Friday Nov 08, 2013

Webinar: Effective Planning for Oracle Identity Management 11gR2?

 Is your organization just starting your planning for Identity Management 11gR2?  Are you unsure what the technical and business value gains are, in upgrading to Oracle's 11gR2?  Or are you planning for the upgrade and just unsure of what to expect?

In this webinar, experts from Oracle and AmerIndia will discuss the new features of 11gR2, latest market trends, and how IAM transforms organizations. In addition, planning and implementation strategy of the upgrade process will be discussed. The presenters will also share success stories and highlight challenges faced by organizations belonging to different verticals and how Oracle’s solutions and AmerIndia’s services addressed those challenges.

Topics include:

  • Market trends and 11gR2
  • Planning an upgrade
  • Approach and Implementation Strategy
  • Success stories

Registration is now open for this Webinar for December 5th from 2pm - 3pm EST.


Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

Registration Open Now! Virtual Developer Day: Oracle ADF Development

Is your organization looking at developing Web or Mobile application based upon the Oracle platform?  Oracle is offering a virtual event for Developer Leads, Managers and Architects to learn more about developing Web, Mobile and beyond based on Oracle applications. This event will provide sessions that range from introductory to deep dive covering Oracle's strategic framework for developing multi-channel enterprise applications for the Oracle platforms. Multiple tracks cover every interest and every level and include live online Q&A chats with Oracle's technical staff.  

For Registration and Information, please follow the link HERE

Sign up for one of the following events below

Americas - Tuesday - November 19th / 9am to 1pm PDT / 12pm to 4pm EDT / 1pm to 5pm BRT

APAC - Thursday - November 21st / 10am - 1:30pm IST (India) / 12:30pm - 4pm SGT (Singapore) / 3:30pm -7pm AESDT

EMEA - Tuesday - November 26th / 9am - 1pm GMT / 1pm - 5pm GST / 2:30pm -6:30pm IST

Wednesday Oct 09, 2013

Customer Experience and Trust

Every business is looking to take advantage of the new digital experience to connect with customers. This has become the new strategic imperative of companies all around the world. A recent article in the Sloan Management Review provides some insight into the barriers organizations are facing as they embrace the digital transformation.

For many customers, trust is an important barrier to engaging. Ease of use without security and trust is not enough to get customers to participate. For a more detailed analysis or bedtime reading on how the trust deficit reduces business activity, this Wall Street Journal Article on "How the trust deficit is hurting our economy" provides some good evidence. The net is that our level of economic activity is directly related to our level of trust in the institutions we do business with from banks to retail stores online. 

For many organizations, security and trust are the major barriers to enabling customer participation in the digital revolution.  The video below was recently created by the customer experience campaign to highlight how experience is critical to customer loyalty. 

Friday Oct 04, 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Developing Secure Mobile Applications (CON8902)

As more organizations develop mobile applications that access ever increasing levels of sensitive data, it is critical that standard security policies can be applied, whether coding native, hybrid or mobile browser-based applications. This session, from OpenWord 2013, will teach you how to code your mobile applications to gain access to Oracle's Mobile Access Management services including device registration, authentication, authorization,  step-up authentication and single sign-on. If you missed this, or would like a second opportunity to see this presentation in slide form, join us by checking out "Developing Secure Mobile Applications" today.

Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

The Identity of Everything - CSO Summit Open World

A recent Cisco report estimates by 2020 there will be more than 50 billion devices world wide while the human population will still be under 8 billion people. This short term trend will change the landscape of identity and access management and change the security requirements of enterprises everywhere. While today security executives are concerned with mobile phones and laptops, tomorrow they will be concerned about automobiles, aircraft and projectors on their networks. Each device is a new identity and each user that interacts with the device has a separate context. As a reference, see the paper Identity at Internet Scale Here are some of the new security requirements:

  • Multi-user devices 
  • Dynamic user volumes 
  • User authentication on the device
  • Service availability
  • Encryption of data at rest and in flight
  • Secure container on the device
  • Device authentication
  • User authentication 

The devices themselves will interact very differently since they must now communicate with other devices and humans. Here is a great youtube video that paints a very interesting and perplexing picture of the future.

From the video, a few interesting things happen.

  • The device communication is very personal and follows our social media conventions
  • The devices must trust the people involved in the interaction and people have to trust the devices 
  • The scale of the interaction grows geometrically as more devices and users collaborate

Here are the slides from the recent CSO Summit at Open World. Oracle's approach is a singular platform for all devices that manage device identity and user identity. 

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Leveraging the Cloud to simplify your Identity Management implementation (CON8836)

Applications moved into a managed cloud environment need Identity and Access Management services to ensure user accounts, passwords and roles are all managed properly for the purposes of Security and Audit.  In this session, we’ll discuss the key considerations for a Hosted Private Cloud deployment of Oracle applications integrated with Oracle Identity Management Suite to provide self-service account provisioning and federated Single Sign-on (SSO) for an organization’s internal and external users. You will also hear from a customer on how their key business requirements were addressed with Managed Identity Services from Oracle running at Oracle. This was one of many of highly attended conference sessions at this year's Oracle OpenWorld 2013.  If you missed this, or would like a second opportunity to see this presentation in slide form, join us by checking out "Leveraging the Cloud to simplify your Identity Management implementation " today.

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Next Generation Optimized Directory - Oracle Unified Directory (CON9024)

With new computing technologies to transform business, is your underlying directory infrastructure ready to support mobile, cloud and social networking? How can I simplify my directory architecture but deliver high scalability, availability and performance? How to leverage directory to easily make your applications location aware and social relationship aware?  How do I migrate existing directories to OUD? How to optimize OUD performance on T5/ T4 hardware? This was one of many of highly attended conference sessions at this year's Oracle OpenWorld 2013.  If you missed this, or would like a second opportunity to see this presentation in slide form, join us by checking out "Next Generation Optimized Directory" today.

