The DBA World

The DBA World
The real world is not perfect, and in the real world DBAs sometimes encounter real problems. There are pressures and problems that cannot always be answered by Oracle database features. See if you share some of these pains, and find out why Core Audit is what you were looking for.

Pressures & Problems

In a perfect world, you’ll have complete control over your database. No one else will have access, and you can do things as you see fit. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and things don’t exactly work that way in reality.
There are many pressures on DBAs to do things they don’t want to, have to time, or think it’s a good idea to.
  • Compliance – For many Oracle databases, there’s this pain in the neck called “compliance”. Managers and auditors want to see reports about who did what, and when things happened
  • Access – There’s always people that you need to give access to. Data analysts, contractors, out-sourced support, etc. You really want to know what all these people are doing once you give them access
  • Shared Accounts – The application account password is known to too many people and hasn’t changed in years. Who is using that account besides the application and what for?
  • Change Control – Change control scripts sometimes need to be deployed quickly, and you don’t always have time to review what development is up to
  • Outside Change Control – Sometimes things need to be fixed quickly and it’s not realistic to wait for the change control process and approval. Unfortunately, not all these things get documented in change control afterwards
  • Unexplained Phenomena – On occasion, you notice things that you can’t explain. A time stamp on a table changed and no one touched it. Permissions that disappeared, passwords that reset.. Mysterious things happen, and it would be good to know how
  • Trust Worthy – Sometimes we just don’t trust someone, and can’t explain why. This becomes a bigger problem when they get access to Oracle production. It’s a very good idea to be able to keep an eye on them

Existing Solutions

Oracle DBAs spend many days looking for solutions to these issues. The basic problem is that the Oracle database simply wasn’t designed to handle this. If you ever tried to tackle these problems yourself, you probably experimented with some of these:
  • System triggers – to monitor or prevent logons and DDLs
  • DML triggers – to monitor DML (insert/update/delete) on sensitive tables
  • Session Auditing – to monitor logons and failed logons
  • Full Auditing – to record all the database activity. That probably didn’t last very long as the Oracle database crawled to a halt
  • Fine Grained Auditing – to selectively monitor activity by certain users or on certain tables. After a few days of tuning to balance auditing and performance, you probably stopped using it
While these solutions give partial visibility in some cases, they cannot give you a complete picture of what’s going on without impacting database performance. To get a complete picture you need a different capture technology (see Core Audit Full Capture).
Additionally, the data from all these monitors ends up in flat files or Oracle tables. As such, it is extremely hard to review, analyze, or retain for long periods of time.

Core Audit

What you need is a solution with various technologies that has:
  • Full Capture to collect all the database activity without impacting performance (low overhead)
  • Analyze & Store capabilities for secured long term retention
  • Easy installation and usage. Can Generate all the reports for auditors and managers without your involvement
  • See what people are doing in real time, or go and review activity after the fact
  • Alert you when someone does something they are not supposed to
This is Core Audit.

What's next?

I want to know more about Core Audit!
Great! Here are a few options:
  • Read more about Core Audit features, reports, etc.
  • Try our Online Demo and play with Core Audit right now
  • Ask for a Personal Demo from one of our experts and get all your questions answered
  • Download a Free Trial and experience Core Audit on your systems
I only want more information, not a product
Not a problem, here is a list of relevant pages, and we are always available to answer any question
  • Big Brother is watching – is that a bad thing? – Read
  • Take Control of your Oracle database – Read
  • Real performance of Oracle database auditing – Read
  • Advanced SQL attacks against Oracle databases – Read
  • SQL attack detection and forensics using Core Audit – Read
  • Oracle database security – strengths and weaknesses – Read
  • Oracle database auditing for DBAs – Read