Information System on Ethical and Moral Issues Research Paper

Pages: 15 (6479 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 25  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Economics

¶ … Information System on Ethical and Moral issues in an E-Society within the Banking Sector in South Africa

Phishing is the practice of obtaining someone else's personal information for the purpose of committing a crime, either at that time or sometime in the future. Protecting one's personal information from theft has become a key issue in the online banking community. Banks in South Africa have been hit hard recently by an unprecedented rash of cyber crime. Experts in the field struggle to find solutions to this rising trend. The customer is a key component in the fight against cyber crime. The proposed research study will explore issues related to the knowledge level of the customer regarding cyber crime and how to stop it. It will also address the division of responsibility between the bank and the customer in helping to curb cyber crime.

The Impact of Information System on Ethical and Moral issues in an E-society within the Banking Sector in South Africa

INTRODUCTION

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The need for Information Security (IS) is not a concept that became a concern as a direct result of the Internet. The need to protect one's personal information has been a concern as long as business has been around. The only difference between today and the days of old are that information is much more difficult to protect than it was in the past. In the past, there were only a few threats and it took a great deal of effort to obtain the information. The job of the Highwayman was not as easy as the job of the common hacker of today. For instance, information now travels across cable networks and via satellite transmissions at the speed of light. It is much easier to intercept and use personal information.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Information System on Ethical and Moral Issues Assignment

The speed and ease with which information can be obtained by those who would use it for criminal purposes is frightening to the average person. Criminals can steal millions of customer records in a single effort. This is of particular concern to the banking industry, where the theft of personal information could mean that the accounts of their customers are compromised. Not only would the bank be liable for the financial risks of their customers, the loss of reputation and trust would be devastating. Therefore, IS represents one of the greatest challenges that the banking industry faces today. Their survival depends on the ability to protect the sensitive information of their customers.

The need to keep records safe not only presents legal and logistical challenges, it presents many moral challenges as well. These moral and ethical issues are not new and have been around since the beginning of time. However, with the ease of theft and the scale on which these crimes occur, these ethical and moral issues have an even greater impact on society and the banking industry. The following will address the legal and moral issues involved in an e-society, particularly as it pertains to the online banking industry in South Africa.

Recently, the banking industry in South Africa has faced many challenges concerning a lack on security in the online banking industry (Cawley, 2010). The distance of the customer from the bank teller is one of the key aspects of telephone and online banking. The need for additional security in these situations is one of the key necessary provisions. Banks in Europe, the Far East and the U.S.A. have made these changes with little problem. However, in South Africa, IS problems have become rampant. In the first months of 2010, nearly 900 fraudulent banking websites were shut down in South Africa, many of them were close spoofs of large corporate banking sites (Cawley, 2010).

Few will disagree that it is unethical and immoral to steal someone's information for the purpose of taking money from another person's account. Long before the Internet, thieves has means to steal bank account information for the purpose of fraudulently taking money from them, Some of these measures included stealing purses or looking over someone's shoulder while they wrote a check. Just because it occurs on the Internet does not make it any less of a crime. Just because it occurs on a larger scale does not make it any more or less moral than when it occurred to individuals. It still represents the crime that is of moral and ethical consideration.

Phishing sites are one type of cybercrime that represents out fraud. This crime is similar to the conn artist who misrepresents themselves for the purpose of stealing information so that they can pose to be that person. The problem with phishing sites and other spoof sites is that as soon as one is shut down, scammers can easily just upload the same look alike to another IP address and they are up and running again in no time. The intent of phishing and spoof sites is never benevolent. It is always with criminal intent as the underlying purpose behind the activity.

Banks typically take proactive measures to take down phishing sites as soon as they are discovered. However, it is not always possible for the banks, or the legal system to stop phishing. One of the most important steps in preventing fraud is to educate customers about these sites, how to recognize them and how to avoid them. A lack of awareness and security in the South African online banking industry has been key problems in the ability to curb the problem (Cawley, 2010).

The only way that an account can be reliably hacked and emptied is for the customer to divulge certain information. Humans are the most important link in the security chain. For this reason, the research will focus on what can be done to increase awareness and security regarding the divulgence of personal information in the South African population. The problem is that many consumers feel that 100% of the responsibility for preventing cybercrime lies with the banking institution. They feel that their accounts should be safe with little or no effort on their part. This attitude presents a key moral dilemma in the online banking community.

The real question is who is to blame when a phishing site steals information and wrecks havoc on a bank's customers. This research will explore upon whom the blame should fall in the prevention of cybercrime. Many legal and ethical issues arise when confronted by these issues. This research will explore current legislation and bank policies to see if they have adequately addressed these moral and ethical issues.

1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

The problem of Information Security has become an issue or great concern to the South African banking industry. Issues regarding IS impact issues of privacy, social issues, security issues, and e-deviance within the banking sector. This research will address the problem of the impact of information security from an ethical and moral standpoint in an increasingly e-oriented society. This study will explore the problem of how these problems are addressed within the legal framework and traditions of South African culture. It will examine who is to blame for the prevention of cybercrime and the current state of legislation and policies in keeping up with them.

1.2 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

This research will pursue the following objectives as they relate to the research topic.

1. The research will determine the level of confidence of South African banking customers in the level of security in online banking.

2. The research will explore the attitudes of the South African population in the moral obligation to keep their information safe and who has the weight of the moral obligation to protect personal information.

3. The research will explore the moral and ethical division of responsibility between the South African online banking customer and the banking institution for maintaining customer information security.

4. The research will explore the perceived level of e-deviance and immoral behavior in the online banking industry in South Africa.

5. The research will explore the level of knowledge about phishing, spoof sites, password security, and other actions that they can take to keep their information safe.

6. The research will explore the willingness of the South African online banking customer community to take on a greater ethical and moral responsibility for the security of their own personal information through education.

7. The legislative and banking policy landscape regarding the ethical and moral issues regarding information security will be a key objective of this study.

2. BACKGROUND

Information security in South Africa has drawn much media attention recently. Much of the media hype has focused on privacy, security and compliance with reducing the risk of customer information being compromised. As was discussed in the Introduction of this study, problems in South Africa have been reported to be worse than in other countries that have adopted online banking. The question that must be raised focuses on why the problem is so bad in South Africa, least much more so than in other countries around the world.

As the movement towards global networking and banking continues, South Africa will have… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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