Oracle CEO: Underground cloud security system ‘critical’ to Israel

Safra Catz told The Jerusalem Post that a big announcement about Oracle’s underground cloud data center in Jerusalem is expected this week.

Oracle CEO: Underground cloud security system ‘critical’ to Israel

A big announcement about Oracle’s underground cloud data center in Jerusalem is expected this week, the company’s CEO, Safra Catz, hinted Tuesday at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference.

“We thought this was absolutely critical for the country, the country’s security, for the citizens of Israel, that we make that investment even before we signed up a single customer,” Catz said. “We believed it was absolutely necessary because of the security profile of Israel.”

She said “with more to come. I don’t want to steal Eran’s thunder for later this week,” referring to Oracle Israel country leader Eran Feigenbaum.

Watch the Jerusalem Post 10th Annual Conference video >>

The tech giant announced in February that it was going to be the first global tech giant to open a cloud region in Israel, together with Bynet Data Communications.

A previous release by the company explained that the data center would extend over four floors and thousands of meters across at a depth of 50 m. below ground level. It is meant to provide advanced cloud services to companies and government offices in the defense, banking, insurance and technology arenas.

Safra Catz at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference (Credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Safra Catz at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference (Credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Catz’s speech was delivered on the same day that it was released that nearly 400 Google and Amazon workers signed a letter calling on the leaders of their companies to pull out of Project Nimbus and cut all ties with the Israeli military.

Project Nimbus is Israel’s project to build its own local cloud storage server centers and migrate the country’s public information technology to the cloud. Google and Amazon won the bid to set up and operate Project Nimbus in April.

Catz, who was born in Holon to parents who survived the Holocaust, became Oracle’s CEO in 2014.

She told the Post that Oracle has a long culture of security.

“For decades, we have said you cannot secure a system by just locking the doors and bolting the windows,” she said. “You have to have a completely steel foundation. It is why our cloud has special technologies in it that don’t even allow other users or even us, as the network operator, to access the data. It is also why our systems are autonomous. Because one of the biggest ways that the bad guys, whether countries or criminals, get in is by human error. So, we built so many of our systems to not allow for human error.”

Catz said that “this is such an amazing time” for advancing technology worldwide.

Watch the Jerusalem Post 10th Annual Conference video >>