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Chapter 14. Security > Concerns About Security

Concerns About Security

Lack of security is often cited as one of the greatest barriers to Internet commerce, but in fact the possibility of security is one of the great enablers of Internet commerce. Security of systems for electronic commerce is a business problem involving risk management and ease of use, not merely a technology problem. Technologies such as public-key encryption provide critical components of an overall solution, but they are not enough. In this chapter we suggest some ways to think about the security of the entire system; we review the technologies of security; and we discuss several related areas, such as export control. Although many of the topics here are relevant for Internet security in general, not just for commerce, our focus is on what is necessary to build Internet commerce applications.

Although there are good reasons for caution regarding security issues, it is possible to do business on the Internet today with a secure system, using the principles described in this chapter. These principles apply both to systems designed from scratch as well as to systems built around off-the-shelf products for Internet commerce.


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