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You have been asked to design a secure system that requires strong authentication and authorization. The system must be designed so that communications between parts of the system cannot be intercepted and read by an attacker. Suggest the most appropriate client-server architecture for this system and, giving the reasons for your answer, propose how functionality should be distributed between the client and the server systems.

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When a system is proposed which requires strong authentication and authorization, two-tier client server architecture with fat clients is effective. In this model some of the application processing is carried out on the client and the data management and database functions are implemented on the servers. Data management is carried out straightforward as there is no need to manage the interaction between the client and application processing system.

Consider an example of bank ATM system, the ATM is the client computer and the server is a mainframe which runs the customer account database. The communication between ATM and server (database) is not direct rather a middleware like teleprocessing monitor is used which organizes communication with remote clients and serializes client transactions for processing by the database. This ensures that transactions are independent and do not interfere with one other and hence attacker cannot intercept the transactions. The system can recover from faults without corrupting the system data because of serial transactions.

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