To provide access to WSS-protected services, applications have to support the WSS protocol. This protocol is designed to feature flexible, interoperable and secure communication between service provider and consumer. As this protocol is not supported by most clients natively, developers of 52°North built a suite of proxy-like Web Security Clients. Thus, WSC applications are the nesessary bridge to WSS-protected services for client application that do not support the WSS protocol. Just think of uDig or ESRI ArcMap which can be used to load OGC Web Mapping Services but no 52°North WSS-protected services. These kind of applications can easily use WSC to load protected services without any code modification on neither the client side nor the service side.
The WSC.Web has a web frontend that allows the configuration of so called 'facades'. A facade represents a combination of WSS plus user-specific authentication information. A facade is accessed like any other service by a specific URL. This URL, loaded by a client application, points to a specific facade stored at the WSC.Web application. The WSC.Web picks the according WSS plus authentication information and arranges all the security-relevant stuff, including proteced service access, for you.
The WSC.Web can be installed anywhere on a web server depending on your requirements. Public service providers might deploy it on a public internet host to allow users to access their protected services while others might just want to install it on a shielded intranet server as a gateway to a department's services. Beside the WSC.Web 52°North also offers the WSC.Desktop which is a desktop stand-alone variant with the same functionality.