The number of connected nodes on the Internet and over intranets, continue to grow exponentially. Besides adding computers, we are entering a new phase where intelligent devices, I/Os, and factory-floor devices also are joining the PC network. New architectures now allow customers, suppliers, and end-users to integrate and share real-time information, which brings the issue of security back into question.
Security is always the biggest concern regarding distributed applications. As the number of connected devices increases, the number of external users increases. With added users, the need for security also grows exponentially. Security is not only important for corporate data, it is also extremely important for the control and manufacturing processes. With the advent of the virtual supply chain, in which manufacturers can share real-time data with their customers and their suppliers, security becomes a major concern.