Database security is the use of a wide variety of tools to protect large virtual data storage units. The field is made up of several different components. Different areas of database security include protecting the data itself (data level security), the applications used to process and store data, the physical servers, and even the network connections that allow users to access databases (system level security).
Databases have been largely secured against hackers through network security measures such as firewalls, and network-based intrusion detection systems. While network security controls remain valuable in this regard, securing the database systems themselves, and the programs/functions and data within them, has arguably become more critical as networks are increasingly opened to wider access, in particular access from the Internet. Furthermore, system, program, function and data access controls, along with the associated user identification, authentication and rights management functions, have always been important to limit and in some cases log the activities of authorised users and administrators.