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Data Manipulation Language

Data Manipulation Language

(also DML)

Data Manipulation Language definition

Data Manipulation Language is an SQL subset that executes commands to modify and manipulate data in relational databases. It is an essential database management component, enabling users and applications to interact with the data. Yet, incorrectly implemented DML commands can pose significant security risks, such as SQL injection, data manipulation, data loss, insider threats, or privilege escalation.

See also: SQL injection, SQL injection scanner

Popular Data Manipulation Language commands

  • SELECT. It retrieves data from one or more database tables based on given criteria.
  • INSERT. It adds new data rows to an existing database table.
  • UPDATE. It modifies existing data in a database table.
  • MERGE. It combines two tables based on pre-specified conditions.
  • REPLACE. It inserts or substitutes a database table row.
  • DELETE. It removes one or more data rows from the table.

Preventing Data Manipulation Language-related security risks

  • Properly sanitize and validate user inputs and use parameterized queries to help you prevent SQL injection attacks.
  • Implement role-based access controls to ensure only authorized users can execute DML commands. We recommend you limit the privileges for database users to only the minimum necessary to run the commands.
  • Log and monitor DML commands to help you detect and protect against suspicious activities in the database.
  • Utilize data encryption, such as TLS, FDE, database, or file-level encryption, to prevent eavesdropping and unauthorized access.
  • Always keep your software up to date with the latest security patches. It will prevent hackers from exploiting your database vulnerabilities.
  • Utilize database segmentation. This way, you can minimize the risk of a potential security breach spreading to the entire database.
  • Implement a backup and recovery plan to assist you if a data breach or loss occurs.
  • Regularly test and audit the database to comply with industry standards and regulations.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security