There's no shortage of security products already in the market, so I was curious to hear the story of a new database security company that launched itself in May and its product in June. What did Sentrigo have to offer in its Hedgehog database monitoring solution that isn't already available from some other company in its product?

Rani Osnat, Sentrigo VP of marketing and business development, asserted that only now are many companies beginning to look at protecting their databases. He noted that businesses first focused on securing their perimeters, but they're now looking at internal areas that need protection. Because databases are such crucial resources, holding large amounts of sensitive customer data and vital intellectual property information, they merit attention, perhaps more so than laptops or email messages, which would likely yield less information if they ended up in the wrong hands. Additionally, federal and other regulations are requiring data protection measures, including those that guard against insider threats.

The Hedgehog sensor software sits on your database systems and watches for any actions against the databases that violate any of the default or custom-written rules defined in the Hedgehog server software. The sensors read the database's shared memory, so they see every transaction against the database. According to Osnat, "The trick is to do this without impacting performance," and Sentrigo's commitment is to use no more than 5 percent of the processing power of one of the CPUs in the database system. The Hedgehog server is Java-based and has a browser interface for setting up sensors and rules.

Osnat said that most database auditing tools are network-based rather than host-based and thus can't see all the local action. For example, a stored procedure in the database might be triggered by some command. A network-based auditor would see the command going in but not what the procedure is doing in the database. Hedgehog would see both.

So far, Hedgehog is available for Oracle databases only. Next month, it will support Oracle on Windows, and SQL Server will be supported by the end of the year. Hedgehog Enterprise costs $2,000 per database CPU; Hedgehog Standard, a free version with some limitations, is also available. For more information or to download Hedgehog, go to http://www.sentrigo.com.