Harden Your Oracle Database Security

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Because databases contain organizations’ most sensitive and regulated information, they are prime targets for today’s advanced threats. Compromise of a single Oracle Database instance can result in millions of breached records, costing your organization millions of dollars in compliance failure fines. Developing and implementing an Oracle security strategy is critical to hardening your Oracle data protection, and enabling data encryption is just the first step. You also need to stay on top of database activity, control access to structured data and production databases, audit changes to data and permissions, and much more. Only with these comprehensive measures in place, you can minimize the risk of privilege escalation and abuse, detect and block threats before they result in costly breaches, and improve compliance reporting by consolidating audit data from multiple databases into a single pane of glass.

Key strategies for implementing Oracle Database security

Before we jump into Oracle Database security options and talk about tools that can simplify your life, let’s review the areas you need to pay attention to in order to ensure Oracle data protection:

  • Stay on top of database users.  Effective user account management begins the moment you grant them permissions and create password policies.
  • Apply layered authentication methods. With authentication implemented both on the database level and on the server level, you can verify the identity of users or database administrators more securely, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Gain control over privileges and roles. To safeguard your highly critical information from the risk of privilege abuse, you need to restrict user access to data by properly assigning permissions and user roles.
  • Enable application security. Make sure you incorporate your application security into your security policies and keep an eye on any changes to those policies.
  • Ensure complete user session information.  Being aware of user activity during every session enables you to spot, investigate and block suspicious activity faster.
  • Establish strict data access control. You need to track both successful and failed logons and control data access events across all of your Oracle databases in order to secure your structured data from unnecessary and unauthorized access.
  • Encrypt your data. Use encryption keys that help you encode your data when they are sent outside of your databases, thereby protecting it from exfiltration. However, don’t think that encryption will solve your access control problems.
  • Audit all database activities. Stay abreast of changes to database objects, roles and permissions, as well as all successful and failed logon attempts, so you can detect and remediate threats faster.

Using Oracle database security tools to protect data

To strengthen Oracle SQL security and mitigate security risks, you need to stay on top of activity across your databases. You can use native tools to enable SQL statement change auditing and track failed logon attempts. However, this option requires manually writing scripts and exporting audit trail records into Excel or other formats in order to view audit data about database activity — a task that will easily devour your precious time.

If your budget is not strictly limited, another option is to splurge on Oracle Database security solutions from Oracle, such as Oracle Audit Vault or Advanced Security. However, these tools can’t deliver the security you need across your whole IT environment. While Oracle Audit Vault can gather auditing information from remote databases, it won’t show you a unified trail of all security-related activity across the board beyond Oracle Database; for instance, if an attacker tries to get into your IT infrastructure by compromising other systems, such as Windows Server, you won’t get much transparency here. Advanced Security will encrypt your data at rest, but encryption is only a small piece of the database security puzzle.

Shielding your critical assets with Oracle Database security software from Netwrix

The right solution has to tick many boxes. It should minimize the chance that suspicious activity will go unnoticed and put your data at risk — and also simplify daily tasks, require few resources to run, and not cost you a pretty penny.

Meet the game changer. Netwrix provides a unified platform for supervising activity and user behavior across all your assets, not just Oracle Database. Why is this critical? Because attacks can be complicated. An attacker might first gain access to your network, then sneak into your DB server, and then take over the SYS password and access your data. Netwrix provides more visibility into this whole chain of events than native tools can.

Netwrix Auditor for Oracle Database helps you gain peace of mind and keeps you informed about what’s going on across your Oracle Databases with its comprehensive security features. The solution enables you to:

  • Get 360-degree visibility into suspicious logins; changes to permissions, database objects and more; and data access events, so you can uncover threats and harden data security.
  • Slash time on reporting with predefined, ready-to-use reports, as well as compliance reports aligned with the requirements of PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, FISMA/NIST, CJIS, GDPR and other regulations. Easily subscribe to any of the reports that you find most important and get them on the schedule you set.
  • Spot and chase down unsanctioned activity, such as the alteration or deletion of a database, faster with the Interactive Search feature.
  • Be the first one to know about critical activity, such as multiple failed logons or changes to roles, with alerts on threat patterns.
  • Stress no more about where to store your audit data. Now you can keep your audit intelligence securely for years in cost-effective two-tiered (file-based + SQL database) that enables easy access to the audit trail whenever you need it to investigate a security incident or demonstrate compliance.