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Chapter: Information Security

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Components of an Information System

The software components of IS comprises applications, operating systems, and assorted command utilities.

COMPONENTS OF AN INFORMATION SYSTEM

 

   Software

 

   Hardware

 

   Data

 

   People

 

   Procedures

 

   Networks

 

ü           Software

 

   The software components of IS comprises applications, operating systems, and assorted command utilities.


   Software programs are the vessels that carry the lifeblood of information through an organization. These are often created under the demanding constraints of project management, which limit time, cost, and manpower.


ü           Hardware

 

   Hardware is the physical technology that houses and executes the software, stores and carries the data, and provides interfaces for the entry and removal of information from the system.

Physical security policies deal with hardware as a physical asset and with the protection of these physical assets from harm or theft. Applying the traditional tools of physical security, such as locks and keys, restricts access to and interaction with the hardware components of an information system.

 

   Securing the physical location of computers and the computers themselves is important because a breach of physical security can result in a loss of information. Unfortunately, most information systems are built on hardware platforms that cannot guarantee any level of information security if unrestricted access to the hardware is possible.

 

ü           Data

 

   Data stored, processed, and transmitted through a computer system must be protected.

 

   Data is often the most valuable asset possessed by an organization and is the main target of intentional attacks.

 

   The raw, unorganized, discrete(separate, isolated) potentially-useful facts and figures that are later processed(manipulated) to produce information.

 

ü           People

 

There are many roles for people in information systems. Common ones include

 

   Systems Analyst

 

   Programmer

 

   Technician

 

   Engineer

 

   Network Manager

 

   MIS ( Manager of Information Systems )

 

   Data entry operator

 

ü           Procedures

 

A procedure is a series of documented actions taken to achieve something. A procedure is more than a single simple task. A procedure can be quite complex and involved, such as performing a backup, shutting down a system, patching software.

 

ü           Networks

 

   When information systems are connected to each other to form Local Area Network (LANs), and these LANs are connected to other networks such as the Internet, new security challenges rapidly emerge.


 

   Steps to provide network security are essential, as is the implementation of alarm and intrusion systems to make system owners aware of ongoing compromises.


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