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Good Security Practices for electronic Commerce, Including Electronic Data Interchange



Roy Saltman


Electronic commerce (EC) is the use of documents in electronic form, rather than paper, for carrying out functions of business or government that require interchange of information, obligations, or monetary value between organizations. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer transmission of strictly formatted messages that represent documents; EDI is an essential component of EC. With EC, human participation in routine transaction processing is limited or non-existent. Transactions are processed and decisions are made more rapidly, leaving much less time to detect and correct errors. This report presents security procedures and techniques (which encompass internal controls and checks) that constitute good practices in the design, development, testing and operation of EC systems. Principles of risk management and definition of parameters for quantitative risk assessments are provided. The content of the trading partner agreement is discussed, and the components of EC, including the network(s) connecting the partners, are described. Some security techniques considered include audit trails, contingency planning, use of acknowledgments, electronic document management, activities of supporting networks, user access controls to systems and networks, and cryptographic techniques for authentication and confidentiality.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-9
Report Number


computer security, data interchange, electronic commerce


Saltman, R. (1993), Good Security Practices for electronic Commerce, Including Electronic Data Interchange, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created December 1, 1993, Updated February 19, 2017