E-Commerce Electronic Commerce is defined by Webster ’ s Dictionary as utilizing computing machine webs to carry on concern, including purchasing and merchandising online, electronic financess transfer, concern communications, and utilizing computing machines to entree concern information resources. The Electronic Commerce Association describes electronic commercialism as ‘ making concern electronically ’ . More exactly we could depict electronic commercialism as affecting the exchange of information utilizing a combination of structured messages ( EDI ) , unstructured messages ( e-mail and paperss ) , informations entree and direct support for concern procedures across the value concatenation. The Internet is merely a little fraction of e-commerce applications. Intranets, Electronic Data Interchange ( EDI ) and Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP ) systems all contribute to concern to concern selling, operations and fiscal services ( Wareham, 2000 ) . The Internet was designed to be used by authorities and academic users, but now it is quickly going commercialized. It has online “ shops ” , even electronic “ shopping promenades ” . Customers, shoping at their computing machines, can see merchandises, read descriptions, and sometimes even seek samples. They could pay by recognition card, conveying the necessary informations by modem ; but stoping messages on the Internet is trivially easy for a smart hacker, so directing a credit-card figure in an unscrambled message is ask foring problem. It would be comparatively safe to direct a recognition card figure encrypted with a hard-to-break codification. That would necessitate either a general acceptance across the Internet of standard encryption protocols, or the devising of anterior agreements between purchasers and Sellerss. Both consumers and merchandisers could see a windfall if these jobs are solved. For merchandisers, a secure and easy divisible supply of electronic money will actuate more Internet surfboarders to go online shoppers.
Electronic money will besides do it easier for smaller concerns to accomplish a degree of mechanization already enjoyed by many big corporations whose Electronic Data Interchange heritage means watercourses of electronic spots now flow alternatively of hard currency in back-end fiscal procedures ( E-commerce, 1999 ) . We need to decide four cardinal engineering issues before consumers and merchandisers anoint electric money with the same existent and sensed values as our touchable measures and coins. These four key countries are security, hallmark, namelessness, and divisibility. Commercial R & A ; D sections and university labs are developing steps to turn to security for both Internet and private-network minutess. The reply to procuring sensitive information, like credit-card Numberss, is to code the information before you send it out. MIT ’ s Kerberos is one of the best-known-private-key encoding engineerings. It creates an encrypted information package, called a ticket, which firmly identifies the user. To do a purchase, you generate the ticket during a series of coded messages you exchange with a Kerberos waiter, whom sits between your computing machine system and the one you are pass oning with. These latter two systems portion a secret key with the Kerberos waiter to protect information from prising eyes and to guarantee that your informations has non been altered during the transmittal. But this engineering has a potentially weak nexus: Breach the waiter, and the watchdog rolls over and dramas dead. An alternate to private-key cryptanalysis is a public-key system that straight connects consumers and merchandisers. Businesss need two keys in public-key encoding: one to code the other to decode the message. ( Smith, 2000 ) . Everyone who expects to have a message publishes a key. To direct digital hard currency to person, you look up the public key and utilize the algorithm to code the payment. The receiver so uses Thursday
e private half of the key pair for decryption. Although encryption fortifies our electronic transaction against thieves, there is a cost: The processing overhead of encryption/decryption makes high-volume, low-volume payments prohibitively expensive. Processing time for a reasonably safe digital signature conspires against keeping costs per transaction low. Depending on key length, an average machine can only sign between twenty and fifty messages per second. One way to factor out the overhead is to use a trustee organization, one that collects batches of small transaction before passing them on to the credit-card organization for processing. Encryption may help make the electric money more secure, but we also need guarantees that no one alters the data–most notably the denomination of the currency–at either end of the transaction. One form of verification is a secure hash algorithm, which represent a large file of multiple megabytes with a relatively short number consisting of a few hundred bits. We use the surrogate file–whose smaller size saves computing time–to verify the integrity of a larger block of data (E-Commerce, 1999). Hash algorithms work similarly to the checksums used in communications protocols: The sender adds up all the bytes in a data packet and appends the sum to the packet. The recipient performs the same calculation and compares the two sums to make sure everything arrived correctly. One possible implementation of secure hash functions is in a zero-knowledge-proof system, which relies on challenge/response protocols. The server poses a question, and the system seeking access offers an answer. If the answer checks out, access is granted. In practice, developers could incorporate the common knowledge into software or a hardware encryption device, and the challenge could then consist of a random-number string. The device might, for example, submit the number to a secure hash function to generate the response.
The third component of the electronic-currency infrastructure is anonymity–the ability to buy and sell as we please without threatening our fundamental freedom of privacy. If unchecked, all our transactions, as well as analyses of our spending habits, could eventually reside on the corporate databases of individual companies or in central clearinghouses, like those that now track our credit histories. Serial numbers offer the greatest opportunity for broadcasting our spending habits to the outside world. Today’s paper money floats so freely throughout the economy that serial numbers reveal nothing about our spending habits. But a company that mints an electric dollar could keep a database of serial numbers that records who spent the currency and what the dollars purchased. It is then important to build a degree of anonymity into electric money. Blind signatures are one answer. The fourth technical component in the evolution of e-commerce is flexibility. Everything may work fine if transactions use nice round dollar amounts, but that changes when a company sells information for a few cents or even fractions of cents per page, a business model that’s evolving on the Internet. Electric-money systems must be able to handle high volume at a marginal cost per transaction. Security, authentication, anonymity, and divisibility all have developers working to produce the collective answers that may open the floodgates to electronic commerce in the near future. The market will demand electric money because of the accompanying new efficiencies that will shave costs in both consumer and supplier transactions. Consumers everywhere will want the bounty of a global marketplace, not one that’s tied to bankers’ hours. These efficiencies will push developers to overcome today’s technical hurdles, allowing E-commerce shopping to replace paper.