Monday Sep 30, 2013

ISACA Hosts Webcast w/ David Cusick from Zurich

Access governance has become more complex as regulations have increased and audit controls now span multiple applications. Audit requirements for single applications are simple by comparison to multiple system requirements. As the number of applications increase, streamlining becomes more important. In this session, David Cusick, Group Information Security Director at Zurich Insurance, shares his learning experiences from streamlining access governance. Join David for an encore presentation of this webcast, hosted by ISACA.

Friday Sep 27, 2013

Encore Webcast: Health IT & UPMC Discuss IdM in Healthcare w/ CloudConnect

It is vital that hospitals effectively manage how users are able to access and use information. Effective identity management (IdM) dramatically improves organizational efficiency, reduces the health care providers IT footprint and cost, supports regulatory compliance, improves security, and enables access to emerging technologies such as mobility and patient portals. CloudIdentity provides health care specific identity management capabilities based on Oracle technology and delivered securely via the cloud, allowing hospitals to quickly realize the many benefits of IdM.

John Houston Vice President of Privacy and Information Security, Associate Counsel at UPMC & President of CloudConnect Health IT presents this informative webinar, as he discusses how IdM allows health care organizations to securely unlock the potential of health care IT. Join us for this encore presentation with John Houston!

Monday Sep 23, 2013

Privacy and Security by Design: An Enterprise Architecture Approach by Mark Dixon (Oracle)

Is your organization emphasizing an approach of developing privacy and security within every aspect of your application architecture?  Are you a software developer struggling to understand how to merge privacy and security into your code? Are you a systems integrator working to keep up with the latest regulatory, compliance and privacy needs and how to merge this into your customers?  Or are you a corporate CISO/CIO wanting to understand how your organization should be developing the strongest Privacy and Security processes?

Today, we are pleased to announce publication of a paper entitled “Privacy and Security by Design: An Enterprise Architecture Approach,” written by Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., Information & Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada, and co-authored by Mark Dixon from Oracle.

In the foreword to the paper, Dr. Cavoukian wrote:

In an earlier paper with Oracle, we discussed the convergence of paradigms between the approach to privacy I have long championed called Privacy by Design, and a similar approach to security called ‘Security by Design.’ The current and future challenges to security and privacy oblige us to revisit this convergence and delve deeper. As privacy and security professionals, we must come together and develop a proactive approach to security – one that is indeed “by design.” To this end, I am delighted to be partnering with Mark Dixon, Enterprise Architect, Information Security, at Oracle Corporation, on this joint paper.

This paper has two key objectives:

  • Define a set of foundational “Security by Design” principles that are modelled upon and support the 7 foundational principles of Privacy by Design.
  • Illustrate an enterprise-level process for defining and governing the strategic journey of Security by Design through an enterprise architecture approach.

To achieve these objectives, the paper includes the following major sections:

  • Foundational Principles of Privacy by Design
  • Foundational Principles of Security by Design
  • The Enterprise Security Journey
  • Conclusion

This is a great opportunity to hear some of the best practices being recommended by both Oracle, and leading government agencies to understand how Privacy and Security should be factored in, across the board.

Click on the link, to get access to the Privacy by Design page which is hosting not only the whitepaper, but a great video with Ann Cavoukian, outlining some of what you will learn in this paper. We hope this paper will assist developers, integrators and enterprises to deliver stronger security and better privacy, for all of their stakeholders – a win/win proposition.

Wednesday Sep 18, 2013

OOW 2013 Content: API Management: Enable Your Infrastructure for Secure Mobile and Cloud Use

Is your organization prepared for the expanding roles of mobile & cloud, and the enabling capabilities of REST-based APIs and Web services?

API Management: Enable Your Infrastructure for Secure Mobile and Cloud Use CON8817 will explore how organizations are able to launch mobile and cloud applications with little or no change to their existing systems by leveraging Oracle’s complete mobile access management solution. In addition to presenters from Oracle, this session will also feature Peter Tsatsaronis (nab) and Matt Topper (UberEther, Inc).

Plan on attending this session on:

Tuesday, Sep 24, 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM - @ Moscone West - 2017

Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

OOW 2013 Content: Attract New Customers and Users by Leveraging Bring Your Own Identity (BYOI)

Why do you have so many virtual identities? Most individuals currently have an internet mail identity, several social networking identities, and corporate virtual identities...and don’t really want more identities to manage.

Attract New Customers and Users by Leveraging Bring Your Own Identity (BYOI) CON8834 explores the trend of enabling people to identify themselves by using popular social networking identities to access business services. Presenting in this session will be Vikas Mahajan (AARP), Robert Arnaud (BeachBody) and Jie Yin (Oracle Product Management).

Plan on attending this session on:

Tuesday, Sep 24, 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM - @ Moscone West - 2018

OOW 2013 Content: Securely Enabling Mobile Access for Business Transformation

Online communication has been transformed by the advent of effective mobile computing, and more organizations are providing employee and customer access to services via mobile devices.

Securely Enabling Mobile Access for Business Transformation [CON8896] will review the security and usability concerns that are further compounded by bring your own device (BYOD) policies. In addition to speakers from Oracle, this session will also include presenters Arup Thomas (Verizon Wireless) and Abdullah Togay (Ministry of National Education).

Plan on attending this session on:

Tuesday, Sep 24, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - @ Moscone West - 2018

Saturday Sep 14, 2013

CSO Summit Recordings

If you are attending Leaders Circle this year, be sure to catch the CSO Summit. This year will feature several customer case studies and a panel discussion featuring Mary Ann Davidson, Oracle's CSO and Chris Gavin, Oracle's VP of Information Security. Below are a few links to previous CSO Summit talks that you may find interesting.

CSO Summit Recorded Presentations:

Thursday Sep 12, 2013

Oracle Identity Management Leveraging Oracle's Engineered Systems

Enterprises deploy Information Technology (IT) applications in various ways today. They may use on-premise physical servers, virtualization, private clouds, public clouds, or a combination thereof. In all cases, the main goals include improving the ease of application deployment, increasing system performance, providing security across the enterprise, and ensuring contained costs.

