To check for a security layer, use the sasl_getprop(3SASL) function to see if the security strength factor (SSF) has a value that is greater than 0. If a security layer has been negotiated, the client and server must use the resulting SSF after successful authentication. Data is exchanged between the client and server in a similar fashion to authentication. sasl_encode() is applied to data before the data is sent by the protocol to the client or server. On the receiving end, data is decoded by sasl_decode(). If a security layer has not been negotiated, the SASL connection context is not needed. The context can then be disposed of or reused.