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5/20/2010
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Oracle To Acquire Firewall Maker Secerno

The Secerno DataWall firewall appliance inspects commands, logs activities, and issues alerts to protect Oracle and other database systems.

Oracle announced Thursday that it will acquire Secerno, a supplier of firewalls that work to protect both Oracle and heterogeneous database systems. No price was given for the privately held company, located in Oxford, England. The deal is expected to close before the end of June, Oracle officials said.

Oracle already offers a set of products that protect internal operations of its systems. Secerno offers an additional external layer of protection, said Andrew Mendelsohn, senior VP of database server technologies. The Secerno DataWall firewall appliance inspects commands and SQL queries to the database to make sure they don't contain bogus commands or represent an imposter making inappropriate demands.

According to information posted on the Secerno Web site, DataWall can be configured to block activity based on user profile, domain name, application, or program type originating a command. It blocks in real time ineligible or illegitimate activity.

The April 27 announcement of release 4.2 of DataWall cites a Forrester Research report, "Data Security Predictions for 2010," from December 2009 as saying "inappropriate access by over-privileged employees continues to be a simmering security issue."

The rack-mount appliance also logs activities and issues alerts. An activity log allows any intrusive activity to be traced back to its initiator and a forensic record of the incident to be created.

"The Secerno acquisition is in direct response to increasing customer challenges around mitigating database security risk," said Mendelsohn in the announcement. "Secerno's database firewall product acts as a first line of defense against external threats and unauthorized internal access with a protective perimeter around Oracle and non-Oracle databases. Together, Oracle's complete set of database security solutions and Secerno's technology will provide customers with the ability to safeguard their critical business information."

Steve Hurn, CEO of Secerno, said in the announcement, "Secerno is a natural addition to Oracle. Secerno has been providing enterprises and their IT Security departments strong assurance that their databases are protected from attacks and breaches."

A Secerno firewall brain trust will be added to the Oracle staff to provide continued expertise in development of the product, he said.

Oracle's existing products include Oracle Advanced Security, Oracle Database Vault, and Oracle Audit Vault. They protect against internal threats, ensure data privacy, and enable audits of database operations, a regulatory compliance feature.

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