $19/request for each additional request
  • Base plan (up to 50 million monthly events): $10,000 per year
  • Up to 200 million monthly events: $40,000 per year
  • Up to 300 million monthly events: $56,000 per year
  • Up to 700 million monthly events: $115,500 per year
  • Up to 1.5 Billion monthly events: $216,800 per year
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Data policy management: Develop sets of security policies that apply to all your organization’s databases.
  • Logging: This feature belongs to the Database Security Monitoring module and monitors databases’ native log files and reports on their findings.
  • Single sign-on integrations: Imperva integrates with products that support Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), including Ping Identity, Active Directory, and Okta.
  • Identifying privileged access issues: Imperva tracks privileged users’ activities as they access data to find excessive or exploited privileges.
Imperva Cloud Data Security interface.

Although Imperva is a strong database security product for smaller businesses, it lacks some advanced features and reporting capabilities. If you need those, look at IBM Guardium instead.

Thales CipherTrust Best for Encryption-Specific Needs


Overall Rating: 3.3/5

  • Core features: 2.4/5
  • Usability and administration: 4.5/5
  • Customer support: 5/5
  • Advanced features: 1.4/5
  • Pricing: 3.3/5

Thales Ciphertrust is an encryption and key management platform that offers database protection as part of its lineup. Its features include key rotation and per-column database encryption and access controls. If your business is particularly focused on encrypting sensitive data and controlling access to specific columns and cells, consider CipherTrust. It’s particularly beneficial for teams in industries like finance and healthcare that store lots of sensitive data.

  • Encryption and key management security
  • Can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises
  • Free Community Edition available

Cons

  • Lacks some core database security features
  • Only supports four different databases
  • No free trial of business version
  • Data Protection on Demand: Billed per usage
  • Custom pricing: Contact for quote; some info available from resellers
  • Free trial: 30 days for Data Protection on Demand
  • Free demo: Contact to schedule
  • Access controls: Manage your employees’ access to data by individual columns using a specific encryption key.
  • Encryption key security: Databases receive key rotation and data rekeying, which decreases the time period in which a key could be exploited.
  • Audit logs: CipherTrust logs information about data access to identify both authorized access patterns and potential unauthorized attempts.
  • Tokenization: CipherTrust’s tokenization product shields sensitive information like financial data with fake information and helps improve PCI-DSS compliance.
Thales CipherTrust Manager.

While Thales is a great choice for encryption-conscious enterprises, it lacks some core and advanced features that other database security products have. Check out DBHawk if you’re looking for a wider range of database-specific features.

5 Key Features of Database Security Solutions

Some of the most important features to look for in database security products include policy and rule management, access management, activity monitoring, and data masking. Also, look for database security platforms that support multiple databases, especially if you use data stores from a few different providers.

Policy Management

Storage and security teams must be able to define specific policies for accessing data within databases. Policies include identifying underutilized privileges, flagging suspicious access activity, and hiding data from users’ view. Customizability is an important function of policy management so your team can configure rules based on your business’s overall security expectations or compliance requirements.

Access Controls

Access controls and policy management go hand in hand โ€” your team will use policies and workflows to define which users can access certain data. You might also need different access levels; for example, some users are able to edit data in a particular database column, while others are only allowed to view it. When properly assigned and developed, access controls limit the number of people who can see and manipulate sensitive information.

Database Activity Monitoring

Database security tools should constantly monitor databases to identify anomalous behavior or places where the database isn’t secure. Security policies determine how the database should operate, and once an activity doesn’t meet a policy or triggers an incident, the platform alerts administrators. Database security solutions should also collect activity logs so admins can see behavioral patterns, even if an alert hasn’t been triggered yet.

Data Masking

Data masking hides sensitive information from users who don’t need to see it. Tokenization is an example of masking โ€” it shields the actual data by showing fake data in its place. Some platforms mask data granularly, such as by column; that’s helpful if users need to view customer information like email addresses but should not be viewing their credit card data, for example.

Database Support

Businesses with a variety of databases should look for a platform that can monitor and enforce policies for all those databases. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, like database-specific solutions for very popular DB products like Oracle, I recommend looking for wide product support if your business needs to protect multiple databases.

How I Evaluated the Best Database Security Solutions

To select the best database security products for businesses and rank them, I created a product scoring rubric with five major categories that buying committees should consider. Each of the five criteria received a specific weight based on importance, and each contained multiple subcriteria that were also weighted. How well each product met the subcriteria for database security solutions contributed to its final score.

Evaluation Criteria

I first looked at core database security features like policy management, activity monitoring, and access controls. Then I considered usability features, such as documentation and training videos, and customer support, which included support channels and 24/7 availability. Finally, I evaluated advanced features, like IAM and governance integrations, and pricing availability, including free product trials.

  • Core features (30%): This criterion included the most critical database security features, like data logging and limited access to data.
  • Usability and administration (20%): I considered features like plenty of documentation, as well as cloud and on-premises deployment options.
    • Criterion winner: Multiple winners
  • Customer support (20%): I looked at support channels like phone and email, support team availability, demos, and community forums for users.
    • Criterion winner: Multiple winners
  • Advanced features (15%): These additional capabilities, like integrations with identity providers and governance features, aren’t as common but are nice to have.
  • Pricing (15%): I evaluated available pricing information, the option to pay per use, free trials, and availability of small business plans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who Uses Database Security Tools?

Any organization with a database can use a database security solution. They’re particularly helpful products for organizations that need to protect large volumes of data or that process sensitive data due to their industry. Examples of these industries include, but aren’t limited to, healthcare, finances, and government. But they’re helpful for any teams that use databases and want to more carefully protect the data stored there.

What are the Benefits of Database Security Software?

Database security solutions help teams take control of the ways people access their information. The products organize policies for handling sensitive information and hide it from users who don’t need to see it. Database security products are also a helpful compliance tool โ€” some regulatory standards require your business to show exactly who can access data. This is particularly beneficial for data privacy regulations like PCI-DSS and CCPA.

How Can You Secure Your Database?

While extremely useful, database security software isn’t the only way to protect databases. Aside from setting user policies and access controls within the database, you should also install a firewall in front of the database to filter traffic requests to the database. This helps secure the network and the database. And if your database is hosted on your business’s premises, don’t neglect physical security โ€” require key fobs to enter the building and server room.

Learn more about protecting your entire network from the security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that threaten it.

Bottom Line: Database Security Is a Critical Step in Protecting Your Data

Securing large volumes of data is difficult, especially because data sprawl makes any sort of management a challenge. But don’t put off securing your business’s databases. A security solution can save you money in the long run by helping you comply with regulatory standards. Regardless of compliance requirements, database security helps you shield your customers’ and business’s data from everyone except those who absolutely need access to it.

If you need to build your business’s overall network security aside from protecting your databases, read our guide to securing your network next. It includes steps like configuring your firewall and running tests and audits.

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