ACCOUNTABILITY AS AN OBJECTIVE FOR SECURITY REQUIREMENTS OF E-BUSINESS PROCESS: INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Over the last years enterprises and individuals have started to conduct business over computer networks, especially the Internet. This development is commonly summarized as electronic business (e-business). Zwass defines e-business as business connections, which make use of electronic media. One of the major characteristics is that partners do not necessarily have to know each other prior to their business interaction.

Despite its wide use and opportunities, e-business has not grown to its full potential – one of its most important obstacles being the lack of adequate security measures as well as difficulties to specify adequate security requirements. An abundance of research about security in e-business can be found in literature.

The framework for security requirements of e-business processes (EBPs) proposed in this article. The dimensions are the security objectives and the places of an e-business transaction. This article adds other dimensions, viz., the phase of an EBP.

Wang and Wulf propose a general framework for security measurement in computer systems. Compared to our framework, they neglect the process dimension.

Herrmann and Pernul argue that security requirements vary with the perspective taken. They identify different perspectives (informational, functional, dynamic, and organizational) which are closely related to the different elements of a workflow specification. In comparison with our approach, the authors focus on legal issues such as intellectual property, legal bindings, and privacy.

This article introduces a framework to structure security requirements of an EBP. Since information security is a very broad topic, we concentrate on security objectives, which have a precise definition and meaning. Security is often associated only with confidentiality of data, especially by non-security experts. Our framework takes into account all relevant security objectives such as the availability of data and systems, which is very important because of the distributed nature of e-business.

Since there is a high diversity concerning structure and nature of EBPs, we work on a high level of abstraction and identify four phases, which all EBPs have in common. The division used in this article originated with Schmid. A further discussion will follow in Section 2.3. We will show that security 12 requirements of EBPs are dependent of three different factors, also referred to as dimensions:
– security objectives,
– place and party of the EBP and
– the different phases of the process

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