We have a third-party application that for licensing cost reasons we have employed Oracle 10g Standard Edition for the back-end database. We need to encrypt a handful of sensitive data fields in the database. The third-party application vendor has informed us that they do not offer data encryption, nor do they intend to in the future, and they suggested that we use Oracle's Transparent Data Encryption. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the Enterprise Edition, and even then only at additional cost.
So, the $564,000 question is this: Is there any simple way to do database-level data encryption that would be transparent to the third-party application? In other words, we do not want to mess with our vendor's code unless we absolutely have no other alternative. Are there any Oracle third-party tools that would work for us?