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Title: Secure use of the Internet by business
Author: Tassabehji, Rana
ISNI:       0000 0001 3499 4662
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2000
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This study focuses on electronic data security issues and their applicability to SMEs. Prior to this project, no frame of reference had been identified or defined for: • The electronic data and Internet security needs of SMEs • The critical success factors for implementing and using a secure electronic data and authentication solution Using a source of both primary and secondary research data, firstly, a trusted third party infrastructure based on public key encryption and digital certificate technology was designed and developed. This provided trust, integrity, confidentiality and nonrepudiation, all of which are essential components for secure static storage or Internet transmission of electronic data. The second stage was the implementation of this infrastructure in SMEs. The case studies revealed a reluctance to implement and use the designed infrastructure both during and after the pilot implementation period. Further primary research was undertaken to identify and explain the reluctance of SMEs to participate in piloting this Internet based technology. As a result of this research project, there are four major contributions to knowledge. These are, • A time series survey of SME Internet usage and attitudes in the Greater Manchester region. The initial stage of the research found that at the start of this project (1996/7), only one in three SMEs were using the Internet and the stage of usage was extremely basic (chapter 5.2.1). Towards the end of the project (1998/9), Internet usage by SMEs had doubled and had become more sophisticated (chapter 7.2). Awareness of security needs had also risen, but was still not a part of the overall network infrastructure of the majority of small and medium sized organisations. • A framework for the analysis of the potential success or failure of the implementation of a security solution in particular and new technology project more generally (chapter 9). • A framework that can act as broad guide for SMEs in the development of their security network infrastructures. • The use of organic methodology (chapter 3.3) to deal with the fast moving and changing environment of IT related research projects. A "Best Practice" guide has been developed based on these two models to help SMEs in the implementation of a data security solution in their own organisations. As well as raised awareness of the issues, the success factors also include reengineering existing business processes, changing traditional business thinking and creating a level of commitment to the implementation of technology that will enable SMEs to thrive in the new markets of the 21st century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Electronic data; SMEs; Internet security