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 Get a Free Magzine ...Profit:The Executive's Guide to Oracle Applications

Oracle Advanced Security – TDE (Transparent Data Encryption )

Posted on August 26th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

This is one of the advance feature of security, where Encryption is done automatically when written to the database file and transparently decrypts the data when accessed inside the database.

Files are secure from unauthorized access at the OS level, discarded disk drives and off-site backup media.[Adopted from Oracle Documentation]

Network encryption transparently encrypts all SQL*Net traffic between the Oracle EBS and the database.

Oracle Advanced Security supports both industry standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption and an Oracle native encryption capability for customers that do not want to deploy X509 Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates.

Traditional access controls including those enforced by Database Vault, Label Security and Virtual Private Database (VPD) also apply and so data will not be decrypted until the users are authenticated to the Oracle database.

TDE column encryption can be used to protect individual columns in application tables containing credit card numbers or other personally identifiable information (PII).

dgreybarrow Scenarios

You are told to explore the options for implementing Oracle Advanac Security Option(ASO) in Oracle financial application. Probally you might have these questions in mind?

  • What tool or function , should needed and how this handle with advance options?
  • Does this tool encrypt the table column in the database at all time and only decrypt the table column?
  • Is that needed through Oracle Financial or any OracleApps UI or is sitting standalone inside/outside application?
  • Is there any different treatment for some sensetive data like Credit card, Bank Account and or SSN values ?

In above senarios , you might have a similar requirement to encrypt the SSN value in an Oracle table at all time and only make it viewable(decrypted) when a authorized user via Oracle financial application tries added or update a record to database.

If you already aware about TDE , then you should not have much issue in doing fitment . Fundamentally the TDE have functionality is the same irrespective of the application. It's encrypts the column data at rest meaning in the storage it is kept encrypted, to protect the data in the event of stolen storage or when someone has direct access to the storage disks. Database automatically decrypts the data for whoever got privilege to access to this data, say SELECT privilege.

The best place is to start with Oracle documentation and get the details/

If you are doing with existing data value of Oracle Financial ref to these note in metalink that will be helpful.

  • Doc ID 862708.1 : R12 - Customer's Taxpayer ID and SSN On Customers Form Need To Be Encrypted
  • Doc ID 403537.1 : Best Practices For Securing Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12
  • Doc ID 828229.1 : Using TDE Tablespace Encryption with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12
  • Doc ID 863053.1 : How To Encrypt Credit Card Data In Release 12
  • Doc ID 732764.1 : Using TDE Column Encryption with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12
  • Doc ID 1301337.1 : How To Enable Oracle Payments Data Encryption Functionality

If you are looking the for the possiblity to encrypt and decrypt data using triggers or some other database object without changing an application, then probally you can use the the dbms_obfuscation_ toolkit within a trigger.

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Security : Oracle Database Vault

Posted on August 20th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

Oracle Database Vault restricts access to specific areas in an Oracle database from any user, including users who have administrative access. For example, you can restrict administrative access to employee salaries, customer medical records, or other sensitive information.

This enables you to apply fine-grained access control to your sensitive data in a variety of ways. It hardens your Oracle Database instance and enforces industry standard best practices in terms of separating duties from traditionally powerful users.

Oracle Database Vault this addresses common regulatory compliance requirements and reduces the risk of insider threats like.

  • Preventing highly privileged users (DBA) from accessing application data.
  • Enforcing separation of duty (DBA can’t create users, view data).
  • Providing controls over who, when, where and how applications, data and databases can be accessed.
  • Can be added to existing application environments without changes to the existing application code.

For Consulting people, lets try to understand three most important concept required from security .

1) Realms - These are boundaries within the Oracle database that act like a firewall to prevent privileged users from using their special privileges to access application data.

The realms can be used to protect an entire application or a specific set of tables within an application, providing highly flexible and adaptable security enforcement.

Look at the following diagram the DBA has been denied access to view the application data, in spite of the special privileges.

Oracle Databse Vault

2) Command Rules - Security rules that can be created for creating, dropping and altering tables inside the database and decide whether to block a command.

Factors - It can also reference out-of-the-box factors such as IP address, authentication method and program name.

