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Using the CIS PostgreSQL Benchmark to Enhance Your Security

August 01, 2018

PostgreSQL security

Crunchy Data recently announced the publication of the CIS PostgreSQL Benchmark by the Center for Internet Security, a nonprofit organization that provides publications around standards and best practices for securing technologies systems. This CIS PostgreSQL Benchmark builds on earlier work that Crunchy started when it helped to publish the PostgreSQL Security Technical Implementation Guide (PostgreSQL STIG) and provides guidance and steps to help secure your PostgreSQL databases.

What is a CIS Benchmark?

A CIS Benchmark is a set of guidelines and best practices for securely configuring a target system. Authoring a CIS Benchmark is a collaborative process as CIS involves considerable peer reviews and discussion before a major version is published, to ensure there is a general consensus on the best practices for deploying a secure system.

Demystifying Schemas & search_path through Examples

March 02, 2018

PostgreSQL security

On March 1, 2018, the PostgreSQL community released version 10.3 and other supported versions of PostgreSQL.  The release centered around a disclosed security vulnerability designated CVE-2018-1058, which is related to how a user can accidentally or maliciously "create like-named objects in different schemas that can change the behavior of other users' queries."

The PostgreSQL community released a guide around what exactly CVE-2018-1058 is and how to protect your databases. However, we thought it would also be helpful to look into what schemas are in PostgreSQL, how they are used under normal operations, and how to investigate your schemas to look for and eliminate suspicious functions.

A PostgreSQL Row Level Security Primer + Creating Large Policies

February 12, 2018

PostgreSQL security

Row Level Security, aka "RLS," allows a database administrator to define if a user should be able to view or manipulate specific rows of data within a table according to a policy. Introduced in PostgreSQL 9.5, row level security added another layer of security for PostgreSQL users who have additional security and compliance considerations for their applications.

At Crunchy Data, we care a lot about data security and supporting PostgreSQL. When we discovered an issue with creating a large row level security policy, we worked to find a workaround that provided a secure outcome but avoided creating a custom fork of PostgreSQL.  As of the publication of this post, the Crunchy Data team is working to address the issue with a patch that will be submitted for inclusion upstream.

To understand the issue and how our team found a solution, I'll first give a quick primer of how row level security works in PostgreSQL.