Protocol versus file based network installation

Many suppliers claim that their security systems are network based. This is often only partly true. The system frequently handles a central file system on a file server or some other location in the system. In order to store data at a central location, a user requires write access to a directory. To prevent separate directories being allocated to individual users, which would complicate network administration, the users must be given write access to a shared directory on the server. This turns the system into an open system, exposed to external viewing and manipulation. Protocol based systems normally use IPX or TCP/IP for communication. These systems provide a  high level of security. The communication protocols send data between clients and servers, and software at both ends receives/sends data to/from a secure location to which no users have access. The only means of contact is by sending/receiving signed and encrypted data from locations not accessible to other users. A combination is also possible whereby some of the contact between the client and the server is protocol based, while other data exchange is file based, from write-protected directories on the server.

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