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Carroll School of Management

takeaway 1

Mark V. Hurd

CEO, Oracle Corporation


Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives Club  

April 22, 2015

TAKEAWAY: Cyber Security

Audience Member: In light of where we are, cloud, more to the individual, less to the corporation, rampant cyber security in this whole new environment.

Hurd: Cyber security–yeah, I mean how will it affect the environment? I think it’ll slow it down. And I think you’ve got this–some of these concerns are real. Some of these are not.

Remember, most attacks–you used the term cyber security–but most attacks are not from China or Russia or some nation state. Most attacks are from within your four walls. So I think the last data I’ve seen is 92%, 93% of attacks come from inside the four walls of the company. So the issue of security in the broader sense, I think, is a major issue.

The perceived context that somehow moving your data to the–quote, unquote–whatever you want to call this thing–the cloud–somehow increases your security risk, I think, is almost nonsense. The fact that a company can secure, in its four walls, data–by the way, regulators, who are some of my best friends–they think the world is physical–that tell me that data’s on that computer, on that floor, in these four walls–gosh, I feel good. That has nothing to do with reality. That’s not how information technology works.

Data is fundamentally virtual. And the context that all of you have in the mass of data that’s outside of your firewall is way beyond whatever you think.

Now, that said, the ability for somebody like us–or I can name others–who can secure that data is materially higher in any individual company.

Now, I think you’ll see a lot of innovation in this area. We’ll wind up encrypting all the data in our cloud. Historically, you wouldn’t encrypt–encrypt and being–you’ll actually take the data and you won’t be able to recognize the data. The people running the Oracle cloud won’t have your data. They’ll have encrypted files. That key will be with you, not with me.

So even if the Department of Justice called me up–I was telling Jay this earlier–and said hey, send me Bob’s data–you know, first I’d say no. And if they showed up with a subpoena, I’d hand them over a bunch of encrypted files. And good luck to you, because my guys are better than their guys.

So now, I think, as you see VPN and you see these private networks evolve, you’ll wind up with encrypted files over private networks. And these will be highly secure networks in highly secure encrypted environments. And now that’s going to be different than if you just go to a consumer company.

So it’s a very big difference between an enterprise company and a consumer company. I mean, a consumer company’s not going to encrypt consumer files. But big enterprise technology companies are going to go this direction. So I think we’ll be good.