Oracle to buy ID theft detection company Bharosa

Acquisition will extend Oracle's Identity Management capabilities and beef up its growing identity management operation

While most of Oracle's recent purchases have focused on growing its applications business, the vendor's latest proposed purchase will beef up its growing identity management operation.

Oracle announced Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Bharosa, a provider of software to help detect online identity theft and fraud. The companies didn't reveal the financial details of the acquisition, which is expected to close next month.

"The transaction will extend Oracle's Identity Management capabilities by adding proactive real time risk-analysis, strong authentication and fraud prevention," Hasan Rizvi, vice president, identity management and security products at Oracle, wrote in a letter to customers.

Identity Management is part of Oracle's Fusion middleware.

Bharosa has two main products -- Tracker, antifraud software that works by verifying a variety of factors to confirm identity, and Authenticator, a suite of secure authentication software, which works with Web browsers to protect a range of sensitive information such as passwords from malicious attacks.

Once the purchase is completed, Oracle plans to add some of Bharosa's Tracker and Authenticator software to its existing online single sign-on (SSO) and Web-based authorization security products. The intention is to expand the use of Oracle's identity management software outside of an enterprise to safely encompass external users. At the same time, Oracle committed to continue to make Bharosa's software available on a stand-alone basis and to offer integrations with non-Oracle databases and applications as well as its own products.

Bharosa has more than 30 customers for its real-time fraud detection and multifactor online authentication enterprise security software. Consumer Web sites using Bharosa's technologies include Wells Fargo and National City. In total, the company estimates its software protects 27 million users. Other Bharosa customers are AudioTel, a supplier of software to banks, and I-flex solutions, an Indian financial services software vendor and a majority-owned Oracle subsidiary.

Founded in 2003, privately held Bharosa has its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. The company's name means "trust" in Hindi.

Oracle was previously busy on the identity management front in 2005 buying up three companies -- Oblix, OctetString, and Thor -- for their technologies, which the vendor then integrated into its security offerings.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.