Oracle designs database vault to secure data

Oracle Corp. is readying a new add-on to its enterprise database software that will give users more control over how their data is accessed. Called Database Vault, the software will be introduced Wednesday at Oracle’s Collaborate 06 User Group Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The product includes new security mechanisms that can be used to place further restrictions on what certain privileged users, such as database administrators (DBAs), can do, said Wynn White, senior director of security and identity management with Oracle. “What we’re announcing here is the industry’s first database security solution to restrict superuser and privileged user access,” he said.

Administrators typically require special privileges on the database for technical reasons, but as companies have become more aware of the threat and frequency of insider attacks, some customers are looking for ways to rein in their DBAs, White said. “Generally, that person has the keys to the entire kingdom of your data store,” he said.

Database Vault can place restrictions on what data is available to users, depending on a variety of factors, such as the Internet Protocol address being used, the machine being accessed, or what time of day the request is being made. This can make it impossible, for example, for an administrator to make a database change from outside the firewall.

Additionally, Database Vault will include about three dozen standard reports that will provide information on who has what privileges, as well as logs of who has been accessing the database and when. This kind of information that can be used by companies to help establish regulatory compliance, White said.

A Linux version of Database Vault will ship within 30 days, with support for other operating systems being gradually delivered over the next six months, White said.

The software will work with Oracle Database 10g Release 2 and later versions. It will be priced at either US$20,000 per CPU or $400 per user, depending on what the customer prefers.

Also set to be announced Wednesday is Oracle Secure Backup, tape backup and encryption software that is specially designed to work with Oracle’s database and Enterprise Manager software.

Available as of Wednesday for Oracle 9i and higher products, the software will cost $3,000 per tape drive.

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