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EB/U2 Topic 5 Securing E-commerce Network and Security protocol in Internet

SECURING E-COMMERCE NETWORK

Security is an essential part of any transaction that takes place over the internet. Customers will lose his/her faith in e-business if its security is compromised. Following are the essential requirements for safe e-payments/transactions :

  • Confidentiality − Information should not be accessible to an unauthorized person. It should not be intercepted during the transmission.
  • Integrity − Information should not be altered during its transmission over the network.
  • Availability − Information should be available wherever and whenever required within a time limit specified.
  • Authenticity − There should be a mechanism to authenticate a user before giving him/her an access to the required information.
  • Non-Repudiability − It is the protection against the denial of order or denial of payment. Once a sender sends a message, the sender should not be able to deny sending the message. Similarly, the recipient of message should not be able to deny the receipt.
  • Encryption − Information should be encrypted and decrypted only by an authorized user.
  • Auditability − Data should be recorded in such a way that it can be audited for integrity requirements.

MEASURES TO ENSURE SECURITY

Major security measures are following:

  • Encryption − It is a very effective and practical way to safeguard the data being transmitted over the network. Sender of the information encrypts the data using a secret code and only the specified receiver can decrypt the data using the same or a different secret code.
  • Digital Signature − Digital signature ensures the authenticity of the information. A digital signature is an e-signature authenticated through encryption and password.
  • Security Certificates − Security certificate is a unique digital id used to verify the identity of an individual website or user.

SECURITY PROTOCOLS IN INTERNET:-

We will discuss here some of the popular protocols used over the internet to ensure secured online transactions.

(1) Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

It is the most commonly used protocol and is widely used across the industry. It meets following security requirements −

  • Authentication
  • Encryption
  • Integrity
  • Non-reputability

https://” is to be used for HTTP urls with SSL, where as “http:/” is to be used for HTTP urls without SSL.

(2) Hypertext Transfer Protocol(HTTP)

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, and hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.

Hypertext is structured text that uses logical links (hyperlinks) between nodes containing text. HTTP is the protocol to exchange or transfer hypertext.

HTTP functions as a request–response protocol in the client–server computing model. A web browser, for example, may be the client and an application running on a computer hosting a website may be the server. The client submits an HTTP request message to the server. The server, which provides resources such as HTML files and other content, or performs other functions on behalf of the client, returns a response message to the client. The response contains completion status information about the request and may also contain requested content in its message body.

A web browser is an example of a user agent (UA). Other types of user agent include the indexing software used by search providers (web crawlers), voice browsers, mobile apps, and other software that accesses, consumes, or displays web content.

(3) FIREWALL

In computing, a firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external network, such as the Internet.

Firewalls are often categorized as either network firewalls or host-based firewalls. Network firewalls filter traffic between two or more networks and run on network hardware. Host-based firewalls run on host computers and control network traffic in and out of those machines.

Types:-

An illustration of where a firewall would be located in a network

Firewalls are generally categorized as network-based or host-based. Network-based firewalls are positioned on the gateway computers of LANs, WANs and intranets. They are either software appliances running on general-purpose hardware, or hardware-based firewall computer appliances. Firewall appliances may also offer other functionality to the internal network they protect, such as acting as a DHCP or VPN server for that network. Host-based firewalls are positioned on the network node itself and control network traffic in and out of those machines. The host-based firewall may be a daemon or service as a part of the operating system or an agent.

(4) PERSONAL FIREWALL

A personal firewall is an application which controls network traffic to and from a computer, permitting or denying communications based on a security policy. Typically it works as an application layer firewall.

A personal firewall differs from a conventional firewall in terms of scale. A personal firewall will usually protect only the computer on which it is installed, as compared to a conventional firewall which is normally installed on a designated interface between two or more networks, such as a router or proxy server. Hence, personal firewalls allow a security policy to be defined for individual computers, whereas a conventional firewall controls the policy between the networks that it connects.

(5) INTRUSION DETECTION SYSTEM(IDS)

An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a type of security software designed to automatically alert administrators when someone or something is trying to compromise information system through malicious activities or through security policy violations.

An IDS works by monitoring system activity through examining vulnerabilities in the system, the integrity of files and conducting an analysis of patterns based on already known attacks. It also automatically monitors the Internet to search for any of the latest threats which could result in a future attack.

An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a device or software application that monitors a network or systems for malicious activity or policy violations. Any malicious activity or violation is typically reported either to an administrator or collected centrally using a security information and event management (SIEM) system. A SIEM system combines outputs from multiple sources, and uses alarm filtering techniques to distinguish malicious activity from false alarms.

(6) VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.

VPNs may allow employees to securely access a corporate intranet while located outside the office. They are used to securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. Individual Internet users may secure their transactions with a VPN, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, or to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location in order to stay anonymous on the internet. However, some Internet sites block access to known VPN technology to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions. Therefore, many personal use VPN providers have been developing technologies to bypass the blocking of proxies.

(7)PUBLIC KEY INFRASTRUCTURE

A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a set of roles, policies, and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store, and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption. The purpose of a PKI is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information for a range of network activities such as e-commerce, internet banking and confidential email. It is required for activities where simple passwords are an inadequate authentication method and more rigorous proof is required to confirm the identity of the parties involved in the communication and to validate the information being transferred.

In cryptography, a PKI is an arrangement that binds public keys with respective identities of entities (like people and organizations). The binding is established through a process of registration and issuance of certificates at and by a certificate authority (CA). Depending on the assurance level of the binding, this may be carried out by an automated process or under human supervision.

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