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Information is a very important part in any organization. Every business, institution, company or organization prides itself with the specific knowledge it has in a specified area. Every office that runs and manages its affairs depends on the information they have. As a result, the office workers use this information sparingly and constructively to generate more income for the business (Angus, 2005).
Therefore, information that is held by any organization is very dear to them. The same information can make or break the company depending on how it will be used. Thus, there is need to secure this important asset. A company's inside information should be regarded with utmost security and secrecy. It is therefore not in order for any employee or worker to reveal any such information to the public.
In this regard, companies ensure that its employees sign a contract that makes sure that they do not let out any information that the public need not know. It is made clear to them that by leaking out any company's information would be a breach of contract and this would lead to their arrest (Miller, 2005).
Angus (2005) explains that there are various ways in which information is stored. First and foremost, there is the information that is written down on hard copy. This type of recording information is very widely used. Many companies must have files that store copies of papers with a lot of information written on them. There is no doubt that this trend will continue happening because information stored on hard copy is easy to represent and there is no alterations or modifications that can be made on them without is being obvious that it has been tampered with. These hard copies that hold vital information should therefore be kept in secure places that will ensure that no one interferes with the content that they carry.
The other way in which information is stored is in the minds of the concerned people. Here, employees and other staff of an organization take centre stage. The amount of information these people hold is massive. It cannot be quantified but it is true to say that the amount of information that they hold in their heads can cause great harm to the company if the employees choose to use it against the company (Miller, 2002).
It is therefore imperative for the company to find a way in which it can ensure that the employees keep that knowledge to themselves. This becomes very difficult for the company to do because it cannot control the lives of its employees.
This type of information that is stored in the minds of human beings is one of the major assets that a company can have. With the use of this information and the individual knowledge of each employee, there is massive potential growth for the company. There is nothing that a company cannot do if it has all the intellectual resource to come up with new ideas and ways of solving problems.
Another place where information can be stored is in the available technological devices that have been manufactured for that purpose. There are a wide range of devices that can store information. This type of information is stored in soft copy. This is to say that a lot of information can be coded and stored in a very small gadget. The information can only be retrieved with the help of another machine (Miller, 2002). For information to be stored in this form, the person handling it should be knowledgeable in operating such machines. These machines are in the likes of computers, laptops, modems and even flash disks. Such devices have come to help make work easier. Not to forget is the provision of saving information in emails.
The use of internet in order to save information has been grasped and is now being used by many people. This includes office workers who save files in their personal email accounts. They will then be able to open these files whenever required.
However, there is no doubt about the fact that these gadgets have brought with them a lot of problems regarding to the storage of the said information. There definitely has to be a negative side to all this technology. Certain aspects of the technology can be used against the company. That is why there have been endeavors to safeguard this information (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1998).
Nonetheless, the issue of making this information secure is controversial. It is not clear to what extent this information can be considered harmful. It is however clear that if certain people get access to this information then there will be trouble. Therefore, there is a need to strike a balance between information security and information sclerosis.
This leads to the issue of protecting this information. Companies have endeared themselves in an effort to protect it. As a result they have invested heavily to ensure that their information is not revealed to parties that are not supposed to know it. The extent to which security measures have been made varies according to the strength of the organization (State of Arkansas Office of Information Technology, 2005).
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There are several factors that need to be put into consideration when deciding how secure we want our information to be. To start with, we need to realize the worth of that information to the company, i.e., ourselves. Information that is deemed valuable within the company needs to be protected.
The inside information that a company holds is very important for its own growth and prosperity. This is why companies go to a large extent to secure this information. This is the information that includes a company's dealings with other parties (Boran, 2002). This information could consist of the intelligence a company has gathered in order to compete effectively with other companies. Such information should be considered important and should be among the ones that need to be secured.
State of Arkansas Office of Information Technology (2005) affirms that another factor that needs to be considered, when thinking of how secure we want our information to be, is the privacy of clients' information. Documents that hold vital and confidential information of the customers should definitely be secured. This is the customer's right and it has to be upheld. Any leaking of private information belonging to the clients is considered unlawful. Therefore, where such information is kept should not be easily accessible to everyone.
We should decide how secure we want our information to be when we think of the consequences when our competitors get to know what we know. Our information should be secured so that other companies which are rivals and our competitors do not get to acquire the same information that we have (Angus, 2005). It is by knowing this that we will guard safely all the information that we have. If our information gets to be known to our competitors then we can be sabotaged or even blackmailed. That is why such information needs to be secured so that it does not reach them.
We have identified above how information is very important and how it is an asset in the company. We have also identified where such information is stored. The paradox now is how we should know that the information is secure (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1998). Companies have in this regard installed software security systems in their computers so as to keep the information secure. These systems demand that you input a certain password in order to access the information.
The system whereby a password is required in order to produce information is secure but at the same time it could be risky. Companies require their employees to cram numerous passwords that consist of digits as well as alphabets both in upper and lower cases. This becomes a bore and a lot of work the employees some of whom result in writing them down in their notebooks or saving them in their mobile phones. National Institute of Standards and Technology (1998), points out that the danger that is created when this is done is that the reliability of the security system is compromised. When information is stored in personal emails, then it becomes insecure because emails could be hacked into. For as much as we want our information to be secure, we should consider all these factors before installing security systems that will cost the company a lot of money.
By and large, a company's management should be responsible of making the decisions on how secure they want their information to be. The management knows the dealings that they do with other parties and with the customers and so they should be better placed to guide the employees on what information should be kept within the company (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1998). Clients can also be in a position to tell the company to secure their information. They can be demand of the company not to let out their information and by doing so a company will have no choice than to comply with the clients' requests.
In conclusion, information should be protected to an extent that it does not get to the wrong hands. At the same time, information should not be hidden in a way that it cannot be accessible or retrieved when need be. So, the decision makers should consider, as much as possible, striking a balance between securing information and having it too secured such that it cannot help anyone.
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