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Estimating the costs of Oracle data exposure

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson


Maintaining Oracle data security is essential, and all Oracle managers have a fiduciary responsibility to protect confidential information.  The Oracle professional must be aware of the financial risk associated with inadvertent disclosure of their Oracle data.

Whether it's an external breach (hacker attack) or internal data management malfeasance (i.e. using an overseas remote DBA provider), disclosure of confidential data has expensive consequences, and these costs can be identified.


Insider job are by far the greatest area of Oracle data loss, as I recount in my Oracle hackers horror stories

This data loss calculator from Tech/404 notes existing costs for data breaches and creates a cost calculator for determining the financial loss from exposure of Oracle data.  They base their cost estimations on existing data loss cases:

Action Against: Potential Class Size: Seeking Damages Of*:
St. Francis Hospital 260,000 $5,000/pp
Verizon 2,000,000 $21,000/pp
AOL 500,000 $1,000/pp
Veteran's Administration 260,000 $5,000/pp


Statistically, the majority of Oracle data loss comes from "inside jobs", disgruntled employees or unscrupulous foreign outsourcing companies to steal and re-sell your Oracle data. 


Keep your Oracle data inside the USA


It's critical to choose a remote DBA provider within the safety of our strict US data privacy laws. Laws vary widely between countries, and you must have the full protection of your countries copyright and data privacy statutes.


I?ve seen firsthand how choosing a bargain offshore Oracle remote DBA provider has lead to widespread data theft, leaving the customer with little or no legal recourse. Many Oracle shops choose their remote DBA provider within the USA because of our strict data protection statutes.


I was once called-in to do emergency support for a company suffering from poor Oracle performance and discovered a "rootkit" which was regularly e-mailing the database data to China.  Their data loss was so catastrophic that they went out of business.


According to, Forrester recently surveyed 28 companies with data breaches and estimated that such a breach will cost an organization between $90 and $305 per exposed record, a lot of money.  When the Oracle data is used for identity theft, the costs skyrocket.


Oracle Data Breach References

To fully understand the risks and exposures arising from Oracle data exposure, I highly recommend these Oracle data security books by some of the world's leading Oracle security experts:


If you like Oracle tuning, see the book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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