As another year comes to a close, it’s time for both new year’s resolutions as well as predictions.

On the resolutions front, I hope to be much more active on my blog next year.  As we grow as a company, I seem to have less time for my musings, as I spend more time with customers and those we hope will become customers.  Overall, it’s a good problem to have…

As far as predictions go, this is always dangerous ground.  A year from now, someone will undoubtedly come back and point out that I really missed some major new trend, or called one that never came to be.  But, these are simply best guesses based on what I’m seeing out there, and I’d be happy to hear from those who have additional trends of their own. You can also read all about it here and here.

Hackers are getting better tools

This one will increase the frequency of attacks, based on several factors:

  • Automation will let good hackers move faster
  • Less skilled hackers will now be able to use more sophisticated attacks
  • Lesser known sites will see more “random” attacks as the tools look for vulnerabilities instead of the hackers targeting specific companies and finding a way in

More attacks will be based on outsiders turned insider

As the perimeter defenses become better, most companies have continued to neglect the risk of the privileged insider.  So, the easy money may go to alternative approaches to getting insider access.  Bribery and even extortion come to mind, but so does getting hired as a consultant or even an employee, mainly to get at the data.

I also put drive-by malware attacks in this category, as the unsuspecting user simply browsing a site lets malware in that attacks from the inside.

Organizations will focus on minimizing surface area of attack

The less content you have, the easier it is to lock it down.  Just as the e-Discovery era brought about email retention policies, we’re beginning to see people deleting sensitive records as soon as they are no longer needed, reducing the information at risk.  At the same time, tools like tokenization will limit the number of databases with actual information to just one, while apps only store pointers.  By securing the one live repository (I’d recommend Sentrigo for this of course!), you’re now protected.

Databases finally make it to the cloud

There’s been much noise about the cloud, but so far I haven’t seen many customers putting business critical apps, with sensitive data, in the cloud.  One reason has certainly been concern about data security (and compliance).  With solutions like Hedgehog, you can deploy a small sensor that gets installed whenever and wherever the cloud provider puts your database, and it is just as secure as in your own datacenter.  And you can monitor the admins at the provider as well.  As companies get comfortable with these technologies, critical databases will move to the cloud.

Compliance will remain a “bare minimum” effort

Not so much a new trend, but I expect in the continuing difficult economy, we will still see most companies investing the least amount possible to comply with regulations, rather than taking an approach of what they consider best practices to secure data.  Thus, we’ll still see breaches of “compliant” companies, and as a result there will be pressure on auditors to enforce more strictly, and pressure on regulators to update standards to fill commonly exploited gaps.  To stay on top of this, flexibility will be required.

So, here they are. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Well, Oracle OpenWorld came and went. As usual, I hardly had any time to attend sessions. The one really cool session I attended ( besides my own 🙂 ) was by Tanel Poder talking about troubleshooting Oracle when the Oracle instrumentation does not work. See his blog for details. I really loved his straight forward low level no-nonsense way of analyzing the problems at hand. Besides that, I attended some sessions about Oracle security which were OK but nothing extraordinary.

I also gave my own presentation about the insider threat to organizations. This time, besides showing some ways an insider can break into the database (from nothing to DBA in 5 simple steps) I also presented a customer story of a large Israeli insurance company and how they are trying to solve the threat to the database by creating a few simple rules. I believe that the session was very well received. Thanks to all who attended and participated.

Also, since I am now considered a local (been here for 2 months) I was expected to show all my Israeli friends coming to the conference some nice sites in the neighbourhood. I took them to Napa valley on Saturday to visit some wineries and drink local wines. To tell the truth, it was my first time there as well.

I must say that being in Oracle OpenWorld as a local is very different from flying to San Francisco from Israel. The feeling is different. Instead of going to parties at night and drinking lots of beer I drove home to the family. And, I actually prefer it this way 🙂

See you all next year, it was fun!

Just wanted to share with you a secret Hedgehog project I’ve been working on for almost two years. You can see a picture below.

Tohar the Hedgehog