Bharosa to give Oracle users transaction security

Mark Brunelli, News Director
Authenticating the identities of users on a system is an important aspect of Oracle security, but when identities are stolen, experts say the next line of defense is proper authentication of the transactions that users set in motion.

That's where

comes in.

Bharosa, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif. and focuses on identity management and fraud prevention, excels at identifying suspicious transactions that occur on a network, and that strength will fill a key hole in Oracle's security lineup, according to experts.

"Bharosa is in the business of providing fraud detection for online transactions," said Andrew Jaquith, an IT security analyst with Boston-based Yankee Group. "The reason you authenticate the transaction is because merely authenticating the user isn't good enough in a lot of cases."

Oracle yesterday revealed plans to buy Bharosa for an undisclosed sum. The company boasts 25 million users and will become Oblix Inc., Thor Technologies Inc. and OctetString Inc.

"What Oracle has wanted to do is two-fold," said Jaquith. "First, Oracle wants to provide a consistent set of identity frameworks for its own products, because it has a fairly diversified set of e-business products. Secondly, they would like to be a credible provider of identity solutions in their own right, with a full portfolio of offerings."

More on Oracle security:

45 Oracle security fixes released

Security guru blasts Oracle's patching policies

The Bharosa deal was announced just one day after Oracle issued fixes for

Charles King, principal analyst with Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research, said recent consolidation in the field of identity management and fraud detection is symptomatic of a larger issue.

"Over the past couple of years there has been a growing recognition that identity management is really a base or a core technology that isn't simply something that you add on anymore," King said. "Larger vendors are really seeing identity management as a key part of many other business processes and applications that they're supporting."

Where Oracle could use an identity management boost

It's unclear where Oracle will focus its identity management efforts next, but Jaquith said he'd like to see the software goliath spend more time working with emerging Internet identity standards such as OpenID.

"I think that's something that they'll probably need to spend a little more energy on," he said, "but whether or not they'll need to do an acquisition is hard to tell."

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