Oracle third party support

Oracle Third-Party Support Security measures

Introduction to Oracle Third-Party Support Security

  • No Direct Patches: Third-party support providers for Oracle don’t offer direct security patches from Oracle for software vulnerabilities.
  • Custom Fixes: Instead, they provide custom solutions and workarounds to address security concerns without altering the original Oracle software code.
  • Security Advisory Services: Many offer security advisory services to guide clients on best practices and measures to mitigate risks.

The Allure of Third-Party Support

Third-party support providers have positioned themselves as cost-effective alternatives to direct vendor support. They promise significant savings, often up to 50% or more compared to traditional vendor maintenance fees.

Additionally, they offer extended support for legacy systems, which can be a boon for organizations not ready to upgrade. But what about security?

Main Challenges in Third-Party Support

  1. Lack of Direct Security Patches: One of the most significant challenges is that third-party providers cannot access Oracle’s direct security patches. This means they can’t provide the exact fixes that Oracle releases for specific vulnerabilities.
  2. Potential Compliance Issues: Not applying vendor-released patches might lead to compliance issues depending on the industry. Regulations in sectors like finance or healthcare often mandate the application of all relevant security patches.
  3. Dependency on the Provider’s Expertise: The effectiveness of third-party support hinges on their expertise. They might not address security concerns adequately if they lack the necessary skills or resources.

How Third-Party Providers Address Security Concerns

  1. Custom Solutions: Third-party providers offer custom solutions to known vulnerabilities instead of direct patches. These solutions are designed to mitigate risks without altering the original software code.
  2. Security Advisory Services: Many third-party providers bolster their offerings with security advisory services. These services guide clients on best practices, risk mitigation strategies, and other essential security protocols.
  3. Proactive Monitoring: Some providers offer proactive monitoring services, ensuring that any unusual activity or potential breach is detected and addressed promptly.

What You Won’t Get with Third-Party Support

  1. Direct Oracle Patches: As mentioned, third-party providers can’t offer Oracle’s direct patches. This means you’re reliant on their custom solutions for security.
  2. Oracle’s Security Insights: Direct support from Oracle often comes with insights and recommendations based on global threat intelligence. This nuanced understanding might be missing with third-party support.
  3. Guaranteed Compliance: Compliance’s not guaranteed without direct patches, especially in regulated industries.

Implications of Choosing Third-Party Support

  1. Cost Savings vs. Security Trade-offs: While third-party support can lead to significant cost savings, organizations must weigh this against potential security trade-offs.
  2. Potential for Innovation: With the money saved, organizations can invest in other areas of IT, fostering innovation and growth.
  3. Need for Due Diligence: It’s crucial to vet third-party providers thoroughly, ensuring they have a robust security posture and the necessary expertise.

Conclusion

Transitioning to third-party Oracle support is a significant decision that comes with its set of challenges and benefits. From a security perspective, while there are undeniable challenges, many can be mitigated with the right provider.

Organizations must conduct thorough due diligence, understand the trade-offs, and ensure they’re not compromising security for cost savings. With a balanced approach, third-party support can be viable for many organizations.

Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.