A Java applet is a term in the world of programming that refers to an applet distributed to the end users through a Java byte code. These applets were introduced in 1995 and were normally written in few languages of Java programming and Jython. It was found out that Java applets can operate in either a Web browser or an Applet viewer. Through the years, Java applets have been known to provide a number of features which are hardly done by an HTML. One of its features is its capacity to enhance network security in three ways.
The common philosophy of network security is that applets can only create network connections from the browser they were originated from. Usually, when a java applet is loaded, it is checked first whether or not such applet exists in the classpath. If it does exist in the classpath, the applet found is then loaded. If the java applets are loaded in such manner, they are usually classified as trusted applets. Thus, if the applets are considered one, they will not be acquiring any security restriction and are visible to any host.
However, if applets are nowhere to be found in the classpath, it is loaded in a certain location seen in the url that loads the page. If an applet is loaded through this pattern, it shall be classified as untrusted. Following all these steps will give us an idea whether or not a specific applet is trusted and will prevent any network security breaches. A Java applet also enhances network security through its applet security manager. Normally, an applet security manager restricts applets that were loaded in the internet to read or write data or files in the client file system (Tschalar, 1998).
It doesn’t also allow creating network connections to any host except the one who initiated it. The capacity of java applets to enhance network security protects organizations that built Internet firewalls. Most companies nowadays are using large internal IP networks that are connected to any part of the world through a machine named as firewall. The main role of the firewall is to prevent any breach to its internal IP network by making it invisible to the eyes of potential intruders (Wutka, 2009). Almost, if not all, applets use the “stop method”.
Such method aims to stop further transaction or processing whenever the end user leaves the page that contains applets. In some cases though, it is important that applets continue to execute. If a certain user, for instance, requires an applet to execute compounded calculation, the user may intend to continue the process. Lastly, the capacity of java applets to stop a certain process prevents further implications on the network. If a certain applet does not follow the stop method, there is a great probability that breaches will come in and perhaps, destroy a certain program.
This usually happens once an applet continues to process and load even when the user is not around. Because of this, important facts and codes may be taken away (JISC, n. d. ). A java applet is just one of the important things we should consider in the world of programming. With its various features, it is safe to say that indeed, they enhance network security. It is important to remember though, that no matter how huge the features of the applets can be, implications can arise sometimes.
The only way to reduce it not eliminate this, is to be ready at all times. References Tschalar , R (1998) How the Applet Network Security Policy works. Retrieved May 10, 2009, from http://www. innovation. ch/java/security. html Wutka, M. (2009) Applet Security Restrictions. Retrieved May 10, 2009, from http://www. wutka. com/hackingjava/ch3. htm Joint Information Systems Committee (n. d. ) Applet Capabilities. Retrieved May 10, 2009, from http://journals. ecs. soton. ac. uk/java/tutorial/applet/security/capabilities. html