Five Thoughts on Oracle Security


Five different security related posts to which I have contributed on dba.stackexchange.com. I did not necessarily provide the accepted answer for these, but felt that the questions posed were interesting enough to warrant a mention.

How To Do It In Parallel


I just came across an interesting question on the Stack Exchange forum, where a user was asking how to execute a set of PL/SQL procedures in parallel with each other. There really isn't a construct in PL/SQL to accomplish this. That is not to say that it can't be done, however...

Top STIG – Part 6 (OS Accounts)


The final installment in my series on CAT I STIG controls is all about the use (or not) of the server operating system accounts that support the Oracle database. Two controls address the use of and access to the Oracle software installation account, and one addresses the privileges associated with individual user accounts for DBAs. … Continue reading Top STIG – Part 6 (OS Accounts)

Top STIG – Part 3 (Software Support)


The next CAT I STIG control in this series is less technical and more about policy. Like all of the others, however, it requires the DBA to be aware of things beyond their immediate day to day workload, and involved in the planning, design, and development of the system technology stack...

Top STIG – Part 2 (Obscuring Credentials)


Applications must obscure feedback of authentication information; when using command-line tools such as Oracle SQL*Plus, which can accept a plain-text password, users must use an alternative logon method that does not expose the password.

Automatically Protecting PII Data Columns with Transparent Data Encryption


What if you have a lot of potential PII data and you need to enforce some additional safeguards on it? How do I make this information actionable, and better yet how do I automate that action as much as possible?

APEX Patches and NLS_LENGTH_SEMANTICS


I'm going to post this as a reminder to myself as much as anything else. A couple of times - most recently this week - I've had to apply patches for Oracle APEX into various databases that I work with and received the following error almost as soon as the apxpatch.sql script started to run: … Continue reading APEX Patches and NLS_LENGTH_SEMANTICS

The Frustrated DBA


While perusing recent postings on the Ask Tom web site, I chanced across this one, entitled "Frustrated DBA", in which John asks the following question: "Is it just me or does doing the "typical DBA" tasks like installing, patching, backing up, checking backups, monitoring databases, creating users, checking space and other mundane tasks get boring … Continue reading The Frustrated DBA

How to Load Large WebSheets into APEX


A few years ago I started keeping most of my system documentation in APEX websheets. It's great for keeping things organized and readily available no matter how I'm accessing my work network (on-site, VPN, etc.). A lot of my installation documents have embedded screenshots, and the png files are attached to the websheet as annotations. … Continue reading How to Load Large WebSheets into APEX

APEX Mystery Solved


I have used Oracle APEX in various capacities since version 3. Since Oracle introduced their packaged applications in version 4 I have played around with most of them from time to time and currently use several of them in my daily work. P-Track, ORAchk, WebSheets and others make my job a lot easier, and the new … Continue reading APEX Mystery Solved

The Database, Your Way


What needs to be done? At this point it is important to stop and consider that if you have read my previous posts in this series and followed all the links that I recommended then you will have read a lot of other people's documentation and best practices. With a little luck you may have … Continue reading The Database, Your Way

License to Drive


What needs to be done? In my last two posts I discussed the rules of the road in relation to designing and implementing an Oracle database information system, and how to evaluate compliance and overall security posture. In this post I will discuss the basic Oracle license, which has been known to cause a lot … Continue reading License to Drive

Passing the Test


What needs to be done? In my last post I talked about the legal rules of the road in regards to designing and implementing a database information system, starting from the top level and driving down to the nitty gritty step-by-step hardening instructions, including the STIG. Once the applicable rules are understood, it is important … Continue reading Passing the Test

The Rules of the Road


What needs to be done? Before a driver heads out on the road, it is important for him or her to know the rules. Not just common sense stuff like "don't drive on the wrong side of the road", but the actual rules and laws that govern what you're about to do, like obeying a … Continue reading The Rules of the Road

Connection Manager Auto Start


I love Oracle's Connection Manager for its proxy filtering of Oracle Net connections, but it has one major flaw: it isn't integrated into Oracle's Cluster Ready Services (CRS) or Oracle Restart at all. When configured securely, Connection Manager requires a manually entered password to perform most maintenance and administrative functions, including startup and shutdown. If … Continue reading Connection Manager Auto Start

Software Version Support


Two DB Installation STIG items relate to the version of Oracle software in use: Rule Title: Vendor supported software is evaluated and patched against newly found vulnerabilities. STIG ID: DG0001-ORACLE11 Rule ID: SV-24339r1_rule Vuln ID: V-5658 Severity: CAT I Discussion: Unsupported software versions are not patched by vendors to address newly discovered security versions. An … Continue reading Software Version Support

Thoughts on the DISA Database STIG


Years ago I was fortunate enough to be a contributing author to the original DISA Database Secure Technical Implementation Guide (STIG), which primarily addressed Oracle 7 and 8. Over the years the STIG has changed quite a bit, and I thought it would be interesting to review it piece by piece with some tips and … Continue reading Thoughts on the DISA Database STIG