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Note: All the posts are based on practical approach avoiding lengthy theory. All have been tested on some development servers. Please don’t test any post on production servers until you are sure.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Using Secure External Password Store - 11gR2

As all DBAs use some sort of shell scripts and have connections to the database which can be a major security issue if these scripts contain the database connection/passowrd details.

Instead of having these passwords in scripts, you can store password credentials for connecting to databases by using a client-side Oracle wallet. An Oracle wallet is a secure software container that stores authentication and signing credentials.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Proxy Authentication (Oracle DB)

Sometimes administrators need to connect to an application schema to perform maintenance. Sharing the application schema password among several administrators would provide no accountability. Instead, proxy authentication allows the administrators to authenticate with their own credentials first and then proxy to the application schema. In such cases, the audit records show the actual user who performed the maintenance activities. This form of proxy authentication is supported in Oracle Call Interface (OCI), JDBC, and on the SQL*PLUS command line.

Client-side Oracle wallet

Users are expected to provide the password when they connect to the database, but applications, middle-tier systems, and batch jobs cannot depend on a human to type the password. Earlier, a common way to provide passwords was to embed user names and passwords in the code or in scripts. This increased the attack surface and people had to make sure that their scripts were not exposed to anyone else. Also, if passwords were ever changed, changes to the scripts were required. Now you can store password credentials by using a client-side Oracle wallet. This reduces risks because the passwords are no longer exposed on command-line history, and password management policies are more easily enforced without changing application code whenever user names or passwords change.