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With the proliferation of network-centric, web-based applications, application development has become more complex and increasingly more costly. Most web applications are multi-tiered and distributed over several systems. For example, a client invokes an application from a browser, a router or a web server redirects the client's request to an application server that processes the request, and a database system stores the information related to that application. Web-based applications have ushered in new types of security vulnerabilities inherent in the nature of the web (loosely-coupled connections over (mainly) HyperText Transport Protocol). Most network-based attacks are well under control thanks to the use of time-tested technologies such as firewalls and other intrusion detection mechanisms.
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