Oracle recently launched a beta preview of its new Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems, a new component of its Identity Management offering, which is part of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems is designed as a pre-integrated centralized user authentication and storage solution for Linux and Unix operating systems, including Oracle Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Plans are in the works to add support for more operating systems in the future.

The solution includes hot-pluggable modules that can integrate with Oracle Internet Directory LDAP service and Oracle Database, or external authentication systems. Also included are hot-pluggable management tools that ease user privilege management so that one need not become an LDAP expert in order to exercise proper control over the user environment.

"With its hot-pluggable architecture, Oracle Identity Management makes it easier for organizations to incorporate identity and access management capabilities into their Oracle and non-Oracle environments," said Hasan Rizvi, vice president, Security and Identity Management Products, Oracle. "The preview release of Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems marks another example of Oracle's commitment to supporting heterogeneous security capabilities that are reflective of our customers' data centers -- and the growth of Linux -- while helping them more rapidly centralize the authentication and management of their operating system accounts."

In the middle of July, Oracle announced a deal to acquire Bharosa, maker of online identity theft and fraud protection tools. Oracle will add Bharosa's fraud prevention capabilities to its single sign-on and Web-based authorization solutions, further enhancing the security offerings of its middleware platform.