1. decision making and control in an



An information system can be
defined technically as a set of interrelated components that collect (or
retrieve), process, store, and distribute information to support decision
making and control in an organization. In addition to supporting decision
making, coordination, and control, information systems may also help managers
and workers analyze problems, visualize complex subjects, and create new
products. Information systems contain information about significant people,
places, and things within the organization or in the environment surrounding
it. By information we mean data that have been shaped into a form that is meaningful
and useful to human beings. Data, in contrast, are streams of raw facts
representing events occurring in organizations or the physical environment before
they have been organized and arranged into a form that people can understand
and use. (Kenneth C Laudon, Jane P Laudon,

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The definition of an information
system is based on the more general concept of work system. Businesses operate
through work systems. Typical business organizations contain work systems that
procure materials from suppliers, manufacture physical and/or informational
products, deliver products to customers, find customers, create financial reports,
hire employees, coordinate work across departments, submit tax payments, and perform
many other functions. A work system is a system in which human participants
and/or machines perform work (processes and activities) using information,
technology, and other resources to produce specific products and/or services
for specific internal or external customers.

An information system is a work
system whose processes and activities are devoted to processing information,
i.e., capturing, transmitting, storing, retrieving, manipulating, and displaying
information. Thus, an information system is a system in which human
participants and/or machines perform work (processes and activities) using
information, technology, and other resources to produce informational products
and/or services for internal or external customers. (Alter, 2008)

Now days, organizations are heavily
relying on information system for getting success in business and also people’s
life style are changing rapidly as we can’t stand without information system in
our daily life. Wireless communications, including computers and mobile
hand-held computing devices, are keeping managers, employees, customers,
suppliers, and business partners connected in every way possible. Email, online
conferencing, the Web, and the Internet, are providing new and diverse lines of
communication for all businesses, large and small. Through increased communication
channels and decreased costs of the communications, customers are demanding more
of businesses in terms of service and product, at lower costs. E-commerce is
changing the way businesses must attract and respond to customers.

The following facts are reason why information
system is so essential to the organizations,

1 Economic Importance:

Even though the cost of
installation and maintenance of an information system quite high (depends upon
kind of system) in the beginning, but in due course the costs drop and appears
fair deal when compared to kinds of benefits enjoyed with the help of it. Also
with the passage of time cost of information systems tends to decrease,
whereas, costs of its substitutes (for instance labour) has been historically
tends to rise (Laudon, 1990). Furthermore, information systems use networks,
which help an organization to reduce the transaction costs, by making it
worthwhile for organization to contract external suppliers instead of using
internal resources.

2. Information Systems Improve

Information Systems are designed to
improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of a process. The information
systems speed up the process and reduce the time by removing non-value adding
steps in the operation. For instance, Citibank developed the Automatic Teller
Machines and Bank Debit Cards in 1977( Laudon and Laudon 9th Ed.). It made
financial transactions easy and was a huge success. Further, banks continued to
innovate and these days with the help of reliable and secure information
systems from TEMENOS, Infosys, Oracle etc, most of the customer can do majority
of transaction from their home computer or even from mobile telephone.
Moreover, information systems provide real time information which reduces the
scope of errors, hence, increases the quality of the output of the process.

3. Importance in Decision Making:

Information Systems provides the
tools for managers enabling them to monitor, plan and forecast with more
precision and speed then ever before. They also enable managers to respond more
rapidly and adapt swiftly to the fast changing business environment. The
Decision Support Systems can significantly improve results both on quantitative
and qualitative fronts. For instance, there are around 142 million employees
working in United States generating $12.2 trillion of Gross Domestic Products.
If the decision making quality of these employees could be improved by just 1%
in a year the GDP might be expand substantially.

4. Organizational Behavior Change:

Behavioral researches illustrate
that information systems facilitate flattening of hierarchies by broadening the
distribution of information to empower lower-level employees. It pushes the
decision making rights to the lower level in the organization as the lower
level employees receives the information they need to make decisions
eliminating the need of middle managers. This also leads to the reduction is
the administrative costs of the organization.


2.            Various types of
security threats to any information system of an organization.

The followings are types of
security treats to information system;

a)       Malicious
software: Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses and Spyware

Malicious software programs are
referred to as malware and include a variety of threats, such as computer
viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. A computer virus is a rogue software program
that attaches itself to other software programs or data files in order to be
executed, usually without user knowledge or permission. Worms, which are
independent computer programs that copy themselves from one computer to other
computers over a network. Unlike viruses, worms can operate on their own
without attaching to other computer program files and rely less on human
behavior in order to spread from computer to computer. A Trojan horse is a
software program that appears to be benign but then does something other than
expected. The Trojan horse is not itself a virus because it does not replicate,
but it is often a way for viruses or other malicious code to be introduced into
a computer system. spyware also act as malicious software. These small programs
install themselves surreptitiously on computers to monitor user Web surfing activity
and serve up advertising.

b)      Hackers
and Computer Crime

A hacker is an individual who
intends to gain unauthorized access to a computer system. Hacker activities
have broadened beyond mere system intrusion to include theft of goods and
information, as well as system damage and cybervandalism, the intentional
disruption, defacement, or even destruction of a Web site or corporate
information system. In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, hackers flood a
network server or Web server with many thousands of false communications or
requests for services to crash the network. The network receives so many
queries that it cannot keep up with them and is thus unavailable to service
legitimate requests. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack uses
numerous computers to inundate and overwhelm the network from numerous launch
points. Most hacker activities are criminal offenses, and the vulnerabilities
of systems we have just described make them targets for other types of computer
crime as well. Computer crime is defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as
“any violations of criminal law that involve a knowledge of computer technology
for their perpetration, investigation, or prosecution.” Many companies are
reluctant to report computer crimes because the crimes may involve employees,
or the company fears that publicizing its vulnerability will hurt its
reputation. The most economically damaging kinds of computer crime are denial
of service attacks, activities of malicious insiders, and Web-based attacks.

c)       Internal
Threats: Employee

We tend to think the security
threats to a business originate outside the organization. In fact, company
insiders pose serious security problems. Employees have access to privileged
information, and in the presence of sloppy internal security procedures, they
are often able to roam throughout an organization’s systems without leaving a
trace. Both end users and information systems specialists are also a major
source of errors introduced into information systems. End users introduce
errors by entering faulty data or by not following the proper instructions for
processing data and using computer equipment. Information systems specialists
may create software errors as they design and develop new software or maintain existing

       d)    Software

Software errors pose a constant
threat to information systems, causing untold losses in productivity, and
sometimes endangering people who use or depend on systems. Growing complexity
and size of software programs, coupled with demands for timely delivery to
markets, have contributed to an increase in software flaws or vulnerabilities. A
major problem with software is the presence of hidden bugs or program code