Database Insider Edition
April 2010

Information InDepth


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Absa Steps Up Compliance with Oracle Database Security Solutions

One of South Africa’s largest financial services groups, the Absa Group Limited (Absa), a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, needed to comply with local and global compliance requirements. They turned to Oracle for a complete data security solution.

"Oracle Database Vault provides a security solution inside the Oracle Database, which enables our existing applications to comply with these and possibly future regulations without much customization,” says Premlin Pillay, head of group information services at Absa.

Using Oracle Database Vault, Pillay says, Absa now has preventative controls to restrict unauthorized access to sensitive data by its users as well as to restrict when, where, and how the databases and customer and transaction data can be accessed. Multiple factors such as IP address and authentication methods are used in a flexible and adaptable manner to enforce authentication without access.

A Solid Audit Trail
Absa also required a solution to monitor access to sensitive information. They decided on Oracle Audit Vault. “Oracle Audit Vault transparently collects consolidated audit data and provides valuable insight into who did what to which data at any given time,” says Arthur Britz, the head of the data warehouse department, in Group Information Services. "These Oracle Audit Vault reports, alert notifications and centralized audit policies reduce risks dramatically as access to data is strictly controlled,” says Britz. “Privileged administrators cannot view or modify audit data and even auditors are prevented from modifying the data.”

Absa and Oracle Solutions
Pillay says that collectively, the Oracle solutions will give Absa a good foundation in ensuring that the data stored in the enterprise data warehouse is secure from unauthorized access and therefore compliant with regulatory requirements related to data security and data privacy.

"But it’s also more than that. It’s not just compliance for the sake of compliance but also the value we can add in through compliance, such as determining high-value items in the database, the usage patterns of our data, and reducing the cost of managing data,” Pillay says.

“We continue to align ourselves with Oracle's industry-strength solutions because we believe they have a holistic and comprehensive strategy and a vested interest in our business—that is what we require for our business,” he concludes.

Learn More

Learn more about Absa and its choice of Oracle solutions.

Find more Oracle Database Security customer stories.

Get your own Database Security Resource Kit.

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