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Effect on Security of a Company

Discuss about the Ethical Impact of Business and Organisational Research.

The issue of unlawful or unofficial Internet usage while being in the workplace is something which is a major cause of concern for Employers. There are a number of issues which arises out of this kind of usage of Internet which is accessible to the employees of an Organisation.  At the outset, unofficial usage of internet causes bandwidth wastage for an employer, other than this there could be Liabilities concerned with Legal affairs and there could also be threatening related to the security of the Employing organisation. It is also a huge reason of concern for most of the Employers because it surely affects the productivity of an Employee. Thus it affects the competence of Business, service to the Customers of a company. This unethical usage of Internet is termed as Cyber slacking. Cyber slacking is a huge concern for Employers these days. The unknown activity of an employee using the office internet may bring Legal issues to an Organisation. Also, there is a possibility of Company information which may be its trade secret, to be lost and the nature of confidentiality of the information may cause business damage to the Company if it reaches its competitors (Oswalt, 2010).

It is essential for an Employee of a Company to remember that the responsibility of an Employee is to protect the confidentiality of its Employers information. Otherwise, a competitor Company may damage its business in a permanent manner. So, while in advantage of having full access to internet and Bandwidth of the Employer Company, an Employee should always try to protect the security of its Employer. No amount of legal restriction may be sufficient to restrict an employee to not to breech its company’s security laws. It has to be the ethical sense which must come into play,

Similarly, it is the duty of a Company’s IT Managers to try to protect the security of their Employer by means of technical, ethical and last but not the least – Legal ways. One of the Technical methods is to keep Email filtering system into place so that Virus attacks could be prohibited and Company information which is confidential in nature could be well protected. It is important for IT Managers of a Company to train its employees on the ethical importance of maintaining the confidentiality of information that are important to the Company.

Effect on Productivity of an Employee

The Veterans Data theft incident which took place in US in the year 2006 is an enormous example of the disorder this kind of incident may create. An Employee of the Veterans Affairs in US took his office laptop to his home. The Laptop contained valuable information including Social security numbers of 26.5 million veterans. The Laptop was stolen from the employee’s home and the entire unencrypted data was lost (Yerby, 2013).

Prof Michael Oldenkamp, Department of Sociology, California State University, Los Angeles in his article on “Cyber Slacking in the Workplace” observes that during the period of Recession when Companies want more efficient hard work and productivity from its employees, the employees and his fellow workers in the University are keeping busy with their Social Networking sites like Facebook and Myspace.

Cyber slacking is one of the biggest reasons for which Companies lose Dollars mounting to Millions every year. Studies show that Social Networking and visit to Pornography sites during an average workday causes approximately 40% of loss of productivity in US. Shopping sites are another obsession for employees nowadays. A survey conducted in US show that  a collection of employees from three companies in USA lost 350 numbers of working days of 8 hour duration due to internet surfing.

Therefore, the responsibility to keep Productivity intact at workplace lies with an Employee as well as with the IT Managers and Employer. The IT Managers have to keep a strict vigil so that the employees of the company spent least possible time surfing websites which are not of Official use to them. They should communicate firmly and very clearly about the restrictions and principle of the company to all its employees. Employees also on their turn should stick to the rules of the company in this regard to keep productivity at the satisfactory level (Tiwary, 2011).

While accessing Internet in office for personal usage, an Employee causes many a loss to the resources of a Company. Bandwidth of valuable amount is wasted due to this unethical use of internet. Moreover, traffic in Internet network gets exponentially heavy due to this. Chatting or instant messaging is another reason behind this increasing problem. A great amount of time and productivity is lost due to these factors and Company Resources are misused uncontrollably.

According to Prof Steven Mintz, Professor of Accounting in the Orfalea College of Business at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, Loyalty is a very important thing in this respect. He states that loyalty of an employee is of two types mainly. The first type is the loyalty to one’s own supervisor and the second type is the loyalty to the fellow colleagues, to the Employer and to the shareholders of the Company. So, out of loyalty, one employee should always refrain from activities which may harm the Company, the Employer and its shareholders. It lies within his responsibility to report any anomaly in this regard by any of his fellow colleagues to the management. So that the Company may remain safe and protected from any possible harm the misuse may cause to it. Also, it is necessary for the employee to make himself clear from any liability occurred by the acts of misuse by any of his colleague (Moussa, 2015).