In the diagram below, Database Vault has denied access as the applications are accessed either through wrong IP address or tool.

Oracle Audit Vault-2

3) Separation of duty - Oracle Database Vault systematically separates DBA duties to strengthen security controls and helps satisfy requirements found in many regulations.

Out-of-the-box, Database Vault creates following 3 distinct responsibilities within the database

  • Account Management :A user with account management responsibility can create, drop, or modify database users
  • Security Administration :A security administrator can manage realms, command rules, factors etc., but prevented from self-authorizing access to secured business data
  • Database Administration :Database administration responsibility enables a user to continue performing normal management and maintenance, such as backup and recovery without having access to secured business data

Therefore, Oracle Database Vault is an integral component of your enterprise.Typically companies configure Oracle Database Vault to manage the security of an individual Oracle Database instance.

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Security : Oracle Audit Vault

Posted on August 15th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

In security series, lets know another product.

Oracle Audit Vault is a security product that automates the consolidation of audit data into a secure repository, enabling efficient monitoring and reporting. This makes Oracle Audit Vault is a powerful solution providing a secure repository, built-in reporting, event alerting.This uses Oracle data security to protect audit data end-to-end. It helps to:

  • Consolidate and secure audit data from multiple instances of these databases – Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, IBM DB2.
  • Oracle Audit Vault is having out-of-the box compliance reports such as SOX, PCI and HIPAA requirements.
  • This also have entitlement reports for Oracle database to showing users, privileges and roles.
  • Policies can be created for SQL statements, schema objects, database privileges like alter, create, drop, grant etc.
  • Oracle Audit Vault raise alerts for suspicious activity on sensitive data like employee salaries, credit card numbers etc.
  • This have feature to capture before/after data value changes from Oracle database transaction logs.
  • Audit Vault can be administered and managed separately through Audit Vault server and Console

Oracle Audit Vault

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Posted in Oracle Application | 2 Comments »

Secuity : Oracle Internal Controls Manager

Posted on August 13th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

Do you know , Oracle Internal Controls Manager (OICM) is a comprehensive tool for executives, controllers, internal audit departments, and public accounting firms to document and test internal controls and monitor ongoing compliance. This tool is based on COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations) standards.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Security : User Management Roles (UMX)

Posted on August 13th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

Oracle User Management (UMX) enables organizations to define administrative functions and manage users based on specific requirements such as job role or geographic location.

A Role in UMX schema can be best understood as a job function within the context of an organization with associated semantics regarding the authority and responsibility conferred on the user assigned to the role .

Typical characteristics of Role are - Navigation menus and Access permissions can be separate, and Roles are hierarchical. Because of which responsibilities can be shared with multiple roles and Roles can be built on top of each other, with minimal effort.

Oracle Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and Data Security enables permission assignments to secure a subset of data on the database objects such as vendors, projects, customers, application users etc which can be easily done by creating data security policies .

Typically if you combine all key component, the best it can be described as fig below:

EBS Security UMX

Delegated and Local administrators can be given administrative privileges with a subset of users and people to manage. They can be given different set of administrator privileges. The delegated administrator privileges can be implemented by selecting the Role to which it can be assigned.

You can Navigate the security Wizard as :

Run Wizard (I) of “User Management: Security Administration Setup” -> User Administration (T) -> Add More Rows (B).

The User Management: Security Administration Setup wizard is a security function that defines the administration privileges for administrators that assign/revoke user accounts and roles.

This wizard has 3 sub-tabs:

  • User Administration,
  • Organization Administration
  • and Role Administration

UMX also comes with pre-defined Self-service Registration tasks for users to request new accounts and additional access to the system.

Last but the least, there is Proxy user functionality available in R12 that provides a user with the ability to delegate his/her functions to individuals, to act on behalf of the delegator. How this sounds :)

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Security :Oracle User Management

Posted on August 11th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

Oracle User Management (OUM) is an extension to the core Oracle E-Business Suite Access Controls Model. It introduces a number of features to streamline and improve the security of user administration.

dgreybarrow What is Oracle User Management?

