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Oracle enhances cloud security with integrated threat management

By Shannon Williams
Wed 1 Jun 2022

Oracle is expanding the built-in security services and capabilities of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to help customers protect their cloud applications and data against emerging threats. 

Five new capabilities round out OCIs already comprehensive security offering, including a new built-in and cloud-native firewall service and enhancements to Oracle Cloud Guard and Oracle Security Zones. These innovations will further help ensure that organisations can easily secure their cloud deployments and applications with simple, prescriptive, and integrated services that in most cases, do not require additional investment. 

As organisations across industries, from financial services to retail, move mission-critical workloads to the cloud, they must defend against security vulnerabilities from inside and outside the firewall that are resulting in more breaches and exposed data. For example, highlighting threats that originate from inside a company, Gartner estimates that through 2023, at least 99 percent of cloud security failures will be the customers fault. To overcome this challenge, cloud users and administrators are now expected to know how cloud security services work, configure them correctly, and maintain their cloud deployments.

"Organisations are just as confident critical applications and data can be safely hosted in a cloud environment as they are on-premises," says Jay Bretzmann, security program director, IDC.

"So, the question becomes one of best fit; OCIs cloud infrastructure design and new security services are very purposeful and prescriptive based on the hindsight of other cloud options in the market and complexities and lack of automation other providers customers encounter," he says.

"Oracle has now made cloud security easy to consume and affordable for its customers."

New OCI Security Innovations

Oracle has made security foundational and built-in for OCI customers to help them address regulatory compliance requirements, stay on top of security threats and concerns, and prevent security-related outages. Oracle is expanding its cloud security capabilities to provide multiple layers of defense to help identify and defeat emerging threats and security violations quickly. 

New capabilities include: 

OCI Network Firewall: Provides centralised protection against cyberattacks across OCI with a new cloud-native, managed firewall service that is powered by industry-leading Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Next-Generation Firewall technology (NGFW). The firewall provides security controls, threat prevention, and mitigation features, including custom URL filtering, intrusion prevention and detection (IDS/IPS), and TLS inspection for inbound, outbound, and lateral traffic to customer workloads hosted on OCI. With OCI Network Firewall, customers can quickly turn on and secure their applications and cloud environment with firewall features and scale their security across their cloud deployment. OCI Network Firewall is available as a turn-key offering to enable customers to immediately take advantage of the firewall without the need to configure and manage additional security infrastructure. 

Oracle Threat Intelligence Service: Aggregates threat intelligence data across different sources and manages this data to provide actionable guidance for threat detection and prevention in Oracle Cloud Guard and other OCI services. This service provides insights from Oracles own unique telemetry, open source feeds such as abuse.ch and Tor exit relays, and third-party partners, such as CrowdStrike.

Oracle Cloud Guard Threat Detector: Identifies misconfigured resources, insecure activity across customer environments, and potential malicious threat activities. It provides security administrators with the visibility to triage and resolve cloud security issues. Security inconsistencies can be remediated automatically with out-of-the-box Cloud Guard security recipes to effectively scale the security operations centre.

Oracle Security Zones: Expands Oracle Security Zones with support for customer-defined policy sets and integrated security posture monitoring with Cloud Guard. Now customers can create custom security zone policy sets to prevent actions that could weaken a customers security posture. Security Zone policies can be applied to various cloud infrastructure types (e.g., network, compute, storage, database, etc.) to ensure cloud resources stay secure and prevent security misconfigurations. Users determine which policies are appropriate for their needs by defining custom security zone policy sets. OCI enforces Security Zone policies as an integrated platform feature that supports a growing number of adjacent OCI Security services. In contrast to IAM permissions, which are associated with people, Security Zone policies act as security guardrails for resources and define allowable configurations.

Oracle Cloud Guard Fusion Applications Detector: Extends Oracle Cloud Guard beyond cloud security posture management for OCI to also monitor Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications and provide customers with a consolidated view of security policies. Available first for Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management and Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning, Oracle Cloud Guard Fusion Applications Detector provides pre-configured and customised configurations or recipes to monitor potential security violations in the applications. Detectors trigger alerts on sensitive configuration changes related to user privileges that impact important data access, including adding, deleting, or modifying data and function privileges for roles and users, as well as changes to sensitive objects.  

"Oracle has decades of experience guiding customers to secure their valuable data and applications in the cloud and on-premises," says Mahesh Thiagarajan, senior vice president, Security and Developer Services, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. 

"With OCI Network Firewall, powered by industry-leading Palo Alto Networks, we are bringing the ecosystem closer to the platform," he says. 

"These latest innovations, combined with our existing offerings, provide organisations with a comprehensive set of cloud security services that lower the barrier to secure customer cloud environments and help them more easily identify potential vulnerabilities."

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