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Information Systems

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Information System (CS507)
Types of Controls
Implementation of controls is a critical security feature of information systems. They block and
detect various forms of intrusion and protect various components of the entire information
systems, are these telecommunication lines or computer software's and hard wares.
1. Access Controls ­ Controlling who can access the system.
2. Input Controls ­ Controls over how the data is input to the system.
3. Communication Controls ­ Controls over the transfer of data between LAN, WAN or
4. Processing Controls ­ controlling the processing of data
5. Database Controls ­ Securing the most important asset of the organization
6. Output controls ­ controlling the privacy of the data.
Access Controls
These controls establish the interface between the would-be user of the computer system and the
computer itself. These controls monitor the initial handshaking procedure of the user with the
operating system. For example when a customer enter the card and the pin code in an automatic
teller machine (ATM), the access controls are exercised by the system to block unwanted or
illegitimate access.
The identity of the user needs to be established before granting access. The user should be given
access to the nature and kind of resources he is entitled to access. Actions taken by users to have
access beyond the limits defined should be blocked and recorded.
Why Access Controls?
Access controls have gained critical importance in the modern computing age for two significant
 Widespread deployment of distributed systems has resulted in many users being
disbursed physically. e.g. through Web based systems, local Area Networks, wide
Area Networks
 The rapid growth of E-Commerce systems has resulted in substantial work being
undertaken to identify and authenticate the parties.
In literal terms, cryptography means science of coded writing. It is a security safeguard to render
information unintelligible if unauthorized individuals intercept the transmission. When the
information is to be used, it can be decoded. "The conversion of data into a secret code for the
secure transmission over a public network is called cryptography."
Encryption & Decryption
Cryptography primarily consists of two basic processes. These processes are explained through
a diagram.
 Encryption ­ the process of converting data into codes (cryptograms)
Information System (CS507)
Ciphertext /
Original Data
Encrypted data
Decryption ­ the process of decoding the code arrived at data actually encrypted
Ciphertext /
Original Data
Encrypted data
The above processes give rise to two forms of data
 Clear text ­ it is the data to be encrypted.
 Cipher text ­ it is the code created out of data after encryption
Ciphertext /
Original Data
Encrypted data
As shown in the above diagram, the original text, or "plaintext," is converted into a coded
equivalent called "ciphertext" via an encryption process.
Identification & Authentication
Access controls focus on the correct identification of the user seeking permission to access the
system. There can be various sources of identifying and authenticating the user.
 What a user remembers ­ name, birthdate, password
 What a user possesses ­ badge, plastic card
 What a user is ­ personal characterictics
Identification of an individual through unique physical characteristics is proving to be quite safe
and secure for allowing access. The study of personal characteristics has been extensively used
for identification purposes. Biometrics can be defined as study of automated methods for
uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.
Scope of Biometrics
Most commonly, following personal physical characteristics are covered,
 Finger print
 Hand print
 Voice Print
 Facial profiling ­ measuring distance between various points on face
 Iris/retinal recognition ­ eye patterns
In addition to the aforesaid access controls, there may be
1. Input controls ­ controls over correct data entry
2. Communications controls ­ controls over transporting data safely through local area
networks (LAN's) or wide area networks (WAN's).
Information System (CS507)
3. Processing controls ­ Controls over the integrity of processing instructions being executed
by the operating system and application software's.
4. Database controls ­ implemented to maintain the integrity of the database.
5. Output controls ­ controls over providing right content to the users.
The construction of effective security system should take into account the design and
implementation of all the above controls.
Processing instructions carried out by the operating system and application software should be
monitored by implementation of controls. If the processing controls are not effectively
implemented, we could have undesirable situations arising. For example, in case of an operating
system, while connecting to a website, a concealed link may be activated at the same time to
transfer specified or all information. In case of an application software designed to compute
interest at month end may contain unauthorized instruction to transfer pennies or cents or
paisas to a particular account. Hence care needs to be taken that calculations are accurate and
any rounding up or down is adequately explained and carried out, data is processed correctly as
expected, control totals reconcile and processing errors are logged, researched and corrected
timely and sufficient audit trail to trace from source to output and vice versa.
