The innovative database firewall that disappeared into Oracle after the acquisition of UK startup Secerno has been formally re-launched by the software giant.

Now called simply the ‘Oracle Database Firewall’, the product can trace its lineage back to a room full of post-graduate Oxford University students who by 2006 had scraped together enough funding to develop their ideas into a product called Secerno.SQL.

Expanded with multi-database support, this later became DataWall, which is where last May Oracle stepped in for a still undisclosed but undoubtedly healthy sum. All this in a country, the UK, where tech start-ups rarely get off the ground let alone being bought by huge US software companies.

The innovation of Secerno’s approach is that it can secure the database from people inside as well as outside the company by assessing in real time whether what is being requested by them conforms to a model of the 'reasonable'. What is reasonable will, crucially, depend on the system's assessment of previous use, helping mark out unusual accesses.

What Oracle has added to the mix is mostly wider database support, which now includes Oracle’s own 11g, IBM DB2 across Unix, Linux and Windows, plus Sybase/SQL and the original Microsoft SQL that formed the core of Secerno’s development.

The software is now also integrated within Oracle’s wider portfolio of security products, Oracle Advanced Security, Oracle Data Vault, and Oracle Audit vault.

The basic sales pitch remains the same as it always was, however.

“Oracle Database Firewall offers organisations a first line of defence that can stop internal and external attacks from reaching databases. [It] helps reduce the costs and complexity of securing data across the enterprise without requiring any changes to existing applications and databases,” said Oracle VP of database security, Vipin Samar.