Misusing the Company Resources

The health of a business is subjected to more damage caused due to passing of contents which are inappropriate in nature than a threat caused by the security. There are a number of areas where liability of the employer may occur. Due to misuse of internet by its employees a company may have to borne the liability of Copyright infringement; it may lose important and confidential information to its competitors. In certain cases it may have to borne the liability of harassment of its employees also.

The case of Chevron Corporation could be sited as an example of Company liability caused by its employee. The company had to pay a hefty sum of money to its women employees in the year 1995 to settle a lawsuit filed against them by the employees of the company regarding an incident of sexual harassment. Some of the employees of the company had sent obscene jokes to its woman employees.

Inappropriate acts done by the employees of a company make it liable to legal actions. So, the IT Mangers of a company have to remain very cautious and alert to avert any such situation. Counseling and proper training of employees are the best possible solutions to keep a control on unwanted situations.

“Employee Internet use, and their use of social media in the workplace, is one of the top concerns being raised by our clients today,” said According to Mr John Stoler who is the co-chair, Labour and Employment Practice of the Company Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP said that the use of internet by Employees, the use and access of Social media by employees in their workplace is one of the growing concerns reported by the clients of the Organisation.

There might be several other incidents like gambling via internet while at office, there might be accessing of pornographic elements being at office or other things which are considered as criminal activities. According to Mr Mark Neuberger of Foley and Lardner LLP, all these activities may cause liability to a company (Oswalt, 2010).

The role of an IT Manager of a company is to have a clear idea about legal and ethical angles of usage of Internet in the workplace. It is their responsibility to spread awareness among the employees of the Company so that they become able to draw a line between official usage and personal usage of internet while at job. Rather than enforcing legal bindings on an employee, an employer should try to create awareness in him so that he refrains from unethical activities.

According to the study by Mr Johnathan Yerby, Lecturer, Middle Georgia State College’s School of Information Technology, an employee should be very clear from the beginning that a Computer which is given to him for office work is not a private property and it is bound to be monitored by the management all the time (Lindorff, 2010).

Conclusion:

According to the study by Mr Johnathan Yerby, Lecturer, Middle Georgia State College’s School of Information Technology, an Organisation needs to keep a watchful eye on its employees. Activity of each and every employee must be monitored by an Organisation to keep an environment of safety and security.

IT Managers of a company has to train each of every employee to make them aware of their internet usage during office hours. They should be thoroughly educated on the possibilities of disciplinary actions in case of failing to maintain Company policy. IT Managers should be sincerely aware of the issues that may arise from Cyber slacking in workplace. So, it is their duty to take the employees at their side by means of proper training and technology, so that the work environment of the Company remains at its best level.

References:

Lindorff, M., 2010. The Ethical Impact of Business and Organisational Research: the Forgotten Methodological Issue?; www.ejbrm.com/issue/download.html?idArticle=168. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 05(01), pp.21-28.

Moussa, M., 2015. Monitoring Employee Behavior Through the Use of Technology and Issues of Employee Privacy in America; https://sgo.sagepub.com/content/5/2/2158244015580168. Sage.

Oswalt, B., 2010. Cyberslacking – Legal and Ethical Issues Facing It Managers; https://iacis.org/iis/2003/OswaltElliott-Howard.pdf. In CYBERSLACKING. Southern Arkansas. pp.646-52.

Tiwary, D.K., 2011. Security And Ethical Issues In It: An Organization’s Perspective; https://www.ijecbs.com/July2011/45.pdf. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems , 01(02), pp.1-13.

Yerby, J., 2013. Legal and ethical issues of employee monitoring; https://www.iiakm.org/ojakm/articles/2013/volume1_2/OJAKM_Volume1_2pp44-55.pdf. Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management, 01(02), pp.44-55.

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