The modern world is characterized by the rapid development of new technologies which affect practically all spheres of human life. In such a situation the development of Internet and IT becomes particularly important. In this respect, the World Wide Web may be viewed as one of the major components of the current virtual’ market. In this respect, it should be said that the development of World Wide Web is accompanied by a number of problems among which the problem of security is one of the most important since in the current situation the information stored on the World Wide Web may be quite important to its owners and often it is a target of attacks from the part of hackers.
At the same time, the World Wide Web tends to commercialization and the growth of e-businesses is the characteristic of the present epoch. The growing popularity and spread of the commercial relations in the World Wide Web may be explained by its simplicity and high speed of transactions.
Obviously, the rapid development of e-businesses and the growing popularity of the World Wide Web increases the risks related to the security of e-businesses as well as information that is used in the World Wide Web. Nowadays, it is not a secret that the problem of security affects dramatically companies and customers, which often remain unprotected from intrusion from outside or purely technological problems. This is why it is extremely important to clearly realize and research the problem of security of the World Wide Web, in order to prevent further problems that many companies and customers currently face. It is particularly important that the problem expands on the global scale and overcomes national borders.
Naturally, it is possible to argue that the importance of the problem of security of the World Wide Web is not very significant compared to conventional business and information, but the situation in the world market, or at least in the most developed countries, changes dramatically. As a result, at the present moment, the problem of security of the World Wide Web is of utmost importance to all participants that are engaged in the World Wide Web in different countries of the world. As a result, the necessity of the research of this problem is obvious.
Taking into consideration the importance of the problem of the security of the World Wide Web, it is possible to define the further objectives of the research. First of all, it is primarily important to realize the extent, to which the problem of security overwhelms the World Wide Web at large because, as it has been mentioned above, it is still arguable whether the threat to the security is the problem of companies or end-users, i.e. customers. Furthermore, on identifying the spread of the current problem of security of the World Wide Web, it would be necessary to make a forecast for its future development. In other words, it is necessary to define whether the problem should be solved or probably new technologies would naturally eliminate the problem of security at all.
At the same time, it is equally important to find possible solutions of the current problem of security of the World Wide Web in order to prevent any kind of intrusion in the process of its normal functioning because of the breaches in the system of the World Wide Web. In this respect, it is necessary to take into consideration what parts should be involved in the solution of the problem, i.e. it is necessary to define whether companies only are responsible for efficiency of security or probably customers should be also involved in the measures aiming at its improvement.
The literature review
Nowadays, the World Wide Web is gaining its positions and its importance in the nearest future can be hardly underestimated. This is particularly important in the situation of the growing commercialization of the World Wide Web. Even in the current situation, it plays a very important role and is spread in different spheres, including banking.
In such a situation, it is necessary to realize the importance of security of the World Wide Web because the IT technologies used in the virtual world and its security may have a very serious impact on the organization, or a company at large because IT used in Internet influence an organization at large. To put it more precisely, the growing involvement of an organization into the World Wide Web makes the organization responsive to the slightest changes and increases the role of knowledge because, on a permanent introduction of new technologies, the company willingly or not becomes a learning organization (Lucas, H., and Baroudi, J. 2002, p. 76). While physical operations becomes less spread than electronic ones, consequently, organization structure changes improving tactic and strategic functions for gaining competitive advantage (Lucas, H., and Baroudi, J. 2002, p. 84) and all decisions taken within the organization flows much faster and are more effective. Also the organizational purpose or role changes because due to IT all geographical boundaries disappear and the organization is not limited to its actual, physical location. On the other hand, the problem of security management increases because the problems related to the security of E-Commerce affects directly the whole organization or a company.
Nowadays there are a lot of evidences indicating at the reality of the problem of security of the World Wide Web. In order to prove it, it is necessary to briefly dwell upon some examples of problems directly related to security. In fact, breaches at websites are reported regularly. But experts on IT security estimate that the problem occurs not within companies but on the end-user’s computer and this problem is common not only for a particular industry but for the World Wide Web at large. The core of the problem is as follows: hackers can decrypt codes and obtain passwords by cracking into the software and that was downloaded on the customer’s computer and in such a way they receive all information they need to redirect money, for example. That is why specialists believe that the best way to prevent stealing of money from customers account is to be more cautious and be aware of what kind of information they are demanded and what for. So, experts recommend being very cautious, particularly with e-mail because spam may one of the way different hackers and fraudsters use.
Nonetheless, the breaches of the security management are still quite considerable and there may be found many other examples. For instance, in the US, an attacker obtained about 100,000 credit card numbers from the records of a dozen retailers selling their product via Internet. Basically, the credit cards had limits from $2,000 to $25,000 that make the potential cost of the theft at about $1,000 million. Fortunately, the attacker was caught by the FBI, being attempting to sell the card numbers (Coyle 1999).
