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September 2003

Mary Ann Davidson: Integrity in information security

Mary Ann Davidson, CSO, Oracle It isn't how she came to be Oracle's chief security officer that matters most to Mary Ann Davidson. It's why. Mary Ann Davidson The MBA had lobbied her software company to create the position, but figured someone with stronger roots in IT would essentially ensure the security of databases holding valuable corporate information. Instead, Oracle chose the straightforward Davidson, whom they knew would speak up when things weren't right. "Many people work at companies and are asked to choose between their integrity and employment, or change some attribute that's really important to them. I hadn't compromised that, because I'm not sure I could," she says. "Oracle wanted me for that attribute--my basic integrity. It doesn't get any better than that." Not long after she assumed the CSO role came the company's "Unbreakable" marketing campaign, which has not only created more pressure for Davidson and her staff but also raised the industry bar for developing software that can withstand harsh security ...

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