Client/Server Architecture

Client/Server computing is currently one of the buzzwords in the computer industry. The client/server environment can be defined as an open systems environment. This openness of the client/server environment makes it a very popular environment to operate in. As information is exceedingly accessed in a client/server manner certain security issues arise.


In order to address this definite need for a secure client/server environment it is necessary to firstly define the client/server environment. This is accomplished through defining three possible ways to partition programs within the client/server environment.


Security or secure systems have a different meaning for different people. This thesis defines six attributes of information that should be maintained in order to have secure information. For certain environments some of these attributes may be unnecessary or of lesser importance.


Different security techniques and measures are discussed and classified in terms of the client/server partitions and the security attributes that are maintained by them. This is presented in the form of a matrix and provides an easy reference to decide on security measures in the client/server environment in order to protect a specific aspect of the information.


The importance of a security policy and more specifically the influence of the client/server environment on such a policy are discussed and it is demonstrated that the framework can assist in drawing up a security policy for a client/server environment.


This thesis furthermore defines an electronic document management system as a case study. It is shown that the client/server environment is a suitable environment for such a system. The security needs and problems are identified and classified in terms of the security attributes. Solutions to the problems are discussed in order to provide a reasonably secure electronic document management system environment.

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