This is available from EBS 11.5.10 onward as part of the license,Oracle User Management is an extension to the core Oracle E-Business Suite Security Access Controls model which enables organizations to manage users based on specific requirements such as job role or geographic location.

Companies having large number of User base utilizing Oracle’s self service based application such as iProcurement,iExpenses and self-service HR managing user account is always a resource intensive activity, which can be enhanced by usage of this.Let understand the core component of OUM.

dgreybarrow Security & Key components

The key features of Oracle User Management can be divided into two main areas: Core Security and Administrative features.

Oracle User Management leverages the existing Application Security features, Function and Data Security, while providing the additional layer of role based access control. These Core Security layers provide the basis for Oracle User Management's administrative features: Delegated Administration, Registration Processes, and Self Service Requests & Approvals.Details are herewith:

  1. Core Security - Oracle's function and data security mechanisms constitute the base layers of this system, and contain the traditional system administrative capabilities. Organizations can optionally add more layers to the system depending on the degree of flexibility they require.

    (1 ) Function Security - The base layer of access control within Oracle Applications is Function Security. Function Security restricts user access to the individual menus and menu options within the system.

    (2) Data Security - The second layer represents Data Security. Working in conjunction with Function Security, Data Security provides additional access control on the data a user can see and what actions a user can perform on that data, within Oracle Applications. Using Data Security, for example, you could control access to the set of orders that an order administrator can update within the Order Management application.

    (3) Role Based Access Control (RBAC) - The third layer represents Role Based Access Control (RBAC). The RBAC model augments the existing access control model in Oracle Applications by providing additional methods to organize data security policies and existing function security (via roles).

  2. Administrative Featured

(4) Delegated Administration – This enables access controls administrative duties to be delegated to ‘local’ employees. This allows administrators with knowledge of local access requirements to perform simple user administration.

(5) Registration Processes – allows an organization to configure the self-service user account provisioning and access assignment processes to support their specific business requirements.

(6) Self-Service Requests and Approvals – users can select automated workflow processes to request the creation of a new user account, request additional access or reset their password.

These 6 key feature can be best described as Fig below.

Oracle User Management

Thats means user Management could reduce the cost of supporting your Oracle E-Business Suite Environment. Processes such as self-service password reset and self service account creation could enhance the operational efficiency and addresses your security and controls risks.

dgreybarrow Other similar Post

Posted in Oracle Application | 1 Comment »

Security Profile Options in Managing a Secure Oracle Applications Environment

Posted on July 31st, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

These Profile are recomended by Oracle strongly in secureing configuration of Oracle E-Business Suite production systems.

  • FND Validation Level : Provides in depth defense against parameter and URL tampering.

Recommended Setting: ERROR

  • ICX: Session Timeout :Idle Session Timeout. The numeric value greater than 4 (in minutes) that a SSWA session can be idle before expiring. A 0/NULL will disable timeout.

This profile option determines the length of time (in minutes) of inactivity in a user's form session before the session is disabled. Once session is disabled , the user is provided the opportunity to re-authenticate and re-enable their timed-out session. If the reauthentication is successful, the disabled session is re-enabled and no work is lost. Otherwise, the session is terminated without saving pending work.

Recommended Setting: 30 min

  • ICX: Limit Time :Absolute maximum length of time (in hours) of any user session, active or inactive.

This profile defines the maximum connection time for a connection – regardless of user activity.
If 'ICX:Session Timeout' is set to NULL, then the session will last only as long as 'ICX: Limit Time', regardless of user activity.

  • Signon Password Failure Limit :A positive integer to limit maximum number of logon attempts before the user's account is disabled.
  • Restrict text Input :Detects Cross Site Scripting(XSS) and other HTML injection attacks by hackers which gives access to your website and database.

Recommended Setting: Yes

  • Utilities:Diagnostics :Value determines whether diagnostic utilities, such as Help -> Tools -> Examine, may be used.

Set to No, to disable a user to view any internal form field.

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Posted on July 18th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

Oracle E-Business Suite implements its own auditing mechanisms, Audit Trails.

Auditing database row changes is performance intensive. Limit auditing to non-transactional data. Auditing transactional data may cause significant performance degradation. Tables with more than a few changes an hour should not be considered for row level auditing. Plan and consult with a DBA before enabling Audit Trails.

