Imperva Audits Pooled Database Connections

New SecureSphere features match users with actions on shared SQL connections, helping businesses meet compliance needs.

Imperva is expanding its database auditing abilities to enable IT administrators to track changes to the database that occurred via pooled connections.

Officials at the Foster City, Calif.-based company said they added the new functionality—dubbed SQL Connection User Tracking—Oct. 22 to their SecureSphere Database Security Gateway and SecureSphere Database Monitoring Gateway products to aid enterprises with compliance requirements. PCI (Payment Card Industry) regulations, officials said, require assigning a unique ID to each person before allowing them to access system components or cardholder data and mandates all access to network resources and cardholder data be tracked and monitored.

The point of connection pooling is normally to increase the efficiency of database usage—less setup and tear down of database connections equals less load on the database, said Mark Kraynak, senior director of strategic marketing for Imperva. In addition, many commercial applications use connection pooling and enterprises dont have control over the way that application code is written, he said.


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"[SecureSphere] requires that the application making the pooled connection include some user identifier on the connection," he said. "There are a variety of ways the application can include user identity in the SQL connection. A simple example would be to include at the end of every query an additional SQL predicate that contained the users identity. A less simple example would be that the application might set a bind variable to the users identity in the beginning of the operations on behalf of that user and then set the bind variable to a new identity when the context switches to another user."

For packaged applications, Imperva can provide this information with pre-configured templates; in the case of custom apps, the user will have to understand how user data is passed by the application and configure the SQL Connection User Tracking mechanism with this information.

For Web applications with pooled connections to databases, SecureSphere links each interaction with the Web application and its associated event in the database to the actual end-user.

"Were seeing a strong driver in our customer base for nailing down user accountability," Kraynak said. "For example, not all customers can deploy in such a way to allow Impervas Web to Database User Tracking mechanism to have access to both the application and database connection. In this scenario, SQL Connection User Tracking provides a deployment alternative."


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