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Message Protection

patterns & practices Developer Center

When should I use message security?

Message security encrypts each individual message to protect sensitive data. Transport security secures the end-to-end network connection to protect the network traffic.

Use the following criteria to decide whether to use message security:

  • Intermediaries. Message security supports scenarios with intermediaries or protocol transition.
  • Encryption flexibility. Message security allows you to encrypt part of a message while leaving other parts in cleartext format.
  • Binding limitations. Message security does not work with netNamedPipeBinding.
  • Secure conversations. Secure conversations only works with message security.
  • Authentication limitations. Message security does not work with Basic or Digest authentication.

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When should I use transport security?

Message security encrypts each individual message to protect sensitive data. Transport security secures the end-to-end network connection to protect the network traffic.

Use the following security criteria to decide whether to use transport security:

  • Point-to-point. Transport security supports point-to-point communication and does not support intermediary scenarios or protocol transition.
  • Streaming. Transport security can support streaming data scenarios.
  • Binding limitations. Transport security does not work with wsDualHttpBinding.
  • Authentication limitations. Transport security does not work with negotiation, username, or Kerberos direct authentication.
  • Performance. Transport security may provide better performance than message security.

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How do I protect my message when there are intermediaries routing the message?

Use message security to protect your message when there are intermediaries routing your message. Message security protects message contents even if the message must travel between many points before reaching the intended recipient.

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How do I protect my message when there are multiple protocols used during message transit?

Use message security to protect your message when there are multiple protocols used during message transit. Because each individual message is encrypted, message protection is transport-agnostic and can be used in protocol transition scenarios.

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