March 4, 2006
Rencken acknowledges that it took time to learn how to best communicate with Oracle, but since figuring that out, interactions have been smooth. Welch has an ace in the hole: a database administrator who used to work for Oracle and understands its patch process. Welch keeps in close contact with the vendor and even has an Oracle employee on its IT steering committee. Support for Oracle products consists of three in-house database administrators and contracted help from an offshore Oracle support center.
Rencken saves his worrying for wireless communications devices placed in the hands of Welch employees. A cell phone left in a taxi creates the opportunity for someone to access Outlook and other important data. Spyware and E-mailed viruses are another general security concern as they threaten to harm the company's network and snatch important information through key-logging programs. Back-end infiltration into databases, while a serious problem if it happens, is less of a priority because it's perceived as less likely as long as Oracle continues to patch vulnerabilities, Rencken says.
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