Part 3 Wireless Deployment Strategies in Visual C#.NET

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Part 3 Wireless Deployment Strategies
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wireless projects, using a best practices and common sense approach to minimizing security risk whenever possible
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Introduction to the Case Studies
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Owing to the wireless hype of 1999 to 2000, there are ample eligible wireless data success stories Some successes are often cynically referred to as marketicture in reference to the lack of substance behind the press releases For this chapter, case studies were selected on a variety of criteria, of which commercial success was but one The fact remains that the largest revenue-generating wireless data services are few and far between (NTT DoCoMo excepted) The goal here is to present solutions across a variety of industries and geographies that demonstrate solid wireless security architectures on today s second-generation (2G) networks These case studies focus on applications where security was a key consideration There are numerous wireless deployments in production for which security requirements are secondary Examples include generic field service-type applications where workers use wireless devices to transmit trouble tickets and other information about problems with field equipment For instance, many of the major beverage producers equip the delivery trucks with wireless devices to update information about malfunctioning soda machines The electric utility also employs similar applications Given that the relative value of the underlying data is quite low, security is not a significant requirement for these implementations, so this chapter will not focus on such implementations If the reader is looking for case studies in this category, the mainstream IT press (Information Week, PC Week, and so on) invariably cover deployments of this type on a frequent basis
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Each case study was based on information available from publicly available sources Actual company names and specific product usage was deliberately omitted
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Real Examples from the Wireless World
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Case Study 1
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Organization: Internet banking subsidiary of large European bank User base: Consumers Geographic location: One single European country Application: Wireless Internet brokerage Business requirement: Extend existing wired Internet brokerage service to wireless environments without sacrificing security Wireless solution: WAP-compliant solution running on Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network utilizing WAP-compliant handset and Java application on Palm personal digital assistant (PDA) Background: This organization, one of the world s largest financial institutions, successfully entered the online brokerage world in the late 1990s with a web-based Internet stock brokerage service This enabled users to conduct stock brokerage transactions through a browser The wired system implemented several security safeguards including firewalls, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, and usage of a hand-held hardware token for 2 factor user authentication As wireless applications began to take off in Europe in 1998 to 1999, the division looked to extend the same capabilities to wireless devices Although wireless extensions to existing consumer banking applications were not viewed as a major revenue source, it was viewed as an important feature for product differentiation and to improve customer retention This new service needed to utilize the same ironclad security as utilized in the wired application Unfortunately, the limitations of the WAP architecture meant that an end-to-end SSL solution was not feasible However, the organization developed a solution that maintained end-toend security Rather than relying on native WAP technology, the organization developed a Java application that could operate on the Palm PDA platform By doing so, the application was written to support native SSL For the wireless connection, users launched the application on the Palm device and utilized the Palm s infrared connection to interface with the wireless phone and make the connection to the banking server In this model, the
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Figure 10-2
Part 3 Wireless Deployment Strategies
Wireless Internet banking solution
Infrared
GSM Network Operator Firewall GSM Handset Web Server
Internet
Palm
WAP terminal merely serves as the access mechanism to the wireless network See Figure 10-2 for a generic architecture This solution was soon duplicated by other providers in multiple verticals as a simple workaround to the WAP Gap security issue By doing so, the WAP gateway issue is eliminated, and native SSL can be utilized from the client device all the way to destination application Furthermore, this approach provides another benefit in that the user interface is presented on the considerably larger Palm screen as opposed to the small mobile phone screen The Palm s stylus input also makes for simpler data entry The only significant downside to this approach is that it requires multiple devices However, the organization correctly forecasted that early adopters of wireless data services were likely to be technical savvy users and increasingly likely to carry a Palm device This multidevice capability also opened some interesting promotional aspects as the bank could have conceivably given away a free Palm PDA (preloaded with the wireless application) to the best customers, thereby increasing customer loyalty and retention Ultimately, this service will need to be modified to eliminate the need for a separate PDA, but this wouldn t likely happen until WAP 20compliant handsets with complete SSL capabilities become available In the meantime, it offers a unique workaround to some of the security issues with current WAP architectures
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