OPI PIB enjoys cost-effective data security with Oracle

Poland’s National Information Processing Institute improves data security, audits user activity, and meets GDPR requirements with Oracle Data Safe.

Data is our biggest asset, which is why we have decided to use Oracle Data Safe for our most critical IT systems. By deploying Oracle Data Safe we obtained a complete on-premises database security tool for a fraction of the cost of other security products.

Emil PodwysockiHead of the Laboratory of Databases and Business Analytics Systems, National Information Processing Institute

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Business challenges

Located in Warsaw, the National Information Processing Institute of Poland (Ośrodek Przetwarzania Informacji, OPI PIB) is a public interdisciplinary scientific and research institute that develops intelligent information systems for supporting higher education and general science in Poland. The Institute is supervised by the country’s Ministry of Education and Science.

Some of the Institute’s research activities in the field of computer science include machine learning, algorithms such as natural language processing, sentiment analysis, neural networks, human-computer trust (HCT), computer-assisted decision-making systems, and artificial intelligence, which are highly reliant on data.

To best serve its scope and its highly demanding  users, the Institute counts on a complex on-premises environment, which aside from Oracle Database, also includes MongoDB and PostgreSQL for storing terabytes of personally identifiable sensitive data such as students’ and scientists’ names, dates of birth, and ID numbers.

The Institute needed a data masking solution to replace this critical data with fictitious data in development and test environments to improve the security of its databases and stay compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Institute also needed a solution for database activity auditing.

Why National Information Processing Institute chose Oracle

Oracle Data Safe proved to be much less expensive than competing database security solutions that required either expensive software licensing and support or complex deployments with numerous requirements for on-premises system resources.

The Institute confidently chose Oracle Data Safe because it was already using Oracle technology like an on-premises Oracle Database, Oracle Data Integrator, Oracle OCI GoldenGate, Oracle Business Intelligence, and Oracle Data Guard.

Results

By deploying Oracle Data Safe in its IT environment, the Institute was able to address a variety of GDPR requirements, including for comprehensive data masking, and mitigating both intentional and unintentional security breaches of its information systems.

“Currently we manage 40 instances of Oracle Database (on-premises) with 20 TB of data. Our largest databases contain approximately 2 TB of data.

Every day, our systems collect and process a wide range of data related to science and higher education,” says Emil Podwysocki, head of the Institute’s Laboratory of Databases and Business Analytics Systems.

With Oracle Data Safe, the Institute benefited from a unified cloud-based security tool for its on-premises databases at a fraction of the cost of alternative on-premises security solutions.

“There is just a small surcharge since our databases are in our own data center. In Oracle Cloud, the service would even be part of the Oracle Database. But we stay on-premises, and still Oracle Data Safe is so much less expensive than the other solutions. The price was the true game changer,” says Podwysocki.

Oracle Data Safe also provided the Institute with comprehensive auditing functionalities for its IT systems, including a detailed overview of user activity through routine data usage checks of database management systems.

“Data auditing is, besides data masking, the most important security element for us. We need to know who had access to the data, when that access occurred, and if the user had the correct privileges. We now have that information,” says Podwysocki.

Considering the complex database environment of the National Information Processing Institute, with three databases, the implementation process went smoothly.

Prior to the deployment of Oracle Data Safe, a proof of concept was conducted. “The solution’s ease of implementation, coupled with the strong support we received from Oracle’s project management team, made the project successful and helped us benefit rapidly from the full functionality of Oracle Data Safe,” says Podwysocki.

Published:January 17, 2022