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Providing secure remote access to legacy applications

By Andrew J. Young, David W. Chadwick and John New

Abstract

While the widespread adoption of Internet and Intranet technology has been one of the exciting developments of recent years, many hospitals are finding that their data and legacy applications do not naturally fit into the new methods of dissemination. Existing applications often rely on isolation or trusted networks for their access control or security, whereas untrusted wide area networks pay little attention to the authenticity, integrity or confidentiality of the data they transport. Many hospitals do not have the resources to develop new ''network-ready'' versions of existing centralised applications. In this paper, we examine the issues that must be considered when providing network access to an existing health care application, and we describe how we have implemented the proposed solution in one healthcare application namely the diabetic register at Hope Hospital. We describe the architecture that allows remote access to the legacy application, providing it with encrypted communications and strongly authenticated access control but without requiring any modifications to the underlying application. As well as comparing alternative ways of implementing such a system, we also consider issues relating to usability and manageability, such as password management

Topics: QA76
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:13581

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