This white paper presents the business benefits of leveraging Oracle’s engineered systems for deploying and running Oracle Identity Management. Click to read

Oracle OpenWorld: Context and Risk-Aware Access Control: Any Device Anywhere

Are you attending Oracle OpenWorld 2013?  What are you doing to manage access to information, from any device, anytime...and from anywhere?

Customers expect consistent levels of service across laptop, tablet, and smartphone, but the very nature of mobile computing introduces a whole new range of security concerns, such as device type and configuration, location, type of connection, data to be accessed, and transactions to be performed. All of these factors are to be evaluated at runtime in an authentication and authorization decision. Essentially, a security system must adapt to changes in context and risk level at the time of the request. This session will help you understand how Oracle’s access management technology intelligently reacts to changes in context across a variety of devices to maximize levels of security and control.  REGISTER NOW for this session at this year's Oracle OpenWorld 2013.  For a complete listing of Security focused tracks at this year's OOW2013, please click HERE

Monday Sep 09, 2013

Webinar: The benefits of adopting cloud-based technologies - Register TODAY!

It is vital that hospitals effectively manage how users are able to access and use information. Effective identity management (IdM) dramatically improves organizational efficiency, reduces the health care providers IT footprint and cost, supports regulatory compliance, improves security, and enables access to emerging technologies such as mobility and patient portals. CloudIdentity provides health care specific identity management capabilities based on Oracle technology and delivered securely via the cloud, allowing hospitals to quickly realize the many benefits of IdM.

Join John Houston Vice President of Privacy and Information Security, Associate Counsel at UPMC & President of CloudConnect Health IT for this informative webinar series, as he discusses how IdM allows health care organizations to securely unlock the potential of health care IT. REGISTER

Identity and Access Management: Coming of Age in Health Care
September 11, 2013
2:00pm EDT/11:00am PDT

The use of IdM allows a health care provider to enforce appropriate access to its health care applications. IdM is also critical to improving efficiency and enabling support for new technologies
like mobility. Attendees will learn how this unique blend of market leading technology and health care identity management expertise will allow your organization to affordably access the many benefits of idM. To join part 1 of this 3 part series, click below to REGISTER:

Friday Aug 23, 2013

Implementing Oracle Identity & Access Governance with Database Security (Deloitte)

As organized cyber-attacks become sophisticated and targeted, organizations, particularly those in the financial and health sectors, have come under strict regulations. The growing security risks from internal and external sources have brought focus on both preventive and detective controls working together to protect data. In this edition of the Oracle IAM blog series, we will take a look at how an organization can leverage Oracle’s Identity and Access Management technologies in conjunction with Oracle’s database security offerings.


Traditionally, encryption has been considered as the required approach to protect information. However, complex information systems have led to implementation of a defense-in-depth approach to database security that includes stronger preventive and detective controls. In addition to encryption, preventive measures should also include restricting access to data within the organization. Compliance requirements on the other hand, have driven adoption of detective controls such as database activity monitoring and auditing. Detective controls complement preventive controls by filtering attempts to connect to the information system, generating activity reports, and help investigations of potential breaches.

A common concern identified in several organizations is the lack of insight about the access users have. This usually stems from multiple points to manually create users and ad-hoc processes, such as a phone call, to grant access to applications. By relying on incoherent manual processes to provide, monitor and audit user access, the organization risks drastic implications on the privacy and integrity of their information. Deloitte approaches this problem by leveraging solutions like Oracle’s IAM stack to pro-actively restrict database access by defining user profiles and centrally managing user life cycle. This, coupled with preventive and detective controls, can offer a holistic approach to securing information.

Separation of Duties

Separation of duties is an important component to managing user access because it separates the responsibility of sensitive tasks into multiple people, so that no one person has all power. Oracle Database Vault, an add-on to Oracle database, protects against insider threats by restricting read/write access to sensitive data. For example, an administrator can be allowed to increase or decrease the size of a table, but given the role, they will be denied read/write access to the contents of the table. By securing access to the data based on multi-factor policies such as application, IP address, and other pre-determined factors, organizations have granular control over what, when, where, and how users can access sensitive data.

Deloitte’s strategy lets the client manage access to its data layer by separating approach vectors, such as internal or external clients, or type of access such as web and mobile applications. Oracle Access Manager helps to control user’s access to web applications, and Oracle Entitlement Server allows administrators to control what a user can see within an application.

Preventive Controls

The first step in this direction is to have a least-privilege approach to endeavor to provide that each user has a base profile giving them minimum access to the database. These profiles can be configured through Oracle Identity Manager (OIM). If a user’s business function requires elevated access, it can be requested. Requests access can be made through a central portal and provisioned automatically through OIM. The requirement for approvals adds a layer of control for the client over what a user can view or modify.

In order to have granular access control, the information stored within the database should be ranked based on sensitivity; this can be achieved by deploying Oracle Label Security (OLS). With OLS in place, only the users with read/write access to sensitive information will be able to interact with the data. By comparing a user’s profile and the level assigned to the data, level based access to data is determined. These data ranks are defined according to the organization’s requirements with the highest level assigned to the most sensitive information. Adding finer security controls, data is put in “compartments” that can have their own levels. For example, the financial compartment can have the highest level ranking.

Detective Controls

As mentioned above, Oracle Database Vault provides security by preventing access. There is a lot that can be done to secure information above the data level. Database defense-in-depth also includes database activity monitoring and auditing. Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall monitor database traffic to detect and block threats. The tools help improve compliance reporting by consolidating audit data from databases, operating systems, directories, and other sources. The following illustration shows how the two can work together:

Logs from the Database Firewall and other systems in the network, can be fed into the Audit Vault. Then, custom and template-driven database activity reports can be generated to help address compliance and regulations.


Deloitte suggests organizations establish a database defense-in-depth strategy that includes multiple layers of both preventive and detective security controls. By logging the entire process of user account creation, granting access, changing roles, and user account termination, the organization has a 360-degree approach to access governance. Detective controls add valuable context for investigations and provide a critical layer of security during a security breach incident. If network firewalls are by-passed, or in the case of an insider threat, preventive controls can offer a strong defense. Since these security controls are granular, they can be effectively configured to limit employees to their day-to-day activities. Identity and access management helps setup work flows for provisioning and defining roles to limit access; this coupled with encryption, activity monitoring and reporting, form a holistic defense-in-depth approach to security and compliance.

