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Web Commerce Security Design and Development by Ronald L. Krutz, Hadi Nahari

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Introduction

It's a legitimate question to ask why we, the e-commerce security architects, should bother with the hardware upon which our solutions are built. After all, the solutions that we design should be agnostic to the underlying platforms and the hardware they run on. In this chapter, we make the case for the importance of this knowledge and discuss how it affects the efficiency, scalability, security, and maintenance of your e-commerce infrastructure.

In the early years of computing (circa 1960) there was little distinction between the fields of hardware and software. Back then, computer scientists, engineers, and electronic designers worked closely to build electronic machines and make them perform useful tasks such as solving computationally complex problems. Like any other young and prospering technology, the field of computing started to evolve and mature. Engineers who were in charge of building the electronic devices got closer to the field of applied physics to build faster, smaller, and more energy-efficient computers. At the same time, computer scientists grew closer to the field of applied mathematics to define the foundation and the theory of computing. This dichotomy was a good thing: It resulted in defining frameworks to better address two issues:

  • How to build computing machines
  • How to best utilize computers

The first question concerns the engineering details of hardware design and implementation; the second concerns the theoretical aspects of using the hardware ...

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