Security a key part of any e-commerce plan
By Tim Ouellette, special to Search400
Besides attracting users to your site when developing an e-commerce strategy, you also have to make sure users cannot get too much out of your site -� your secure corporate data, for example.
Luckily for AS/400 shops, experts say security is not an area where there are a lot of worries. In fact, compared with other platforms, the security features of the AS/400 can help bolster your decision to host e-commerce applications on the system.
"The AS/400 is one of the most secure platforms in the commercial marketplace," says Wayne O. Evans, an AS/400 security consultant in Tuscon, Ariz. "The architecture of the AS/400 prevents modification of programs, thus the introduction of a virus into the AS/400 is difficult."
Additionally, a user's access privileges are validated each time the user tries to access data on an AS/400, he says.
Often it's very simple to make sure the AS/400 is safe. For example, Evans says many IBM applications have security options built in, so security is set up easily during the application setup process. The AS/400 also has security built in to the hardware level, something platforms such as Unix or Windows NT don't offer. Combined, these features mean that users don't have to go out and purchase separate security software to protect their e-commerce Web sites.
The AS/400 is also very resistant to computer viruses that often run amok across the Internet, raising havoc on different Web sites and affecting the ability of these sites to conduct e-commerce transactions.
But AS/400 systems managers and Web developers have to make sure they put all the pieces in place to make sure they use the machine's security features to their fullest, Evans says.
IBM provides a security wizard with V4R3 of OS/400. If you don't have that version of the operating system, IBM's security advisor at http://www.as400.ibm.com/tstudio/secure1/secdex.htm can provide you with answers to your security questions.
Ouellette is a freelance editor in Scarborough, Maine.
This was first published in September 2000