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Oct 07

Build security into your systems part 9

Web server security
The web server application performs the critical task of processing and fulfilling requests for data when you publish databases, images, and other content on the web.

When users enter a web address into their browser, they are requesting the web server software at that address to locate data or an image and download it to their computer, where it can be displayed in their browser.

To protect the integrity of this process, your web server has its own security mechanism.
If you host databases with a server, use a third-party web server application such as Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) or Apache HTTP Server to publish files on the web. You can take advantage of additional security features, like SSL encryption, to transport data from the host to the web clients more securely.
Use encryption or VPNs to protect data
Consider using encryption and VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to protect your databases on a TCP/IP network. Encryption is the process of manipulating data (clear text) such that the result (cipher text) can be understood only by certain applications.
You can protect data by:
•Setting up a secure VPN to encrypt some (or all) of your network traffic as it travels across a Wide Area Network (WAN).
•Host databases with a server and configure SSL encryption in the web server application.
•Combine the above for extra security.

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