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Example research essay topic: Technological Advances Collar Workers - 2,724 words

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IT Security Today, few managers can ignore the importance and impact of how information is handled by their organization. Information systems play a critical role in todays business organization and society. Since the emergence of the global economy, the success of firms today and in the future depends on their ability to operate globally. The economy depends on imports and exports. Globalization of the worlds industrial economies greatly enhances the value of information to the firm and offers new opportunities to businesses. In this situation, information system security becomes one of the major issues that corporate officials have to face.

Within the course of this report, we will analyze five articles and elaborate on the information system security in our society. Today, information systems provide the communication and analytic power that firms need to conduct trades and manage businesses on a global scale. Globalization and information technology also brings new threats to domestic business firms. This is brought on by the customers ability to shop in a worldwide marketplace, obtaining the price and quality information reliably, 24 hours a day. The worldwide market place brings competition to a higher level than ever before, forcing all businesses to play a part in this global economy.

In order to become a profitable player in a worldwide market firms, need powerful information and communication systems. Many countries are experiencing the third economic revolution. These countries include the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Germany and other major industrial powers. This revolution, which is now in progress, is transforming itself into knowledge and information based service economy. This revolution began at the turn of the century and by 1976 the number of white-collar workers employed in offices surpassed the number of farm workers, service workers, and blue-collar workers employed in manufacturing. Today, most people no longer work in farms or factories, but instead are found in sales, education, health care, banks, insurance firms, computer technology, and law firms.

In addition, they provide business services like copying, computer software, or deliveries. These jobs primarily involve working with, distributing, or creating new knowledge and information. In fact, knowledge and information fields now account for 75 percent of the gross national product (GNP), and nearly 70 percent of the labor force (Anderson 112). In a knowledge and information based economy, information technology and systems take on great importance.

For instance, information systems technology constitutes for more than 70 percent of the invested capital in service industries like finance, insurance, and real estate. This means that managers decisions about information technology will be the most common investment decision. (Levy 77) Productivity of employees depends greatly on the quality of information systems serving them. Management decisions about information technology are critically important to the survival of a firm. Consider also that the growing power of information technology makes possible new services of great economic value. Consider that credit cards, overnight package delivery, and worldwide reservation systems are examples of services that are based on new information technologies. Information systems have many uses.

They not only help you track inventory but also help you make decisions on where to open another store and assist in forecasting how much money it will cost to maintain it. There are six major types of information systems. The first is the Executive Support Systems (ESS). This is a strategic level system that allows senior managers to tackle and address five-year trends, operating plans, budget forecasting, profit planning, and manpower planning. The second is Management Information Systems (MIS).

This is a management system and is directed at middle managers in assisting them make decisions on sales management, inventory control, annual budgeting, and capital investment analysis. Another management level system is the Decision Support System (DSS) and is also directed at middle managers. This system is directed for the managers that are crippled by their, Paralysis of Analysis. (Kahn 149) The fourth and fifth, are knowledge level systems called Knowledge Work Systems (KWS) and Office Automation Systems (OAS) directed at knowledge and data workers. The KWS is a system that assists highly educated professional and technical staff. This system is used as engineering, graphics, and managerial workstations. The OAS is used for word processing, image storage, and electronic calendars.

This system is directed toward clerical workers. The last system is an operational level system called Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) directed towards operational personnel and supervisors. This system has many uses. The TPS is used for order tracking, order processing, machine control, plant scheduling, material movement control, securities trading, cash management, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, compensation, Training and development, and employee recordkeeping.

There are many examples of how information systems not only benefit the investor but also the customer. For example, UPS competes globally with information technology. UPS delivers over three billion packages a day to more than 185 countries. All this would not be possible without an accurate information system.

UPS has invested 1 to 1. 8 billion dollars on information technology alone from 1992 to 1996. (Gollman 60) This technology has helped UPS boost customer service while keeping costs low and streamlining its overall operations. UPS does this by using a hand-held computer called a Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD). UPS drivers automatically capture customers signatures along with pickup, delivery, and timecard information on these computers. These computers are then placed into an adapter attached to each UPS truck. The adapters then transmit to the main UPS computer network through cellular access. From the main computer network any information can be accessed (Wilson).

