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Oracle Identity Management keeps test data secure

Educational Testing Services uses Oracle Identity Management to manage access and keep SAT, GRE and Advanced Placement test data safe. PricewaterhouseCoopers recommends Oracle Identity Manager to its big banking clients with complex needs.

Nonprofit Educational Testing Services (ETS) has the answer to every question about the SAT or the GRE graduate school entry exam. Assessment information is always a hot commodity for test takers and Jim Moran, chief information security officer, has to be extremely careful with its security.

As the administrator and developer of standardized tests like the GRE, Praxis teaching certification exam, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) -- as well as the SAT and the Advanced Placement tests for the College Board -- ETS is in possession of personal identification information for every one of its test takers. It scores approximately 50 million tests per year, which makes for a tremendous amount of sensitive personal information and test information that it must keep safe.

"ETS is founded on the notion of equal-opportunity education," Moran said. Because some test takers travel a long way to take ETS' tests or only have a short window of opportunity to take the tests, ETS can't have any system crashes or downtime during work hours. ETS uses Oracle Identity Management Access Manager and Identity Federation, along with custom applications. It is important to ETS that the custom applications are very reliable, since having an application down means someone losing a test taking opportunity.

Moran explained that Oracle Identity Management Access Manager and Identity Federation are also useful for dealing with employee turnover. Oracle Identity Management has taken the cycle time between a new hire and a useful employee from days to hours, and plugs security risks left by the personas of outgoing employees.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) regularly recommends Oracle Identity Management to its clients. Rex Thexton, managing director, described PwC's work with the fourth-largest bank in the U.S. The bank has more than 4,000 applications running per day. When it came to PwC, it had six or seven different application managers. PwC recommended Oracle Information Management to handle the bank's needs from end to end. PwC has been working with Oracle Identity Management consistently for eight years.

The Oracle Identity Management platform is a member of the Oracle Fusion Middleware product family. Its purpose is to provide scalable identity governance, access management and directory services. It manages the end-to-end lifecycle of user identities across the enterprise, in the cloud and onto mobile devices.

"It basically covers all the end-to-end services our clients might need without them having to go get six or seven different products probably from six or seven different vendors," said Thexton. Oracle Identity Management also has high-availability capabilities and can scale out to tens of thousands of users.

Thexton explained that many of PwC's clients are looking to get away from providing more access than necessary to secure areas of their databases, and now want to follow the principle of least privilege, where everyone gets exactly the minimum access they need to do their job. Thexton said, "Oracle is investing and keeping up with demand." PwC is watching its clients move to the cloud, invest in mobile technology and start branching out into the social space, and Oracle Identity Management is keeping pace with the cloud, mobility and social.

This was first published in August 2014

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