CAS is the part of the .NET security model that determines whether or not a piece of code is allowed to run, and what resources it can use when it is running. For example, it is CAS that will prevent a .NET web applet from formatting your hard disk.
How does CAS work?
The CAS security policy revolves around two key concepts - code groups and permissions. Each .NET assembly is a member of a particular code group, and each code group is granted the permissions specified in a named permission set.
For example, using the default security policy, a control downloaded from a web site belongs to the 'Zone - Internet' code group, which adheres to the permissions defined by the 'Internet' named permission set. (Naturally the 'Internet' named permission set represents a very restrictive range of permissions.)