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|← Internet Policies||Government Intervention →|
The idea of putting more stringent measures in internet usage has become a common place since the internet usage emerged in the 1990s. In fact, internet usage has become so popular with time that the government has resorted to providing very quality services to the citizens online. With the recent adoption of the smart phones and other recent mobile phone devices, better working partnerships have been forged between government agencies and private firms. Besides this, several individual firms provide a variety of online services to the general public. However, these advancements have brought equal measure of risks, especially those pertaining to computer systems. It is due to this reality that the government has always considered the option of regulating private cyber securities as a way of protecting the general public. According to Bill Gates, the world’s computing systems will never be secure until they are made unfailingly trustworthy.
The cyber space is so much interlinked that when computer system of a firm is compromised, the entire country is at risk. In light of this, the government would be quite justified to intervene in order to ensure more trusted transactions between the general public and the private firm. Understandably, if a computer system of a financial institution is hacked by cyber criminals the general public could end up losing a significant portion of their hard-earned cash to the criminals. Besides, the reputation of the individual firms could be significantly eroded to irreparable levels. Such eventualities could certainly spell doom to such firms as they may be forced to close shop as the public confidence in them becomes no more (Robertson, 2010). A typical case of cyber crime recently took place in Chicago when fraudsters made away with lots of money from the bank. The fact that most of these crimes are committed by the firms’ employees seriously serves to ruin public confidence in the firms. In such a case, people would not be willing to trust their employees to handle their personal transactions when they get to hear about the frauds. Essentially, the firms would lose many of their customers if big cases of fraud are reported in their systems. This is particularly dangerous for the government as these companies remit to it significant amounts in taxes. Besides, most of the employment opportunities are provided by the private sector. Essentially, limiting the size of the private sector will put more pressure on the government to create more jobs (Grabosky, 2006).
The effects of cyber crime could be severely damaging to the integrity of a company’s best customers. Private healthcare firms must, therefore, be cautious to safely guard all the data belonging to its customers. This does not only protect the integrity of the firm, but could have far reaching economic effects on the firm especially when the customers opt for a legal suit. In fact, the court may order the company to pay the customer too much money as the constitution is very strict on personal information relating to health. A case in example recently occurred in Denver, Colorado when confidential information about a patient’s HIV status got into the hands of unscrupulous cyber criminals. It so happened that the man in question had realized they were living as discordant couples with the wife. He had acquired the AIDS virus but his wife had remained unaffected for a couple of years. He had tried severally to disclose this to his wife but he feared for the eventualities (Halder & Jaishankar, 2011). This prompted him to seek a rather foolish alternative of filing a divorce. When he could not provide sufficient grounds for his pursuit of a divorce, the information leaked from a healthcare firm in Colorado about his HIV status. This was totally damaging to his personal integrity and respect for the institution considering he was a political figure in one of the Municipalities. The fact that individual private companies engage in various transactions with much larger businesses in the world certainly puts them at risk, as these bigger companies can afford much innovative technology. That is why it may be necessary for the government to act responsibly by forcing the small private firms to improve their cyber security (Walden, 2007).
Cyber security is a critical issue in the increasingly competitive global market. It would be particularly damaging if a rival company hacked into your computer systems and obtained critical information about your strategies for the competitive market. For instance, if the information about the actual financial position of a firm gets into the hands of a rival firm, it would give them a secret weapon to outdo them in competition. The incident was particularly significant considering that they would be in a better position to identify a competition strategy that the other firm could not be able to respond to (Williams, 2006). Although this is a rare occurrence, it is a real possibility, especially at this time, when new private firms are emerging in the market. Due to the fact that they would certainly cut down the market share of the older companies, these pioneers would use all their resources to ensure that the newcomers are driven out of the market. The only challenge occurs when the pioneers have no idea about the financial positions of the newcomers. In such a case, they can never be certain that the new firms would adequately counter their strategies even after they have spent fortunes to start it off. In this regard, obtaining financial data of these companies would give them undue advantage in as far as market competition is concerned. In fact, this criminal act is becoming popular in the United Kingdom and some quarters of the American market where big companies invest millions in modern technology as they seek to outdo their competitors. Although it is quite unethical practice, businesses would do virtually to remain a float in the market. The government has thus to come forward to help the small firms strengthen their cyber systems to make them immune against cyber crime. This could be the best way to ensure creation of more jobs for the public (Yar, 2006).
The cost of repairing a cyber security breach could be a potential business ending event for small firm because it costs a lot to have the system repaired once cyber criminals hack into it. It is particularly damaging considering that the company data could be untraceably lost even after spending millions to correct the computer system. For example, the average cost of a cyber security incident is always around $190,000. It is certainly a huge sum of money that an average company may not be able to raise. In this case, certain incidents of cyber crime could actually mean the death of the entire company (Glenny, 2011). A case in example is Care Partners Limited in New Hampshire that has had to close shop because the cost of repairing their computer system after it was hacked was too much. Besides, the firm lost all the data on all transactions and payments making it impossible to follow up on debtors. Meanwhile, creditors kept creeping in for their pay at a time when the firm’s accounts were literally running dry. This was a tricky situation that prompted the Chief Executive Officer to call an impromptu meeting of the Board of Directors that eventually suspended the operations of the company. However, this move has left the company in a worse situation as they have had to contend with a series of court cases by creditors demanding a pay. In fact, the only reprieve has been the fact that it was a public limited company and as such the owners are not personally answerable for its economic. While these have been going on in the courts of law, the employees of the company have been rendered jobless. Essentially, the private sector and the government are so intertwined that what affects the private sector matters to the government. The government should therefore not shy away from imposing measures on private firms that will ensure that they tighten their cyber security (Easttom, 2010).