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Integrating Identity Management and GRC: Decreasing Risk Across Your Organization (Deloitte)

In this edition of the Oracle IDM blog, we’ll look at a case study for integrating Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11g with Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) as part of an enterprise deployment and an integrated risk management strategy. We will incorporate specific use cases that leverage an integration of the two solutions to address risk and promote operational efficiency for routine tasks such as access requests and certification.  In addition to the primary focus between OIM and GRC, we will also highlight how Oracle E-Business Suites (EBS) roles are defined, synchronized, and provisioned using a combination of these two solutions providing an end-to-end integrated solution of the Oracle “suite.”


When we think about Identity Management, we often relegate it to the IT Security or Infrastructure groups where it is traditionally used to address manual security and administration functions such as creating accounts, e.g., “hire and fire” scenarios, granting additional entitlements, and providing report-outs on information access for audit purposes. As identity systems improved their ability to manage the access they provisioned, it has become clear that there was a powerful relationship between IAM and GRC initiatives to better manager enterprise compliance in an integrated, less redundant fashion.

In many organizations today, GRC initiatives are often spread across multiple infrastructure silos and managed by different business units or IT groups. Tackling the constantly evolving regulatory requirements, coupled with increased business complexity, may present an uphill battle for a compliance department within the organization. Organizations are being asked not only to understand ever-changing global regulations, but also to create appropriate strategies in addressing their GRC needs.

Knowing who has access to what is not only important from a traditional security sense, but is important to financial controls groups being able to attest that financially significant systems have minimal risk through inappropriate access. By integrating Oracle’s GRC and Identity Management platforms and the associated processes, organizations can improve user lifecycle management, continuous monitoring and automated controls enforcement to assist with sustainable risk and compliance management. 

Figure 1 – Solution architecture

Solution Architecture

For a visual reference of the type of integration we are discussing, we have included an overview of how the systems can potentially interact.  In Figure 1, you will notice a typical Human Resource authoritative source system feeds OIM and OIM then provisions to target resources.  What’s different is the call-out to Oracle GRC to perform policy checks.

We won’t reference all of the GRC functionality available in this blog, but will focus on the segregation of duties (SoD) integration and relevant use case. [for detailed instructions on this integration, please see:].    What’s interesting about this integration is OIM is able to leverage the information EBS and GRC already have about the roles that exist.  Using OIM scheduled tasks, we are able to synchronize those roles into OIM so that there is no need to manually build them in OIM.  Moreover, if the roles get end-dated in EBS, OIM reconciliation with EBS will end-date the roles and the related access for the users who have that role assigned with a goal of end-to-end compliance.  Both OIM and GRC offer a web services interface for performing common transactions.  More information about this can be found at

Compliant User Provisioning

In our use case, we will explore how during an access request, a real-time validation can be performed against known SoD conflicts to determine if a role being requested has a conflict.  Through OIM’s Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) workflow functionality, we can include an additional layer of approval if a conflict is presented.  A conflict is often unavoidable and, in many cases, requires a power user from the compliance organization to step in, review the request, and document a mitigating control before accepting.  In this example, we’ll show a request by a Payables Manager for an Invoice Entry EBS role.
As you can see in this process flow, there is cross-functional behavior between the OIM and GRC solutions to identify the SoD violation and apply a mitigating control if required.  Ultimately, OIM manages the provisioning of the role in the end system (EBS in this example) and, therefore, will be able to continually track that entitlement.

There are three take-a-ways from this use case.  With GRC and IAM integration, organizations can:

• Automate provisioning and de-provisioning of business application users, with appropriate authorization and compliance checks.
• Improve the management of enterprise accounts and efficiently produce reports such as “who has access to what.”
• Reduce the cost of compliance by removing the need for after the fact remediation.

In Conclusion

At Deloitte , we see the need to not only install and configure an IAM solution, but to work with our clients to get value out of an enterprise compliance approach.  Solutions can be leveraged in their individual capacity to achieve benefits for an organization, but when organizations leverage cross-platform synergies, such as the ones that Oracle has intentionally created within their OIM and GRC solutions, the sum can become greater than the parts.  An integrated approach to an organization’s IAM and GRC programs can assist in reducing costs and redundancies, and improving value to the organization.

About the Author

Kevin Urbanowicz is a Manager in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Security & Privacy practice with eight years of experience in information technology with a focus on Identity & Access Management (IAM).  He has served primarily in the Oil & Gas sector where he has helped his clients identify the business drivers and build the business case for establishing world-class IAM solutions that maximize IT efficiency and minimize security and compliance risk. 

Wednesday Aug 07, 2013

Oracle IAM in Telematics: A case study in the Automotive Sector (Deloitte)

In this edition of the Oracle Identity Management (IDM) blog, we’ll look at a case study of IDM/IAM in the Automobile Industry and where it plays a significant role in enabling security to support the telematics initiative.  In a broad sense, telematics is the integrated use of telecommunications with information and communications technology. This technology involves sending, receiving and storing information relating to remote objects, such as vehicles, via telecommunication devices.

Using telematics, organizations can monitor the location, movements, status and behavior of a vehicle or fleet. This is achieved through a combination of a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and an electronic Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) device installed in each vehicle, which then communicates with the user and web-based software. In addition to location data, a telematics system can provide a list of your vehicles with the status of each. You can see when a vehicle is started up and shut down, as well as its idling status, location and speed. This information gives organizations a complete, up-to-the-minute knowledge of vehicle activities in one centralized, web-based interface. All of this information can help:

• Increase productivity
• Improve communications
• Reduce labor costs
• Control fuel costs
• Improve customer service
• Increase fleet safety and security
• Reduce operating expenses
• Reduce environmental impact
• Reduce unauthorized vehicle use

In addition to these benefits, various legislative resolutions and mandates, such as the resolution passed by the European parliament stipulating that all new cars must be fitted with a GPS system and GSM communication links, are driving the implementation of telematics to a large scale. 