However, the fact is still quite disturbing revealing a dangerous trend in provision of security of the World Wide Web. The latter may be proved by the following example, when intruders gained unauthorized access to the propriety information on the computer network of a major US corporation. Unlike in the previous example, the companied was unable to identify the techniques used by the intruders and it had to shut down its Internet connection for 72 hours in order to deny access to legitimate users and cutting customers off from information that the company usually makes available via Internet (Coyle 1999).
Thus, it is obvious that the problem of security of the World Wide Web has to be researched and its plausible solutions have to be found.
Technological approach and research design
In fact, a profound research should be based on an effective technological approach and research design. It should be said that it is possible to use functional approach to the research of the existing problem since it helps better evaluate the causes and effects of the existing problem in practical terms. At the same time, on developing the research it is primarily necessary to dwell upon the analysis of the existing researches dedicated to the problem of security. After that it is necessary to gather information related to the problem, including statistical data, opinion of specialists and ordinary users, etc. On analyzing the data received, it is necessary to develop recommendations that could improve the situation and increase security. Finally, it is important to make a forecast of the further development of the situation.
Obviously, to achieve positive results the research needs efficient methodology to be used. Speaking about methods that could be used in the research, it should be pointed out that it is highly recommended to use a complex of different methods in order to achieve higher reliability of the results of the research. In this respect, it is possible to use the analysis of statistic data related to the problem, for instance the percentage of attacks on different companies related to certain industries worldwide. It would make it possible to define what industries are the most susceptible to intrusion and where the problem of security of the World Wide Web is particularly serious and needs improvement. At the same time, it would help to clearly realize the importance of the problem at large, and in certain industries in particular.
Furthermore, it is also possible to use different questionnaires in order to find out the extent to which companies as well as customers are affected by the breaches in security. Obviously, the opinion of larger companies are particularly important in this question because they are probably the most affected by this problem and as a rule it is large companies that are targeted by intruders, while customers suffer in the result of the failure of larger companies security. Nonetheless, the opinion of customers is also important, especially if the research shows the necessity to involve customers directly in the solution of the problem of security. In this respect, interviews may be also widely used basically focusing on administration and personnel working on the problem of security of companies that may also help to find out possible solutions of the problem. On the other hand, it is also possible to find out the degree of awareness of customers with the help of interviews, though questionnaires seem to be more efficient in this respect because they are easier to hold for both a researcher and a customer since they imply a concrete list of questions that had to be answered.
The analysis of the problem of security should be based on the use of reliable data from different sources. In this respect, it is particularly important to use a variety of sources while gathering information for the research, for instance statistics. It may be the statistics data of National Authorities, for instance, of data of companies, which suffered from intrusion in there is. Also, it is also necessary to take into consideration the recent researches related to the problem in order to have a larger view on security of the World Wide Web.
Furthermore, data collected in the result of questionnaires and interviews should be systematized and the degree of their reliability or possible errors checked. In order to make them more useful, it is possible to structure the results of questionnaires and interviews, for instance by the degree of importance or affection by the problem of security.
Naturally, the research would inevitably face certain difficulties and limitations. First of all, it is quite problematic gather the general statistics in all industries because the level of intrusions, for instance, grows and it is quite difficult to make an absolutely correct conclusion related to a certain industry but still it is quite possible to define the general trends for certain industries. For instance, the industries most affected by the problem would be clearly defined. This is why it is possible to recommend to focus on the trends in industries at large than on concrete companies in order to minimize this sort of difficulties.
At the same time, the contacts with the administration of personnel working on the problem of security is also quite problematic because often companies prefer to keep its security programs, as well as facts of intrusions, from public eye and the companies that really suffer from the lack of security would in all probability tend to avoid any sort of questionnaires or interviews. On the other hand, it is possible to recommend to turn to the experience of companies that successfully coped with the problem of security.
Furthermore, the opinion of customers may be also different from their objective point of view since it is quite probable that intruders may be also involved in questionnaires or interviews. In this respect, the problem may be minimized by clearly defining the attitude of a customer to the problem of security, i.e. whether he/she is for or against its solution.
Furthermore, the gathering of statistical information needs certain experience in work with statistics from a researcher because it would be necessary not simply to collect but also analyze statistical data. Also questionnaires and interviews would need direct communication. At the same time postal questionnaires may be used that also need to be financed respectively. On the other hand, the access to IT is also important in order to make interviews, especially with representatives of large corporation more accessible, i.e. it is possible to interview with the help of the contemporary means of telecommunication, Internet, etc.
Basically, it is possible to define three main stages of the research: 1) definition of the problem that would take as much time as it is needed for a clearly worded in essence of the problem (it may take about a couple of weeks or a little bit more or less); 2) gathering information that may take about a month on the gathering of statistical data from different sources during the period defined and a month on questionnaires and interviews, though this period may last longer if some problems with interviews of administration and personnel of companies appear; 3) analysis of the information and eventually the results of the research would take probably as much time as gathering information or even a bit more.