Role of Security in Internet and Web Services

Introduction To Role of Security in Internet and Web Services

Role of Security in Internet and Web Services:- In the present scenario, the Internet is emerging as the most widely used medium for performing various tasks such as exchanging data and information as well as conducting online shopping and bank transactions. Apart from the common people, most of the governmental organizations and big business houses entirely depend on this medium transmitting and receiving critical information and conducting their day-to-day busines.

 All this information and data need to be secured against unauthorised access from and malicious sources. So It is Important For Us To Know About The “Role of Security in Internet and Web Services“.

Security is Implemented in a website mainly through two  processes, authentication and authorisation. Authentication refers to the process recognizing the identity of a user, while authorisation is the process of providing access to various resources, such as databases and printers, to the authenticated users.

A Web service allows a website to communicate with other websites irrespective of th programming languages in which they are created. In addition, a Web service can accessed by any application, regardless of the software and hardware platforms on which the application is running because the Web service complies with common industry standards such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Descriptio Language (WSDL).

Role of Security in Internet and Web Services
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 A Web service does not have any user interface; it only contains th logic for providing specific services to its consumers. A Web service provides a abstraction between the consumer (client) and the provider of the Web service. The Web service only needs information about input, output and location of the client and the Web service provider. 

Before the introduction of Web services. developers employe technologies, such as Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), to use the functionality of one application in another. These technologies allowed a developer to create code components once and then bundle them so that the could be shared across multiple applications by multiple developers. However, there were some fundamental difficulties in using these components. One such difficulty was that these components needed to be physically distributed and explicitly registered on client machine. 

Web services overcome these difficulties as they can be shared among multiple websites without the need to install them on each individual client machine

Web services have become popular because of the added functionalities they provide over component-based technologies. The advantages of Web services over COM and DCOM are as follows:

  • Web services are simple to use; and consequently, they can be implemented on various platforms
  • Web services are loosely coupled; as a result, their interfaces and methods can be extended.
  • Web services do not carry any state information with them, thus enabling multiple requests to be processed simultaneously.

Web service are most appropriate while communicating across platforms or enforcing trusted connection between the server and the client.

Securing Web Services

If you want to create a Web service and host it over the Internet, you need to be able to control and regulate access to the Web service. Web service requests and responses are sent as XML documents, which are in text format. Therefore, you need to secure the Web service from unauthorized access during such transmission.

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You can prevent a Web service from being accessed by unauthorised access in the following two ways:

  • Using encryption and message-based security.
  • Using authentication and access controls for the Web service

Now, let’s learn about these methods in detail.

Encryption and Message-Based Security

Encryption is the process of scrambling the text that your Web service contains so that only the intended user is able to decrypt (convert encrypted data back into its original form) it with the help of a key. Message-based security allows you to send encrypted messages to anyone without worrying about the decryption of the messages by a malicious user. You can detect any modification made by someone in the message straightaway because the signature (private key) attached to the message becomes invalid, and you can then safely discard the message. This type of security works by encrypting the message at both the request and the response levels.

Authentication and Access Controls for the Web Service 

Authentication is the process of validating a user against the user credentials provided by the user. One way to secure a Web service is to make it mandatory for the users, who want to use the Web service, to provide their credentials in the form of a user ID and password. If they fail to do that, they are refused access to the Web service.

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