While telematics gives organizations all the above mentioned flexibility and benefits, it is prone to the same security challenges as usage of services on the web. Think about a situation where someone gets hold of a mobile device that is connected to several vehicles. A nefarious user can wreak havoc with a vehicle’s systems as well as the personal data which the vehicle has access to.

 Some of the notable challenges around telematics security include:
• Password and user management – Management of multiple passwords and user identities for each vehicle.

• Device management – Management of authentication and authorization of devices allowing users to access the vehicle. High mobile device turnover by the user populations calls for new devices to be re-registered and at the same time blacklisting/wiping-out of the personal and vehicle information must be done on the older devices.

• Service management – Management of various telematics and key-off functionalities on a vehicle in a secure environment.

• Data and privacy concerns- As part of telematics services automobile manufacturers need to access personal data to customize the user experience thereby bringing in the challenge of data privacy both in-transit and when it is being processed.

The following section describes how the above-mentioned aspects are managed and how challenges and issues related to managing your telematics services are addressed by using Oracle Access Manager Mobile and Social (OAMMS) and Oracle API Gateway (OAG). 

Fig 1: Oracle IAM integration with Mobile Device

User and device registration: Typically telematics applications send service registration requests through mobile applications which would validate pre-requisites (like validating vehicle identification – Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), payment information, etc.) with the telematics service provider. Once validation is complete against the telematics service provider, identification of the customer identity along with a vehicle and device identity will be created by calling the Mobile and Social Representational state transfer (REST) interface for registration. During this registration process OAG can be made to act as the front end to the OAMMS REST interface to confirm that requests come from legitimate sources and to protect the infrastructure against any intrusion.

Authentication and telematics operations: The above diagram explains how a user request gets authenticated and passed over to a telematics service provider to perform the requested activity. Before accessing the telematics service, the user provides his credentials in the form of a user id and password, which is used to authenticate the user against the enterprise identity store and also create an Oracle Access Manager  token (or JSON Web Token – JWT) on the user’s device. The token is then passed to the telematics service provider with the vehicle information (i.e., VIN) available on the mobile device and the command (requested operation).

Once the token is available to the telematics service provider, it passes the same token over to the OAMMS to validate the authenticity of the request. Once the token is validated, the user’s credentials are authenticated and the requested command is executed on the vehicle.

The token information can be saved for a longer duration in the user’s mobile device for improved user experience and reduced operational time and effort.  For example, a user sends a request to find a vehicle from his mobile device. The assumption is that the user is already authenticated against the enterprise identity store and the token exists on the mobile device. As soon as the user submits the request, a request object is sent to the telematics service provider along with the identity token. The telematics service provider passes the token to OAMMS to validate the account status. OAMMS in conjunction with OAG validates the received token for the user’s account status, session timeout, etc.  Once authenticated a command is sent to the telematics service provider to perform a wakeup call to find the vehicle. The response returned from the vehicle back to the telematics service provider is passed over to the mobile device to locate the vehicle.

The built-in reporting and auditing capability of OAMMS captures each of the transactions. This can be leveraged to define controls for the telematics service. Apart from OAMMS and OAG, Oracle Access Manager and Oracle Adaptive Access Manager can also be deployed to provide a robust solution hence including device marking, wiping out the contents in the device in case the device is lost and also providing two-factor authentication upon accessing a sensitive operation on the vehicle.

In conclusion

In all, telematics services have evolved to better suit the needs of consumers but at the same time have a tradeoff on security to confirm end user usability. These trade-offs increasingly contribute to security risks for the user, organization and their vehicles including theft of vehicle, loss of personal data, malfunction with the vehicle, etc… Security should be addressed in an effective manner with increasingly strict regulations to protect against these risks. The Mobile Access management solution using Oracle API Gateway technology unifies telematics requests across network boundaries to mobile devices. It can provide enhanced security, regulatory compliance and increased usability.

About the Author

Debi Mohanty is a Senior Manager in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Security & Privacy practice with a focus on Identity and Access management and Information Security. He advises several Fortune 100 clients globally on cloud and mobile security, privacy and identity & access management across diverse industries such as financial services, retail, healthcare, state government, and aerospace and defense.


Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Oracle Waveset to Oracle Identity Manager: A Case Study in Higher Education (Deloitte)

Deloitte is excited about the opportunity to introduce the first blog in a series of four blogs that will look at real world case studies involving Oracle Identity and Access Management (IAM). Our future blogs will expand on relevant IAM topics including: 1) Oracle Waveset to Oracle Identity Manager, 2) Oracle IAM in Telematics, 3) Oracle IAM with Governance Risk and Compliance, and 4) Oracle Identity & Access Governance with Database Security. Throughout this blog series, readers are encouraged to submit questions or comments which will feed into a roundtable type Q&A blog responding to selected comments and questions received.

In this edition of the Oracle IAM blog, we’ll look at a case study for migration from Oracle Waveset to Oracle Identity Manager for a higher education statewide system of community colleges, state universities and technical colleges. This also highlights how the flexibility of Oracle’s IAM product landscape contributed to creating a dynamic and sustainable solution for a public-facing system with nearly 500,000 users.

Current State Evaluation and Replication

The legacy Oracle Waveset instance connected to numerous institutional directories and provided end-user functionalities such as user self-service, account activation and password management as well as administrative help-desk functions with a highly customized interface and set of workflows.

As we analyzed these functions, we identified that a majority of these were available within Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11g R2 which simplified their replication. Further, the User Interface (UI) enhancements in OIM 11g R2 allowed for significant customization to the end-user pages, such as the ‘My Information’ page, with minimal custom code.  Initial replication of the core functionalities was crucial to the overall project and allowed for the replacement of Waveset as an end-user facing solution on Day 1 of the OIM go-live. However, this did not cover the numerous resource integrations that Waveset had behind the scenes that would also need to be migrated. Several functionalities such as account activation and password reset/forgot password that required specific workflows and service integration were replicated in separate Oracle ADF-based applications that were split away from the OIM managed servers. This allowed for the highly used end-user functions to run separate of the OIM instances to provide for increased flexibility in load management and tuning.

