Appliances tackle security issues

Openness ranks among the top advantages of Web services technology.

Indeed, Web services let organizations readily share information with business partners. But a security breach can undercut that benefit, especially if a Web service exposes data to unauthorized parties. Vendors selling Extensible Markup Language security appliances aim to fill the security gap, and government agencies are taking notice.

The Federal Trade Commission, for example, uses Westbridge Technology's XA2500 appliance to secure its Web services, which includes the National Do Not Call Registry. The product supports authentication, access control, encryption, decryption, signing and signature verification among other

capabilities, according to Westbridge officials.

There is a downside to improved protection: Web services can take a performance hit when

security contributes to processing overhead. Vendors are incorporating acceleration features to

address this security-vs.-performance trade-off.

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