Fine Grained Auditing of Oracle Database

Why use Oracle Database Security Fine Grained Auditing feature?

In addition to the Oracle Standard auditing, Oracle Database Security also provides Fine Grain Auditing to audit use of the objects at a more granular level. Some of the benefits when using this method are below.

  • It is able to record access of specific columns, for a specific user.
  • It can audit for exact statement, collect the complete SQL text and bind values.
  • Because of being able audit at a granular level, auditing specific columns, in most cases it will thus store less rows and result in lesser resource usage on the database server.
  • Unlike the standard auditing, no parameter setting or a database restart is required.
  • It can easily be turned on-off with a database restart.

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As a DBA we must have used sqlplus “/as sysdba” to connect to database, atleast hundred times a day. Never bothered about the password to provide !!!

This is because we were using OS level authentication. We can change the configuration and make Oracle to ask for the password. Well, “/as sysdba” works fine if we are connecting to the host where the database is actually installed.

For example I have installed a database as oracle01 user (which belongs to DBA group) on one of my host called “host1″. I telnet to host1 as oracle01 user and provide the password to login. Once I successfully login to the host, there ends the authentication part. Not for administering the database all I have to do is to use our famous command to connect to database – “sqlplus /as sysdba”.

The reason above thing work is because I was using Operating System level authentication. If I try to connect to same database as sysdba from some other host, I wont be able to connect. Because the authentication is done based on host login password. Since I haven’t logged into host, authentication will fail and connect as sysdba will fail. So for OS authentication its mandatory that you are always logged into the host where the oracle is installed (oracle database resides). Continue reading