Resource Migration Approach

As the numerous resources requiring migration would take significant time and effort, it was decided that these resources would be moved over in a phased manner requiring both OIM and Waveset to operate in parallel for a period of time. This approach reduced risk, as a single cutover would have been highly complex with multiple moving parts across colleges and campuses. To enable this to be possible, OIM and Waveset would need to operate together as we migrated each campus from the old Waveset platform to the new OIM platform. To help accomplish this, a custom connector between OIM and Waveset was built to synchronize certain user attributes so that Waveset could update and maintain those attributes on the resources that remained to be managed by it.

Overall, this approach turned out to be highly beneficial as it allowed the team time to ease into using the new identity solution, reduced the risks that would have been present in a single “big bang” cutover event and allowed for a quick win which displays critical progress and success to solution stakeholders. 

Figure A – Oracle Waveset to Oracle Identity Manager resource migration approach

Additional Important Success Factors

Throughout the migration, we encountered a number of items that were deemed critical for meeting project goals that primarily focused on the following:

User Experience

As the solution’s primary users were public individuals that would likely not have significant training or usage guidance, focusing on a refined and calculated user experience such as clear verbiage, font sizing and coloring as well as succinct and detailed error messages was important. While these items may seem minor or insignificant to some readers, they, as expected, ended up being extremely beneficial to end-users and reduced support needs.

Performance and Tuning

With our highly active user-base, performance of the solution was critical to success. Use of the existing Oracle Fusion Middleware Performance and Tuning Guide as well as the OIM 11g R2 Reconciliation Tuning Whitepaper were critical for maintaining performance and ongoing stability of a solution with this size. Also important were key architectural decisions around load balancing, managed server clustering, as well as database clustering (e.g. RAC). Providing enough horsepower behind the solution and conducting due diligence around performance testing will reduce the amount of performance-related issues encountered in production.

In Conclusion

The phased migration of Oracle Waveset to Oracle Identity Manager 11g R2 allowed for a quick win in the initial cutover of end-user functions, a lower risk migration path and well as constant stream of “good news” as various campuses were migrated from the old solution to the new one in a phased manner. A focus on user experience and performance tuning also helped to create an effective environment for end-user interaction and contributed to achieving the goals of the initiative. Finally, the new OIM architecture will provide a solid infrastructure for future enhancements and a greatly increased user base that the prior Waveset environment could no longer support.

About the Author

Derek Dahlen is a Manager in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Security & Privacy practice with over eight years of experience in information security. He specializes in managing, designing and architecting large-scale identity and access management projects with a focus on the Oracle product stack. He has worked with various clients across the financial services and state government sectors.

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

No Where to Go but Up: Extending the Benefits of Accelerated IAM by Nish Patel (Accenture)

For a number of years the innovation for corporate applications revolved around functionality drivers such as better user interfaces, interoperability with legacy systems, and web enablement.  The next wave of innovation is being driven by enhancing the customer experience, data analytics, business responsiveness, and the integration of systems in the company’s business ecosystem.  All of this is occurring in a demanding economic climate—where speed is of the essence to help meet revenue and profitability targets— with an ever-demanding and  increasingly sophisticated user base.

What does the changing face of corporate applications look like and how does security play a role?  You can start by looking at Oracle’s own strategy with Fusion Applications.  The Fusion Apps integrate business processes, complex workflows, web services, business intelligence, and analytics.  This amalgamation has seemingly endless data points and touch points utilized by an ecosystem of users, consumers, providers, and so on.  This is all secured using Oracle’s own IAM stack.  Hence, the Fusion Apps security model is a very different approach from the old E-Business, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards security models.  This adds security complexity, yet also adds security value.  However, to obtain the value, you have to understand how to take a highly flexible solution and cater it to your business’s needs.  So how do you configure it the right way quickly?  We’ll get to that later.

What other corporate application changes are we seeing?  We’re all aware that over the last 5 years there has been a significant and growing shift in the consumerization of technology in the work place.  The bring-your-own-device or BYOD trend began shortly after the auspicious availability of the original iPhone in June of 2007 and has hit substantial strides in subsequent years with the introduction of the iPad and Android devices.  The portability and ease of use—and let’s face it, the “coolness” factor—have driven demand for applications to be readily available outside the standard company walls and desktop/laptop confines.

Looking at a graph of the pace and demand for mobile applications brings to mind Mt. Everest:  it’s steep, scary, and without the right Sherpa, you might just freeze to death from the challenge.  As the sophistication of mobile applications has improved to meet business demand, one of those Everest-like challenges is how to secure the ever increasing amount of sensitive and critical information that goes with it.

For example, we are seeing clients take applications that were typically considered “back office” and using them as a strategic driver, such as mobilizing purchasing data to provide valuable insight to buyers in the field making decisions.  We are seeing banks now allowing check deposits via mobile devices to increase customer satisfaction and decrease in-person service times and overhead.

Information that was typically within the four walls is now zipping around wherever there is a cell signal.  It is being consumed on devices that are easily passed around, shared, and lost.  It is being consumed by customers, employees, company partners, and vendors.  How do you ensure that only the right consumer, in the right context, in the right scenario, on the right device is accessing valuable company data?  Additionally, how do you rapidly secure applications to quicken deployment cycles and cut costs?

One of the common ways IT departments approach security is to take each application and bolt on its own security framework for mobility.   An example would be adding on a Spring Security framework for authentication and authorization.  Sometimes this involves a duplication of already existing authentication and authorization mechanisms in place.  If you take this approach for each application you “mobilize”, you can see how it can quickly become an administrative nightmare.  From having to provision users manually to each application, to de-provisioning for terminations or job role changes, to password management, to troubleshooting, and so on, this approach is duplicative and wasteful. 

