Information systems bring about new and existing security as well as ethical problems. This is facilitated by the challenges associated with internet and e-commerce in the protection of intellectual property and privacy. There are other security and ethical problems that are related to the advanced use of IT, which includes establishing accountability, safeguarding the quality of the system and preserving values in institutions of IT. An organization determined to confront such issues ought to have knowledge of how to tackle them. Measures to deal with both security and ethical issues need to be implemented. Ethical issues call for moral responsibility while security issues call for effective organizational policies.
Security and Ethic in MIS
Security is a broad phenomenon, which represents a multitude of sins. Its primary purpose is to ensure that irresponsible people do not read or alter messages belonging to other recipients (O’Brien, 2003). It is responsible for people who try accessing remote services that they do not have user permission. Most of the security problems are brought about by malicious people who have intensions of hurting others and gaining various benefits from it. For example, students find it fun to sneak into the people’s mailbox with intensions of stealing information or test the security system. Businessmen hack information systems to explore the marketing strategy of the competitors. Moreover, an employee hacks a system as a form of revenge for being fired. All this access to information systems is unauthorized and hence forms a serious security problem.
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Data security is a combination of activities aimed at protecting the integrity of computer networks or system. It is concerned with the protection of a computer from external attacks both on the software and hardware. Organizations have a chance to enhance their security through the use of licensed software. Data files should have access difficulties just like the physical files. Access codes and passwords should be utilized as a way of enhancing the security of the system. Security of information is fundamental to an organization that heavily relies on information systems. This is because exposure to risks of information insecurity affects the organization’s operations. Such an organization may install information security technology, which is not much effective when it comes to information risks.
Information security is well managed on a macro level where an internationally accepted code of conduct is used. There are various tools applicable for information security enforcement. Information is regarded as a vital resource for companies; therefore it must be protected from unauthorized access (Mason, 1986). These tools are used to reduce fraud, errors and losses in e-business systems, which strive to integrate businesses with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. Understanding the information risk and stable securities enhances the formulation of policies. These policies identify people who should access sensitive and private information. Once the policy has been implemented, enforcement becomes the next step. This calls for the application of mixed mechanisms and processes, which fall under four categories. The categories include protection measures, detection measures, response measures and assurance measures. Auditing is necessary to monitor the effectiveness of these measures as they protect information against possible risks and insecurity.
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Ethics in MIS
Ethics can be described as right and wrong principles that moral agents/individuals use when making choices as far as their behaviour is concerned. Information systems tend to raise issues for both the society and individuals as they create opportunities for vigorous social change, which affects the already existing distribution of money, power, obligations and rights. Just like any other technology, the information system can be used to help to achieve social progress but also can be utilized to facilitate crimes as well as threats to social values. Therefore, the development of effective information systems benefits many people while bringing costs for others.
Computer ethics is a part of practical philosophy that deals with computing professionals’ manner in which decisions are carried out with regard to social and professional conduct (Margaret & Henry, 2009). Professionals such as physicians, attorneys, doctors, etc. who have job responsibilities that affect the lives of others receive ethical courses as a part of their routine training. IT professionals have unlimited access to private and confidential data concerning individuals and company networks, which gives them a high deal of power. Abusing that power is a possibility, which is done either deliberately or unintentionally. Organizations and associations have begun to address the issue of ethics, but again, there are no regulations or strict requirement for security personnel to join such organizations. Institutions educating IT specialists focus much on technical skills and knowledge at the expense of ethical issue. They therefore teach how to operate the systems, but not how that ability can be abused.
There are various ethical challenges that face an organization’s Management Information System (MIS). These ethical issues have been given the urgent priority following the rise of internet and e-commerce. Internet, as well as digital firm technologies, have made it easier than before to integrate, assemble, distribute information and discover new concerns about relevant customer information, personal privacy and intellectual property protection. Insider IT specialists can alter information systems by giving faulty records and diverting money on an unimaginable scale in the pre-computer era. There are other forms of ethical issues that are pressing and they include accountability establishment in information systems, standards formulation to help to safeguard system quality and value preservation in relation to quality of life. When applying information systems, it is important to consider the appropriate course of actions. Actions should adhere to the established ethical standards as well as moral responsibilities of every involved individual.