incident handling sql injection

Incident Response Guidebook: A game plan to combat SQL injection attacks

incident handling sql injection

Since the recent release of Oracle’s Critical Patch Update, an unusual spike (57%) in the risk has been observed by the researchers of ImpervaAmid the struggle with coronavirus-themed attacks, organizations are fighting a never-ending battle with SQL injection attacks. Akamai’s State of The Internet report confirms that between November 2017 and March 2019, over 65% of web attacks vectors comprised of SQL injection attacks.  

SQL injections are a prevalent form of cyberattacks and have been successful in maintaining its spot as number one web application security risks in the OWASP Top 10. The attack first came into existence in the late 1990s. Even though it is a fixable vulnerability, developers sometimes overlook the same. As human error is inevitable, a comprehensive incident handling plan with a dedicated incident response for SQL injection is much needed than ever before. 

In this blog, we will help you to detect an ongoing SQL injection attack and how to recover from its ill-effects. 

How to detect SQL injection attacks? 

The mitigation of SQL injection (SQLi) attacks is not a challenging task, yet developers make mistakes. Thus, detection becomes significant for minimizing the destructive impact of SQLi attacks. For early detection and elimination of the basic form of the attack, install a web application firewall (WAF). Ensure that WAF can’t be the sole preventive solution to combat the SQL injection attack. 

Along with WAF, equip your security system with both host- and network-based Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). These solutions are highly capable of detecting the SQLi attacks. While a network-based IDS monitors the established connections with the database server, a host-based IDS keeps a keen eye on web server logs. Regardless of the solutions, the concerned professionals will be alerted whenever a suspicious activity comes under the radar. After this, the security team can work on recovering from the attack. 

Watch Jaime Manteiga, a dynamic Information Security Professional and Researcher, explain what makes web applications vulnerable to cybercriminals and how organizations can team up to combat it: 

How to recover from SQL injection attacks? 

As a crucial phase of incident response, organizations must consider the recovery of the affected devices. The team can either use disaster recovery solutions or log shipped databases. The first option ensures data retrieval through backups, while the other focuses on identifying and correcting the data. Here, we will help you understand the pros and cons of both the recovery solutions. 

Recovery Methods  Pros  Cons 
Using backup restoration 
  • It is a simple and quick way to go back online only if the organization is assured that the backed-up data is free from the attack.  
  • If the enterprise is not sure about its backup being free from attack, then it could lead to massive data loss. 


Using data correction analysis 


  • For SQL Server, it is easy to FIND and REPLACE values. By using data correction analysis, the incident team can conveniently identify and correct the table values. 
  • It is recommended to execute a database backup before the team starts replacing the data on a server. 

To choose the correct approach, organizations need a skilled incident handler. EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (E|CIH) offers the easiest, yet most comprehensive methods to handle a security incident. It trains you to gain the required skills in a real-time environment. The program deals with all the stages and phases of incident handling, including planning, recording and assignment, triage, notification, containment, evidence gathering and forensic analysis, eradication, recovery, and post-incident activities. Join the E|CIH program today to build incident handling skills that are high in-demand.


What is SQL injection example
A few of the common SQL injection examples include retrieving hidden data using malicious SQL queries, UNION attacks, subverting application logic, and various others.

Read more: What is an SQL Injection Attack? How Can You Prevent It?

What is SQL injection used for?

SQL injection is a practice of introducing malicious code to an authentic program. It is used to manipulate data-driven applications that rely on SQL statements and accept data inputs for performing desired operations.

Read more: Most Common Cyber Vulnerabilities Part 1 (Injection Flaws)

How do SQL injections work?

Under SQL injection, threat actors inject a malicious SQL query as user input. This technique exploits the vulnerability present in the database layer of an application.

Read more: 6 Most Feared Web Application Attacks and How to Beat Them – Part 2 (Injection)

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