Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 728-732

Database Security

  • Elena FerrariAffiliated withUniversity of Insubria


Database protection


Database security is a discipline that seeks to protect data stored into a DBMS from intrusions, improper modifications, theft, and unauthorized disclosures. This is realized through a set of security services, which meet the security requirements of both the system and the data sources. Security services are implemented through particular processes, which are called security mechanisms.

Historical Background

Research in database security has its root in operating system security [6], whereas its developments follow those in DBMSs. Database security has many branches, whose main historical developments are summarized in what follows:
  • Access control. In the 1970s, as part of the research on System R at IBM Almaden Research Center, there was a lot of work on access control for relational DBMSs [3]. About the same time, some early work on Multilevel Secure Database Management Systems (MLS/DBMSs) was reported, whereas ...

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