Oracle says it can now stop hackers from penetrating the cloud with a suite of security tools the company is touting as the only cloud-based solution designed to thwart nation-state actors and malicious cyberattacks like the one at Equifax.
Chairman Larry Ellison introduced what he called a first-of-its-kind cloud-based cybersecurity defense system on Tuesday, drawing on fears stemming from the high-profile Equifax data breach and the continued threat of foreign hackers targeting companies as a selling point for the product.
Data theft, Ellison said, is the industry’s biggest problem, not data center outages. And Oracle’s cloud-native, highly-automated security and management suite called the Oracle Management and Security Cloud will help enterprises, detect and fix cybersecurity threats.
“Companies are losing the cyberwar,” Ellison, the company’s founder and chief technology officer, said at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. “And it gets worse every year.”
Ellison pointed to the Equifax data breach as a prime example of a cyberattack that should have been prevented. Hackers stole information on more than 140 million U.S. customers from the credit-reporting agency after a vulnerability in open-source software was not immediately patched once it was discovered.
And now Equifax, Ellison said, is “a 100 year-old company that’s fighting for its survival” because someone failed to apply a security patch for months.
Ellison said Oracle’s new system would automatically detect event log anomalies and patch the system without taking the database offline. But he drew on the Equifax data breach to drive home a point: companies aren’t taking security seriously enough, despite a plethora of headlines stemming from recent attacks. The end result will be more massive data hacks, he said.
“This is going to get a lot worse, people are going to get a lot better at stealing data,” Ellison said. “We have to get better protected.”
Earlier this week, Ellison used the OpenWorld conference to launch the company’s next salvo in its battle against Amazon by guaranteeing that Oracle’s would offer new database cloud services at half the price of its competitor in the cloud sector. Oracle’s new database, called 18c, is fully autonomous and uses machine-learning algorithms, but the company’s new security defense suite for the cloud is not yet fully automated. But Ellison said the two systems are designed to work together to stop data theft.
“Both of them use machine learning to detect attacks and stop them, real time, after detection,” Ellison said. “The security system detects an anomaly and the database automatically patches itself.”
The new security platform was designed to run in the Oracle cloud but can also manage Oracle Cloud applications in Amazon and other public clouds, along with on-premise infrastructure.
Using pervasive logs generated by database servers, platforms and applications, Oracle’s cloud security tool sifts through piles of data to identify patterns and detect irregularities in those patterns. Users can then sift through the results by creating queries.
This way, Ellison said, if something abnormal happens like high-ranking company employee such as an executive is detected as “logging on in Ukraine, at a military base,” it can be quickly rooted out.
“It can’t be our people against their computers. We’re going to lose that war,” Ellison said. “And make no mistake, it’s a war.”