Through Total Track, its automated package tracking system, UPS can monitor packages throughout the delivery process. Throughout the process, packages are scanned at each stop using bar codes. The information is then fed into a central computer. This allows the customers to search for any package using a package tracking software supplied by UPS. Presently anyone can find out the status of his or her package by accessing the UPS website. It is easy to see how information systems have helped UPS succeed (Kurose 89).

Before the use of widespread computer technologies, our personal information had no real value beyond its immediate transaction. When data and information was provided by a citizen or consumer it had no secondary reuse. However, due to advances in technology and data retrieval systems and transactions, information has been given commercial value, especially with regards to the issue of who owns and controls this information. The information age has been a period that has allowed rights to privacy to become seriously jeopardized by new information technologies. There are two distinct phases to the systematic erosion of information privacy.

The first is the 'data base phase'. (Hatch 230) The emergence of sophisticated data base technology in the early eighties made it possible to store and retrieve large amounts of information efficiently and economically. During this time, considerable amounts of personal data were transferred to computerized records, which have been stored on record. Another implication in the invasion of privacy has been what is described as a 'network phase', in which many individuals and organizations are relying heavily on digital networks such as the Internet to help conduct their personal business. The Internet specifically has facilitated the integration of different databases and allowed data to become completely mobile, and easily retrieved by anyone.

The use of such networks has expanded the capability of electronically pinpointing an individual or checking up of personal backgrounds by following electronic trails of information. There has become a realm where immediate on-line personal data is available to anyone with the simplest personal computer system. The implications on individual privacy are great; we have become completely transparent to anyone who wants to take a little time to investigate one's background. What becomes a more important question is what types of information can be deemed as public and private, and as this information is stored who may legally claim access to it. It has been consistently maintained by members of our society that a right to privacy and anonymity is a necessity, a basic natural right, however in the information age; privacy is not a simple concept that can be easily defined. Still, with respect to a general definition of privacy the basic right to be 'left alone' is rather broad.

Of most concern in our current culture is the need to define and explore what is deemed as 'information privacy' with direct connections to technological advances. This is simply defined as "the right to exert control over the fate of one's personal information (name, address, telephone number, financial background etc. ), and the right to limit the accessibility of information known about oneself." (Brin 118) In the context of information technologies and specifically the Internet; accessibility and use of such technologies can violate and inhibit our personal privacy. Our private information may be violated because our personal data may be acquired by individual without permission; when this occurs, such a person may use it to exercise control over a person's activities. For example; companies with detailed knowledge of an individual's purchasing habits may subject them to manipulative promotions, while a prospective employer may gather sensitive information about a future employee's medical histories, financial records, etc.

As a result of this there becomes a new found concern; a developing relationship between privacy and freedom in the new information age. It becomes difficult to exercise guaranteed personal liberties when our actions are on display and our intimate information can be accessed in the public domain, furthermore they can become accessed without our knowledge or consent. If our right to privacy continues to decrease in the wake of technology's continual progress so too will our basic freedoms. Such concerns provide the basic notions behind already legislated laws governing individual rights to privacy, however there are not many specific laws protecting privacy and regulations that offer protection of privacy that can be adequately applied to technological advances. (Anderson 201) There has been a general failure on behalf of North American policy makers to fashion sufficient protections for privacy rights in the wake of technology's expanding capabilities. Privacy has been consistently eclipsed by other values such as economic efficiency and crime control as well as technological progress.

This becomes the central argument when discussing privacy, anonymity and technology in the wake of an emerging invasion of personal rights and freedoms. Legislative policies have not focused on individuals and their previously defined rights, and has not separated social interests and technologies that can serve to both provide productive functions in all societal institutions but also serve to invade personal freedoms. The issue of privacy and technology gets continually redefined, as the idea of privacy becomes subordinate to other worthy ideas such as economic efficiency, crime control, and government productivity as a collective good for all citizens. What we have become to witness at the level of public opinion is a desire for privacy and also maximum data and information as it deals with new technology. It seems that such digital developments have been the price of advanced systems of information and policy makers have used its efficiencies to monitor and link institutions involved in data collection.

