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Technically Speaking of Security
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Technically Speaking of Security

Traditional enterprise security has focused almost entirely on keeping intruders out by using tools such as firewalls and content filters. This approach, however, doesn’t fit the security demands of the emerging world of e-business. Now organizations want to make enterprise systems and information more available to internal employees as well as people outside the organization like business partners and customers. At the same time, they need to maintain tight controls over exactly which information and applications are made accessible to which users. This desire to provide wider access has emerged at a time when security has become a topic of huge concern. With security breaches attracting national attention, there are strong reasons for corporations to pause before putting critical systems online. Security has corporate image implications, in addition to real business and legal implications.

Businesses need to be certain of the integrity of their solutions before opening up their networks. These new priorities—a need to allow wider access to systems, accompanied with heightened concerns over network security—mean that existing security products, though useful, are inadequate. Traditional barriers such as firewalls and content filters can help prevent viruses from corrupting the network and intruders from stealing sensitive data, but a more sophisticated approach is needed to provide strategic partners and customers with the ability to fully leverage e-business applications. In addition, corporations need to protect applications from unauthorized use by users within their own organizations. So far, businesses have generally tried to resolve access and security problems by building authorization and authentication functions separately into each of their e-business applications. This piecemeal, one-application-at-a-time approach requires considerable software expertise, is time-consuming, and is expensive. It slows application deployment in a business environment where time to market is often critical. Finally, this approach becomes increasingly unsustainable as an organization’s e-business portfolio grows, and as online interactions between companies become more complex. Nevertheless, businesses have had little choice but to take this piecemeal approach, because of the absence of products capable of providing a security infrastructure for all their e-business applications.
Though security infrastructure products have been widely used in the mainframe environment for years, the emergence of e-business has been so rapid that technology of comparable scope has not, until recently, been available for distributed Web-based solutions. The situation is changing, however, and this Guide describes the infrastructure technology that is emerging onto the market.
An e-business issue that has become a major concern is the need for privacy protection. Many e-business applications store information about customers or employees. Often, the value of the application is directly dependent on this information. Indeed, an e-commerce site may be personalized to fit each customer’s needs, using stored information about the customer. Businesses that store this information need to protect it from unauthorized use. There are legal, ethical, and business reasons for this pending in the major markets requires businesses to implement specific levels of privacy protection, and track changes to personal information. Often, businesses choose to publicly declare their privacy policy in order to assure customers that their information is safe. It is essential then that the declared policy be consistently implemented in each application. Privacy requirements can be considered an extension of other e-business security needs. The goal is to provide access to specific information, but also to ensure that only the right level of access is provided to exactly the right people.

User requirements for secured environment
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