So how do you address security adequately and rapidly across the situations and scenarios we’ve described?  Accenture utilizes Oracle’s IAM suite of products to enable security across the spectrum of our client’s needs.  For example, for mobilization of applications, we utilize Oracle’s Mobile and Social Access as part of the access management solution.  We utilize Oracle API Gateway’s numerous features for web services security.  We’ve also built many of our own proprietary Accenture Software solutions on the 11g platform, leveraging the Oracle security stack to employ a common security framework to simplify development and deployment. Furthermore, we leverage our Accenture Foundation Platform for Oracle (AFPO) to accelerate and reduce costs.
Accenture Foundation Platform for Oracle

AFPO is a reference architecture, reference implementation and a set of associated assets that provide a generic and common foundational platform based on Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Technology.  AFPO is a jumpstart kit for Oracle IAM that accelerates delivery.  It is aligned with Oracle’s Fusion Reference Architecture (OFRA) and was built with feedback and reviews from Oracle Product Management. It’s also a combination of Oracle products & guidance with Accenture intellectual property based on project experience.

When we speak of acceleration, we are talking install: day 1; customize and integrate: day 2!  Fast enough for you? Clients have been able to trim as much as 30% off of implementation costs utilizing AFPO.  At an educational non-profit we rapidly deployed an Oracle IAM foundation leveraging AFPO to meet tight timelines required for the upcoming school year. Our client’s Release 1 deployment scope included building, testing, and deploying 5 Oracle IAM products in 5 months.  Our client’s development team needed a way to quickly learn the products in order to rapidly build extensions and customizations for these products.  AFPO provided a testing ground for rapid design prototyping and gave developers the quick, hands-on experience needed to transition to building the new infrastructure.

To learn more about Accenture, our AFPO platform, how we can help you with your security strategy and implementation, please contact

Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

Registration now open! - Managing the Healthcare IT Transformation “On the Go and In the Cloud”

Mobility, cloud-based services, healthcare reform, meaningful use, health information exchange and continued changes in privacy and security regulations has each had a profound effect on healthcare IT.  To support this transformation, it is vital that an organization effectively manages how its users are able access and use information.   Unfortunately, to date, many organizations have failed to develop the necessary foundational infrastructure.  UPMC, through its subsidiary CloudConnect Health IT, has developed a solution called CloudIdentity, which provides healthcare specific identity management capabilities that are based on Oracle technology and delivered securely via the cloud.  Join John Houston Vice President of Privacy and Information Security, Associate Counsel at UPMC & President of CloudConnect Health IT for this informative webcast, as he discusses the healthcare transformation and how healthcare organizations can securely unlock the potential of healthcare IT. Click HERE to register for this webcast, scheduled for August 20th.

Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

The Art of the Possible: Real Life Case Study in Oracle IAM 11gR2 Performance Tuning by Alex Bolante (Accenture)

In our last post, we walked through a handful of practical tips and tricks to fine tune your Oracle Identity Management 11gR2 deployment.  This week we look at a real life case study, focused on Oracle Directory Services, where we applied our pragmatic approach and solutions.

Case study: a multinational financial services corporation.  With presence in over 200 countries, this financial services company enables consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments to use digital currency instead of cash and checks through one of the world’s most advanced processing networks, capable of handling more than 20,000 transactions per second.  Like many legacy customers, the company sought Accenture’s help to strategically plan, design and upgrade to an improved version of Oracle Directory Services that provided:

• Improved directory services performance
• Multi-user topology support
• Enhanced replication
• Increased security

The implementation comprised of approximately 50 servers located across multiple, geographically distributed data centers supporting over 100 applications and more than 250,000 users – included financial institutions, payment product processors and others doing business with this financial services company. 

Environment design specification

Our environment design specification was initially developed to support legacy applications, but given a new set of business and technical requirements, we needed to modify and scale the solution to support future business services with enough capacity to grow up to 40% year over year.  Key performance requirements included:

• Optimized for reads, writes and replication across data centers located across the globe
• Performs 1000 operations per second
• Supports response time of 0.05 milliseconds for single user id searches
• Supports response time of 0.15 milliseconds for single user attribute writes
• Supports 200 concurrent searches
• Supports growth rate of 10,000 objects per month over the next 5 years
• Provides real time password replication using prioritization

Modifying and scaling the solution:
Our process for modifying and scaling the solution included  engaging Oracle product managers and engineers directly to validate our hardware configuration.

Product: Oracle Directory Services
Operating System: 64-bit Solaris 10 Update 10 or higher
Hardware: SPARC T-series
Memory: 64 GB
Disk Space: 270 GB
Swap Space: 15 GB
Tmp Space: 10 GB
File Descriptor Limit: 8192
Replication Topology: Multi-master with no restrictions on the number of masters

We made several recommended configuration changes and tuned the Operating System, Database Cache, Entry Cache, Import Cache, File System Cache and Indexes. 

Disable schema check for fast replication
$dsconfpath/dsconf set-server-prop -p portNum check-schema-enabled:off

Set DB cache size to 1000M
$dsconfpath/dsconf set-server-prop -p portNum db-cache-size:1000M

Set entry cache size to 1000M
$dsconfpath/dsconf set-suffix-prop -p portNum suffixDN entry-cache-size:1000M

$dsconfpath/dsconf set-server-prop -p portNum import-cache-size:200M

Set all-ids-threshold
$dsconfpath/dsconf set-server-prop -p portNum all-ids-threshold:8000

Set repl-purge-delay to 1 days
$dsconfpath/dsconf set-server-prop -p portNum repl-purge-delay:1d

Change log path
dsconf set-log-prop -p portNum ACCESS path:/var/ldaplogs/access
dsconf set-log-prop -p portNum AUDIT path:/var/ldaplogs/audit
dsconf set-log-prop -p portNum ERROR path:/var/ldaplogs/error

Enable Audit log
dscond f set-log-prop -p portNum AUDIT enabled:on

The outcome:

After we applied our performance tunings, we performed our tests in production-like environments, verified and documented our results, profiled and monitored our solution, tweaked and tuned our environment and cycled through this step-by-step process until we were satisfied that we had met all requirements.  We shared the results with our Oracle peers to validate – including our testing approach which included search rates and modification rates based on 100 users and 200 users connecting concurrently – and the numbers were right on point with our expectations from the Directory Services upgrade.

