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Network security
Network security

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5.3.2 Application layer encryption

In application layer encryption, end-to-end security is provided at a user level by encryption applications at client workstations and server hosts. Of necessity, encryption will be as close to the source, and decryption as close to the destination, as is possible. As Figure 10 (c) shows, in application layer encryption only the data is encrypted.

Examples of application layer encryption are S/MIME (secure/multipurpose internet mail extensions), S-HTTP (secure hypertext transfer protocol), PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and MSP (message security protocol). Another example is SET (secure electronic transactions), which is used for bank card transactions over public networks. ‘Host layer encryption’ is a term sometimes used to refer to programs that perform encryption and decryption on behalf of the applications that access them. An example is secure socket layer.