Privacy is a collective value which we all share, as well all citizens have similar levels of privacy in the eyes of government institutions. We provide personal data consistently, and legislative-information based relationships have always existed, they are voluntary but also necessary for the well being of individuals and the well being of society itself. However, our personal information as it is embedded in network information systems is easily available; they must be controlled at an institutional level as personal data is an individual notion but becomes a social concern when paired with new technologies. Although privacy is comparable to many social goods such as technological advancement, it is much more complicated, as it is applied with the diverse and complex uses of our personal data. (Anderson 239) This complexity makes if difficult to achieve a sustainable uniform level of privacy for all. Protection of our personal privacy on the Internet is an intricate matter as it is necessary for social goods, but its invasion can affect so many areas of our lives. Most citizens understand the assumption that to participate in our social, economic and technological systems they must relinquish some of their personal data, and they are willing to acknowledge that many commercial and government organizations have a legitimate need for that data, what is obviously objected to however, is the secondary uses of that data without permission as it is residing somewhere in cyberspace beyond their control.

Furthermore, participation in such technologies by their very function poses a vulnerable situation for its users. These misuses of information should not be a necessary cost of participating in society, and participating in technologies that by their very nature have implications on their privacy. In an economy that is now dependent on information dominated by powerful corporate and government interests the value of privacy must become a priority and be given the respect it deserves. The debate about privacy and its focus on its significance as a public value as it is compromised for the sake of technological value should be of utmost importance as the need to legislate policies on network systems such as the Internet continues. More importantly as information is continually transmitted and transferred on such systems, most organizations that possess such information regard it as their own private property after it is collected. The key question that is again raised is who is given rights to property in personal data, especially how it is transferred and stored in new technological networks Just like other forms of property, we see how information can have monetary value, as well as how it can be produced, upgraded, shared and transferred to others. (Comer 111) When we see that personal data has an appreciable value and should be classified as property, then it becomes clear that there exists a powerful link between the issues of property and privacy and how this should be disseminated on networks such as the Internet.

A uniform level of privacy must be established, and the common value of privacy must be balanced with other social objectives and how they relate to technological advances. Since privacy is a common and public value it should be defined as the right of society to require institutions and individuals connected to network systems to use information in a manner that is more respectful of the shared interests in that information. Technology at this stage must be able to distinguish between social interests and personal anonymity for citizens, corporate needs versus personal identity, and corporate mergers versus group privacy. Privacy, of maximum concern with the infusion of high technology bonded by information systems will sink back to being a debated and contested issue, and recapture the thoughts and principles of basic ethics and constitutional law as it had when it became a virtue in the first place. Information technology is another classic case of advances and breakthroughs that can be used for constructive or destructive purposes.

It is the terribly slow pace of policy makers and the amazingly fast pace of information technology in American society that has caused the greatest tensions and deserves the closest scrutiny. Bibliography Carlisle Adams and Steve Lloyd, Understanding Public-Key Infrastructure: Concepts, Standards, and Deployment Considerations, New Riders Publishing, 1999. Ross Anderson, Security Engineering, John Wiley and Sons, 2001. D. Atkins et al, Internet Security, New Riders, 1997. James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency Viking Press, 1983.

David Brin, Anne Wells Branscomb, The Transparent Society, will technology force us to choose between privacy and freedom? Reading, Mass. , Perseus Books, 1998. Douglas E. Comer, Internetworking with TCP/IP, Volume 1: Principles, Protocols, and Architectures (4 th edition), Prentice-Hall, 2000.

Simson Garfinkel, Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21 st Century, O'Reilly and Associates, 2001. Dieter Gollman, Computer Security, John Wiley and Sons, 1999. Brian Hatch, James Lee, and George Kurtz, Hacking Linux Exposed: Linux Security Secrets and Solutions, Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2001. David Kahn, The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing, Scribner, 1996. James F. Kurose and Keith W.

Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, Addison-Wesley, 2000. Steven Levy, Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age, Penguin Putnam, 2002.


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Research essay sample on Technological Advances Collar Workers

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