Apr 24, 2015
Four times each year, Oracle goes to great lengths to ensure that its products and offerings are kept as secure as possible, thanks to its Critical Patch Update.
The company continues to implore its enterprise users to update their systems, especially as the latest changes will cover any previous security flaws noted in older updates too. Ultimately, users have to download the patches once and their systems should be secure for the time being.
In total, there have been 98 patches made available by Oracle - with four of those centred on Oracle Database.
While the emphasized issues have been fixed via the latest patches, Oracle pointed out that the vulnerabilities were not necessarily exploitable without authentication. In other words, there is very little chance that the four highlighted issues could be used by an outside influence to access mission-critical data.
Java Virtual Machine and Oracle Database
The biggest flaw in Oracle Database to be addressed in the April update revolves around the presence of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JVM compiles files within the database and was added to Oracle's offerings back in 1999. Since then, the company has been working on optimizing it.
However, in the past, applying patches required server downtime, which hugely impacted those not implementing real-time replication across their databases.
Oracle released 98 patches - four of which addressed database flaws.
Oracle has admitted that Java is relatively fluid, and constantly finding ways to correct issues without interrupting service is an ongoing challenge. Much of the Critical Patch Update in October 2014 focussed on JVM vulnerabilities, but this latest raft of alterations goes to show that issues are still ongoing.
Enterprise security issues
The need to patch is more apparent than ever. Security risks are becoming more progressive and focussed, while the shear amount of data that enterprises are looking to store both locally and in the cloud is accelerating at an exponential rate.
While many software and hardware vendors will fall foul of not actively addressing threats, Oracle's patch programme can go some way to plugging any gaps in IT infrastructure security.
However, it is by no means the be-all and end-all. As the update is only published quarterly, it is imperative for enterprises to encourage good practices when it comes to keeping data secure, with consistent patching just one weapon in the arsenal to be used against potential threats.