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Network security threats in Web services

In this Articles, we will learn about the Network Security Threats, Network Security Issue and Ways to protect your Network.

Web services security constitutes the technological and managerial procedures applied to the system to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information that is exchanged by the Web service. This article explores security issues specific to Web services and illustrates the engineering and testing practices required to ensure security throughout the Web services development life cycle.

Security Threats :

There are three specific security issues with web services −

  • Confidentiality

  • Authentication

  • Network Security


If a client sends an XML request to a server, can we ensure that the communication remains confidential?

Answer lies here −

  • XML-RPC and SOAP run primarily on top of HTTP.

  • HTTP has support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

  • Communication can be encrypted via SSL.

  • SSL is a proven technology and widely deployed.

A single web service may consist of a chain of applications. For example, one large service might tie together the services of three other applications. In this case, SSL is not adequate; the messages need to be encrypted at each node along the service path, and each node represents a potential weak link in the chain. Currently, there is no agreed-upon solution to this issue, but one promising solution is the W3C XML Encryption Standard. This standard provides a framework for encrypting and decrypting entire XML documents or just portions of an XML document


If a client connects to a web service, how do we identify the user? Is the user authorized to use the service?

The following options can be considered but there is no clear consensus on a strong authentication scheme.

  • HTTP includes built-in support for Basic and Digest authentication, and services can therefore be protected in much the same manner as HTML documents are currently protected.

  • SOAP Digital Signature (SOAP-DSIG) leverages public key cryptography to digitally sign SOAP messages. It enables the client or server to validate the identity of the other party.

  • The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is working on the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).

Network Security

There is currently no easy answer to this problem, and it has been the subject of much debate. For now, if you are truly intent on filtering out SOAP or XML-RPC messages, one possibility is to filter out all HTTP POST requests that set their content type to text/xml.

Another alternative is to filter the SOAPAction HTTP header attribute. Firewall vendors are also currently developing tools explicitly designed to filter web service traffic.

How to protect your Network:

Here we have few ways to protect the network from security threats like malware, Viruses, spyware, worms, phishing etc.

1. Strong Access control-

You should always use strong password. Weak access control or weak password can leave your data and the system as a suspect to unauthorized access. Which means it can be easily access and ca easily be hacked by the hackers. When you create your password, always use mixture of everything like uppercase, lowercase, numbers, special characters.

2. Updated Software:

When the new version of the particular software is released, it fixes the security vulnerabilities. hence make you Network or PC more secure. So make sure you always update your software or operating systems.

3. Software:

You should always make sure that the user cannot install any software without approvals. All computer have same OS, Brower, media player etc. Standardization make system updates less to hassle.

4. Network Protection:

You should always keep your network secure. Here we have some of the protections used for the network:

  1. install firewall

  2. use IDS/IPS to track potential packets floods.

  3. use VPN (Virtual Private Network)

  4. Use Network Segmentation.

5. Training:

To secure your network, you should always be trained to identify threats. The External threats are successful because of the internal threats. For example, You should always make sure that whatever you are downloading from internet is safe to download or always scan that application or any file or document before installing.

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