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Oracle Fights ID Theft With 'Trust' in Bharosa

Sometimes the stars align for two companies to be more than just partners.

Oracle  today agreed to buy multi-factor authentication and fraud detection software maker Bharosa for an undisclosed sum.

While most startups in the security software space pick one area to specialize in, Bharosa (meaning "trust" in Hindi) is unique because it offers two core products that work closely together to prevent crimes perpetrated through identity theft.

Protecting against identity theft is a key requirement for companies exchanging information with partners or customers through the Internet, which has generally leaked data like a sieve for determined hackers.

Companies must also meet regulatory mandates such as FFIEC, PCI, and Sarbanes-Oxley, which demand that companies provide higher levels of assurance of users' identities and their intent. Bharosa's software helps make sure users are who they say they are and pinpoints anomalies in computer access and usage.

Bharosa Tracker verifies several factors to confirm identity, including the PC and mobile device used to log-in, as well as a user's location and behavioral profiles to score risk and alert organizations to potential fraud. This multi-factor authentication can be applied without requiring any change to the user experience.

Bharosa Authenticator comprises a suite of secure Virtual Authentication Devices -- software that works like hardware -- used to enter and encrypt sensitive password and PIN data online.

Oracle and Bharosa are well acquainted with one another. Bharosa, which has reeled in 25 million users thanks to key partnerships and high-profile customers, has been helping Oracle implement fraud protection for its financial, e-commerce, government and health care applications since October.

In that arrangement, Authenticator and Tracker products are used with the Oracle Access Manager to authenticate users based on business rules and workflows using multiple factors.

Should the acquisition close in August as expected, Oracle said in a statement it will pair Tracker and Authenticator with its Web single sign-on and Web-based authorization tools to extend internal Web single sign-on (SSO) solutions to external users.

Oracle added that Tracker and Authenticator will continue to be available on a standalone basis with integrations for Oracle and non-Oracle environments, as well as integrated with Oracle Identity Management.

Bharosa is the latest in a series of vendors the software giant has acquired, including Oblix, Thor Technologies and OctetString, to shore up security for its customers.

These assets comprise Oracle's Identity Management suite, which the company considers the security backbone for its Oracle Fusion Middleware portfolio.

IBM , Microsoft , CA , HP  and several other Oracle rivals offer various security software portfolios. However, where identity management is concerned, Oracle's is among the most deep and broad.