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Oracle's 78 Patches This Quarter, Whatever…

There’s been a lot of noise of late because Oracle just released their latest round of patches and there are a total of 78 of them. There’s no doubt that that is a lot of patches. But in and of itself the number of patches is a terrible metric for how secure a product is. This is even more the case of companies that bundle all of their patches for all of their product lines at once. Most of the chatter I’ve seen, implies that all 78 are for the main Oracle database, but if you read their announcement, you’ll see the breakdown is as follows:

Oracle Database Server – 2 patches
Oracle Fusion Middleware – 11 patches
Oracle E-Business Suite – 3 patches
Oracle Supply Chain Products Suite – 1 patch
Oracle PeopleSoft – 6 patches
Oracle JD Edwards – 8 patches
Oracle Sun Products – 17 patches
Oracle Virtualization – 3 patches
Oracle MySQL – 27 patches

Fully 60% of the above patches are from OSS products. So which is more secure: open source or closed source. Or let’s compare Oracle DB vs MySQL: 2 versus 27 patches?

What do these numbers tell you? Absolutely nothing. Even with something like CVSS you still can’t tell which product is more secure. The whole thing is a load of malarkey. The product that is and will remain most secure is the one that you can manage and maintain the easiest for your organization.

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