How can you apply this to your environment? 

Step 1:
Talk to Oracle Product Management, Development and Engineering directly
,get them involved in your project as early as possible and keep them engaged throughout your project.  It helps to have knowledgeable subject matter experts who can bring your implementation up to par with leading implementations.  Some guidelines for checkpoints include:

Checkpoint 1: Before statement of work (SOW) is signed:
• Is the SOW clearly defined?
• Is the described product functionality feasible?
• Are measurable and achievable success criteria defined?

Checkpoint 2: Before requirements, architecture and project plan are delivered:
• Can the product fulfill the defined requirements?
• Is the architecture and solution design sound and scalable?
• Is the customer's environment ready?

Checkpoint 3: Before the design is delivered:
• Is the design technically sound?
• Can the design be implemented, migrated and supported?
• Are the test plans and approach reasonable?

Step 2:
Define specific, measurable objectives for performance tunings based on your requirements.
  To start with, you can use Accenture’s predefined set of key attributes for developing “good” requirements that are measurable.

• Necessary – an important capability or element of a solution which cannot be compensated for if absent
• Understandable – stated in a context which conveys the essence of what is needed
• Complete – stated in a standalone context which does not rely upon supplemental and/or assumed definitions
• Consistent – does not contradict by context or terminology nor is contradicted by other statements (e.g. is not mutually exclusive)
• Unambiguous – cannot have more than one interpretation
• Attainable – a capability which can be implemented within the constraints of available resources and technology (e.g. product, cost, schedule)
• Verifiable – can establish that the statement has been satisfied through specific measurements, test, demonstration, inspection, and/or analysis

Step 3:
Determine how you plan to implement performance tunings.
There is more than one way to skin a cat.  In addition to the tuning configuration changes made to the environment, you also have to consider hardware sizing and configurations, middleware technologies, application and data samples used for testing and how you measure/analyze results.  For example, hardware sizing guides are meant to provide you with a baseline for your deployment, but they are not exact specifications for your Oracle Identity & Access Management deployment. 

The same applies for a vendor certification matrix – while Oracle’s Identity & Access Management product might be certified or supported on another vendor’s middleware or platform stack, that does not automatically imply it is the ‘optimal’ configuration for your deployment.  Most organizations already have infrastructure standards (e.g. we use WebSphere Application Server for our J2EE apps), but you need to carefully consider that your Oracle Identity & Access Management deployment may be harder to tweak and tune if implemented on top of multiple vendor stacks.  In fact, the more unique your configuration design is, the more challenging it will be to support and the less likely your deployment will be up to par with common practices.

Step 4:
Apply your performance tunings, perform your tests, verify and document your results, profile and monitor your solution, tweak and tune it – wash, rinse and repeat.
  Consider the testing tools you will use to conduct your performance tests and their limitations.  We used both SLAMD and HP LoadRunner for our Directory Services deployment.  SLAMD had resource limitations on the number of connections and threads we could test, especially if it was not running off a dedicated server.  HP LoadRunner had a limitation with testing multiple attribute updates until we applied a hot fix that the vendor eventually provided.

Also, most deployments are two- to three-tier architectures, so you have to tune the database/directory server, middleware/application server, web servers and every component in between each tier (e.g. load balancers for SSL acceleration).  In fact, each tier requires its own performance tuning, pruning, cleaning, care, feeding and regular maintenance.  At its core, there are several performance bottlenecks to consider:

• Start with your server or system resources (e.g. over clocked CPU, maxed out memory, resource contention, insufficient space)
• Tune your way up from data tier to application/web tier (e.g. database/directory servers typically require specific optimizer tunings, predefined indexes and table pruning while application servers typically require proper JVM heap size allocation, connection pooling and message queue thresholds)

Step 5:
Share your experiences with the Oracle Security community at large.
  By now, your Oracle Identity & Access Management solution should be designed to support not only your legacy applications, but also scaled to support future business services!

Stay tuned for our next post on No Where to go but up: Extending the benefits of accelerated IAM to enable new solutions and features where we highlight interesting trends in Security and Identity & Access Management.

Oracle Directory Services: Overview

Oracle Directory Services: Discussion Forums

Monday Jul 15, 2013

Mobile Application Security Framework by Pawan Yadav (SDG Corporation)

Mobile Application Security Framework

Enterprise Mobility is rapidly expanding opportunities for companies to enhance clients' engagement levels and simplify and improve their interactions. Unfortunately, those opportunities also create significant security threats for businesses and consumers.
Pawan Yadav, Vice President and Chief Technologist from SDG (, in this very topical white paper, outlines the unique challenges that are arising from the explosion of enterprise mobile applications, multiple devices, and platforms.

Read the white paper: click to download

About the Author:

Pawan Yadav

Enterprise Mobility, Practice Leader
Pawan, in his capacity as a SDG Practice Leader, has direct senior management responsibility for the firm's strategy, planning, staffing, engagement deliverance, and commercial operations for the Enterprise Mobility Practice. He brings to this position over 16+ years of IT experience, primarily in the Financial Services - Retail Banking and Credit Card sectors. His expertise includes leading large and complex development programs - time and materials with upper cap and fixed bid, web and enterprise mobility applications services and solutions delivery management, personnel and staff management, and contract and cost management.

About SDG:
SDG Corporation empowers forward thinking companies to strategize their future, realize their vision, and minimize IT risk. SDG distinguishes itself by offering flexible business models to fit their clients’ needs; faster time-to-market with its pre-built solutions and frameworks; a broad-based foundation of domain experts, and deep program management expertise. (


Oracle Identity Management is a complete and integrated next-generation identity management platform that provides breakthrough scalability; enables organizations to achieve rapid compliance with regulatory mandates; secures sensitive applications and data regardless of whether they are hosted on-premise or in a cloud; and reduces operational costs. Oracle Identity Management enables secure user access to resources anytime on any device.


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