Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration (MBA)


Computers were first introduced into our lives in 1944, when the first one was designed and built for the Army. They were able to process simple information faster than man, allowing him to concentrate on more difficult problems. Progress came quickly and the first commercial use of the computer was in 1954.

Today, computers are recognized as having a tremendous influence on our daily lives. They have been successfully incorporated into almost every aspect of human endeavor.

Computer crime is an unfortunate reality in today's world. If the crime is detected at all, the loss may very well run into the millions of dollars. There are countless threats of penetration to a computer system. The dataprocessing manager must do his best, within company constraints, to combat these different threats. These threats come from a variety of sources. The internal threats can range from embezzlement, fraud, blackmail or program substitution/contamination. External threats can take the form of direct sabotage, wiretapping, program modification or natural disaster.

A variety of different protective techniques and devices can be implemented to guard against system penetration. It is up to the manager to decide what is the best alternative to suit his needs. Guarded entrances, sign-in/sign-out logs and separation of duties could be an effective protection against internal tampering. If these fail, the manager would have to employ more stringent controls over computer access. Strict password control could help discourage outsider penetration. Encryption/decryption devices will however, become a strong deterrence to outsider penetration in the near future.

Should a crime be committed against the computer system, there is little legal resource available. Current laws are inadequate as written and need to be updated and strengthened if the penalty is ever going to match the crime.

The information contained in this study consists of a variety of secondary sources. These include current periodicals, library textbooks, newspapers and journals.

No computer system can be totally secure from penetration but with tight controls, the chance of hostile penetration is greatly reduced to an acceptable level. Security is everyone's business when working with the system. Management and employees must become involved if the security procedures are going to be effective.

Included in

Business Commons