This feature keeps a complete history of changes made at a table and column level. When initialized, a concurrent program creates a shadow table and places triggers on the columns to be audited. The triggers store column changes in the shadow table (a table whose name is the instance table’s name appended with _A)


To enable Audit Trail, follow these steps:

  1. Set System profile option AuditTrail: Activate to True
  2. Navigate through Security -> AuditTrail -> Install to set schemas for auditing
  3. Navigate through Security -> AuditTrail -> Groups to create audit groups and set tables to be audited. Set audit group to Enabled Requested
  4. Navigate through Security -> AuditTrail -> Tables to set columns in tables to be audited
  5. Run AuditTrail Update Tables to activate auditing


Purge the audit trail information on a regular basis. Prior to purging, disable the Audit Trail. Use the following procedure to purge audit data:

  1. As System Administrator, select Security -> Audit Trail -> Groups.
  2. Select the Security Audit group and set the group state to Disable – Purge Table.
  3. Run the Audit Trail Update Tables Report.
  4. Purge the data from the shadow table.
  5. Select Security -> Audit Trail -> Groups.
  6. Select the Security Audit group and set the group state to Enable.
  7. Run the Audit Trail Update Tables Report

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Oracle’s solution for Attestation/Recertification process

Posted on March 28th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

dgreybarrow What is Attestation

In any big organization, it is important to be able to answer questions like “Who has access to What, When, How and Why” in order to comply with regulatory requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA etc. This necessitates the existence of some auditing mechanism within the organization.

Attestation describes any certification review process where an individual swears to or witness/confirm something important. This term is almost similar and used to describe a review/certification process that requires resource owners to verify their authorized users during on an on-going basis. This on-going process

dgreybarrow Process and Oracle Solutioning

Attestation sometime also referred to as recertification, is key part of SOX .Majority of enterprises are meeting these attestation requirements today largely with manual processes based on spreadsheet reports and emails. These manual processes tend to be fragmented, are difficult and expensive to manage, and have little data integrity and audit ability.

Oracle Identity Analytics offers a best-in-class attestation feature that can be deployed quickly to enable an enterprise-wide attestation process that features automated report generation, delivery and notification. Attestation reviewers can review fine-grained access reports within an interactive user interface that supports fine-grained certify, reject, decline, and delegate actions. All report data and reviewers’ actions are captured for future auditing needs. Reviewer actions can optionally trigger corrective action by connecting with Oracle Identity Manger’s workflow engine for remediation.

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Maintenance Wizard in OracleApps

Posted on February 13th, 2011 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

Oracle Support provides Maintenance Wizard is a free Tool(Mostly used by DBA) that guide you through the upgrade of Oracle Applications technology stack and products from Release 11i versions to Release 12. Some of the important high point for Maintenance Wizard in Oracle EBS are:

  • Maintenance Wizard is a self-service tool that guides customers in a methodical and repeatable way through the upgrade process.
    • Presents a consolidated, personalized set of instructions in a step-by-step format
    • Validation of important activities
    • Maintains log and status information for all tasks
    • Downloads, merges, and installs many required patches automatically
  • It is provided FREE for Oracle Applications customers who have a standard Product Services contract with Oracle.
  • Maintenance Wizard is supported the same way as any other Oracle product
  • This was formerly Known as Upgrade Assistant
  • This also provides project management utilities to record the time taken for each task and completion status

Maintenance Wizard helps you to reduce upgrade tasks by dynamically filtering the necessary steps based on criteria it obtains from your Applications environment. The resulting report is a set of step-by-step instructions of exactly what you need to do to complete your specific upgrade, including any critical patches that your system may require. It can also automatically execute many of the tasks for you, so as to reduce the possibility of errors or accidental omission of vital tasks

dgreybarrow Post for your Interest on subject Line

  • Note 215527.1 - 'Maintenance Wizard Overview'
  • Note.251253.1 Ext/Pub Maintenance Wizard FAQ
  • Note.248708.1 Int/Pub Authoring Wizard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Known Issues
  • Note.741129.1 Ext/Pub How to Use Patch Wizard Without Setting up Internet Connection

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