Table of Contents:
  1. Need for information, Sources of Information: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Sources
  2. Data vs. Information, Information Quality Checklist
  3. Size of the Organization and Information Requirements
  4. Hierarchical organization, Organizational Structure, Culture of the Organization
  5. Elements of Environment: Legal, Economic, Social, Technological, Corporate social responsibility, Ethics
  6. Manual Vs Computerised Information Systems, Emerging Digital Firms
  7. Open-Loop System, Closed Loop System, Open Systems, Closed Systems, Level of Planning
  8. Components of a system, Types of Systems, Attributes of an IS/CBIS
  9. Infrastructure: Transaction Processing System, Management Information System
  10. Support Systems: Office Automation Systems, Decision Support Systems, Types of DSS
  11. Data Mart: Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Types of Models Used in DSS
  12. Organizational Information Systems, Marketing Information Systems, Key CRM Tasks
  13. Manufacturing Information System, Inventory Sub System, Production Sub System, Quality Sub system
  14. Accounting & Financial Information Systems, Human Resource Information Systems
  15. Decision Making: Types of Problems, Type of Decisions
  16. Phases of decision-making: Intelligence Phase, Design Phase, Choice Phase, Implementation Phase
  17. Planning for System Development: Models Used for and Types of System Development Life-Cycle
  18. Project lifecycle vs. SDLC, Costs of Proposed System, Classic lifecycle Model
  19. Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD), Design of the information flow, data base, User Interface
  20. Incremental Model: Evaluation, Incremental vs. Iterative
  21. Spiral Model: Determine Objectives, Alternatives and Constraints, Prototyping
  22. System Analysis: Systems Analyst, System Design, Designing user interface
  23. System Analysis & Design Methods, Structured Analysis and Design, Flow Chart
  24. Symbols used for flow charts: Good Practices, Data Flow Diagram
  25. Rules for DFDs: Entity Relationship Diagram
  26. Symbols: Object-Orientation, Object Oriented Analysis
  27. Object Oriented Analysis and Design: Object, Classes, Inheritance, Encapsulation, Polymorphism
  28. Critical Success Factors (CSF): CSF vs. Key Performance Indicator, Centralized vs. Distributed Processing
  29. Security of Information System: Security Issues, Objective, Scope, Policy, Program
  30. Threat Identification: Types of Threats, Control Analysis, Impact analysis, Occurrence of threat
  31. Control Adjustment: cost effective Security, Roles & Responsibility, Report Preparation
  32. Physical vs. Logical access, Viruses, Sources of Transmissions, Technical controls
  33. Antivirus software: Scanners, Active monitors, Behavior blockers, Logical intrusion, Best Password practices, Firewall
  34. Types of Controls: Access Controls, Cryptography, Biometrics
  35. Audit trails and logs: Audit trails and types of errors, IS audit, Parameters of IS audit
  36. Risk Management: Phases, focal Point, System Characterization, Vulnerability Assessment
  37. Control Analysis: Likelihood Determination, Impact Analysis, Risk Determination, Results Documentation
  38. Risk Management: Business Continuity Planning, Components, Phases of BCP, Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
  39. Web Security: Passive attacks, Active Attacks, Methods to avoid internet attacks
  40. Internet Security Controls, Firewall Security SystemsIntrusion Detection Systems, Components of IDS, Digital Certificates
  41. Commerce vs. E-Business, Business to Consumer (B2C), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), E-Government
  42. Supply Chain Management: Integrating systems, Methods, Using SCM Software
  43. Using ERP Software, Evolution of ERP, Business Objectives and IT
  44. ERP & E-commerce, ERP & CRM, ERP Ownership and sponsor ship
  45. Ethics in IS: Threats to Privacy, Electronic Surveillance, Data Profiling, TRIPS, Workplace Monitoring