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In an era where technology is present in our daily routine, security and privacy represent a big question mark. Talking to Security Domain Leader for EMEA region at Oracle, Mr. Marcel Rizcallah, at the 12th Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, he highlights the importance of a strongly secure database and elaborated more about Oracle’s first autonomous database.

Oracle redefined data management with the world’s first autonomous database, how important is this form of database to companies?

This is really key because today, if you look at the security breaches, most of them are coming from the inside: people access the database directly and can see everything. Databases are not patched, the performance of database are not good enough, certainly there is a lot of database crashes, and the cost of their maintenance is huge for the organizations. They have to have the right skills with the right people, invest all their money in maintaining instead of innovating. So, autonomous database is a great opportunity to lower the investment and cost for customers. It is self-secure, it is self-patching, it is self-operating, it is self-increasing the performance, optimizing the performance, and it is going to be a big opportunity for them to reduce their cost and focus more on innovation and having something running and secure all the time.

Oracle is known for the security it offers to its clients, is there any new form of technologies you’re adopting to improve even more your services with the rise of cyber threats?

Absolutely, first when going into the cloud, the cloud needs to be highly secure, so we have implemented all the classical security measurement in the cloud, so we have the encryption, we have the network firewall, we have antiviruses and all that, but now there are new threats and new challenges in the clouds that the perimeter is not the organization anymore, we don’t go into the office to access the cloud: you use your mobile in the world wherever you are to access the organization’s or your company’s cloud systems. So, what you need is to secure it, we need to analyze human behavior, we need machine learning to understand what the user used to do and if he is doing suddenly something different this is maybe a bot doing that. So, we are investing heavily in machine learning, artificial intelligence, edge security, user behavior analytics, etc. to predict and detect breaches before they happen.

According to your 2019 top 10 predictions, by 2025 all AI and emerging technologies will double businesses’ productivity. In your opinion what are the downturns to these types of technologies?

First, I would say privacy. It is going to be very challenging because those technologies learn about the user’s behavior, and knowing more about the user behavior is knowing about the user himself, what we need is to forget that behavior at a given time. If the user wants change, his mindset, his behavior or he likes something else, we need to be able to erase all that.

A second thing is that we need people to be able to operate these kinds of systems. Those systems will be more or less automatic, they will trigger alerts automatically, they will learn from users, they will highlight risks, but maybe they are not really risks, maybe this is a normal behavior and the system will say no it is not normal so we need people who can understand that like data scientists who can interact with those intelligent systems and put them in the right way. And finally, even if security is more and more being taken by those systems which will react intelligently and automatically on breaches, we still need people who can understand that and operate those systems.

So, there is a lack of skills today in the market such as security skills and data scientists. The classical security will need less people to implement a security patch for example, or configure a firewall. We will not really need much people as before, but we need people who can operate a security solution.

You’re attending the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit in its 12th edition, what do you think of the topics tackled so far and why did you choose to attend?

I think it is a very interesting event because it is focused on the telecom market and 5G, the new technology that is going to be amazing with all the use cases, the business opportunity offers. So, I chose to attend because I’m proud that this happened in Lebanon, I’m Lebanese and I wanted to see the ideas, innovation, and added values Lebanon was going to provide and it is also an opportunity for Lebanon to have more business opportunities and attract talent from outside to improve the telecom industry.

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