Assuring the Business Management Information System

Assuring the business management information system is now a critical business process.

We live in an incredibly fast-paced world.  The mobile workforce is expanding.  Rapid change is now a constant. Thanks to the computer, things are becoming more intense. People need mission critical information on-the-go.  We, as individuals, now depend upon access to as much timely and accurate information as we can get. We use it to help us to work, adapt and thrive. This reality is also true for business and industry.

Business owners and managers must quickly analyze and use summary reports for decision-making. The challenge demands precision and clarity. Computers are regularly being used to assess choices and to select the best course of actions. The competition does, too.

Clearly, developing and assuring the business management information system for competitive decision-making, is among a manager's most important roles. The overall challenge is simple.

A manager must provide and assure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of relevant facts and figures for his or her business. Quickly selecting from among alternative actions to take is what managers must do. Otherwise, making decisions would be a matter of hunches and luck. Valid, timely and reliable information is truly the life's blood of business and commerce.

An information system consists of a number of distinct components or parts that function together. Each unit of data must be identified, assessed, quantified, validated, aligned, transmitted and acted upon in a manner that supports critical operations. Managers must receive usable feedback from a dependable system that is designed to provide a continuous stream of vital internal intelligence.

Cybercrime and the Business Management Information System

A business, trying to function without the capability described above, is courting disaster. This is truer today than ever.

Today we must face something that was absent in the past. That is cybercrime. The scope of the problem is huge. The annual loss from computer-based crime now exceeds the dollar amount of the illegal global drug trade. The problem is growing.

The threats and vulnerabilities that are faced by business and industry are varied and frequently originate from the Internet and spread throughout private networks and electronic devices. Both computers and employees are targets of malicious cyber-criminals and the goal is to destroy or steal information assets. One thing is for certain; proactive measures must be taken by everyone in an organization to avoid becoming victims of cybercrime and malicious attacks

All electronic records must be inventoried and assigned a security classification. Processes for protecting the most critical digital data must be established. A plan for assuring electronic assets must be implemented as a business process. Everyone who works with vital facts and numbers must be educated on how to safely use them when carrying out his or her employment-related functions.

Specific policies and procedures for processing electronic records must be adopted and followed by everyone. There must be a business-wide focus on assuring access to critical data. Allowing vulnerabilities to remain or failing to address threats to the computing infrastructure is unacceptable. The alternative is to guarantee serious dollar losses as well as any competitive advantage.

Assuring information must now be added to the functions of management. Failing to acknowledge this fact guarantees the existence of a permanent vulnerability in a dangerous and expansive threat environment.