What is transport level and message level security?

 Posted by articlesMaint on 9/14/2009 | Category: WCF Interview questions | Views: 6606

When we talk about WCF security there are two aspects, the first is the data and the second is the medium on which the data travels i.e. the protocol. WCF has the ability to apply security at the transport level (i.e. protocol level) and also at message level (i.e. data).

Figure: - Transport and Message level security

Transport level security happens at the channel level. Transport level security is the easiest to implement as it happens at the communication level. WCF uses transport protocols like TCP, HTTP, MSMQ etc and every of these protocols have their own security mechanisms. One of the common implementation of transport level security is HTTPS. HTTPS is implemented over HTTP protocols with SSL providing the security mechanism. No coding change is required it’s more of using the existing security mechanism provided by the protocol.

Message level security is implemented with message data itself. Due to this it is independent of the protocol. Some of the common ways of implementing message level security is by encrypting data using some standard encryption algorithm.

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