Compliance is driving a boom in the data audit market and designing the tools of the trade.
A recent Forrester report, “The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Database Auditing and Real-Time Protection, Q4 2007,” estimates the value of the database auditing and real-time protection market—including new licenses, support and services—to be $450 million, and predicts that number will double by 2010. Vendors say compliance is driving the rise in demand overall and a demand for the specific tools and processes.
“Auditors are increasingly concerned with real visibility into the audit trail,” said Roger Hodskins, vice president of marketing and alliances at Lumigent. “They want to see the actual effect of activities against critical data. For example, they are increasingly concerned with what type of server-side logic is launched from a network SQL statement such as a stored procedure. It is no longer acceptable to just see that procedure ‘James’ was executed—they want to see the detailed trail of access or changes to data that were triggered from that statement.”
Hodskins said his company is also seeing a major shift in the scale of deployments. Two years ago, he explained, a deployment of 20 servers was large, but during the past six months alone Lumigent has received orders from large financial institutions covering 400, 700 and over 1000 servers.
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Customers definitely want data auditing tools that can scale, but they also looking for automated tools that support all their platforms and tracks more than just SQL traffic, according to Phil Neray, vice president of marketing at Guardium.
“Customers are more savvy than they were in the past, so now they’re asking questions like, ‘OK, I understand you collect the data by monitoring all SQL traffic in real-time, but what applications do you provide for storing and managing massive amounts of audit log information?'” Neray said. “‘Can you help me extract useful intelligence for forensics, correlation, and compliance reporting? And by the way, it’s not just about producing a stack of reports for the auditors—can you help simplify our compliance processes by automating sign-offs and escalations as well?'”
“The second thing is they’re realizing that other technologies like IDS/IPS [intrusion detection system/ intrusion prevention system], SIEM and DLP systems address part of the broader data security issue, but don’t really cut it in the database monitoring space because they don’t have the specialized understanding required to capture and analyze database activities,” he continued. “For example, systems that analyze HTTP traffic are fairly easy to develop because HTTP consists of only 10 or so primitives, whereas SQL consists of over 350 individual commands as well as a full programming language, with additional variations and subtleties for each DBMS platform.”
But while meeting regulatory and industry mandates is a key market driver, those in the data auditing space agree that the technology can serve more than just compliance needs.
“Enterprises are just starting to look beyond compliance auditing—like privileged user monitoring for SOX or cardholder data monitoring for PCI—to take a more holistic view of data auditing as new layer of security for catching suspicious behavior of authorized users or data thieves masquerading as authorized users,” said Prat Moghe, CTO of Tizor Systems. “This makes sense considering that the data breach epidemic has heightened the need to use monitoring and behavioral analytics to ensure that the wrong people don’t get access to data.”
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