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Strategic Information Systems Public Transport Industry

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Question:

Discuss about the Strategic Information Systems Public Transport Industry.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

It has become very necessary to make use of automated information systems in the field of public transport to offer better services to the commuters. There are thousands and millions of people that make use of public transports on a daily basis. It is not feasible to manage these commuters and offer best services through manual operations. It is therefore required to make use of automation in the systems that are used to control and manage these transport systems.

Business Processes

There are various business processes that are carried out in association with the public transport system.

  • Fare collection processes in which the commuters are issued the tickets as per their destination and the mode of transport. There are usually two types of customers that are present as:
    • Regular or frequent customers that commute on a frequent basis
    • In-frequent commuters that make use of the transport system once in a while
  • Route estimation for the vehicle to make sure that the quickest and shortest path is covered in the journey
  • Information storage and handling to store the information associated with the passengers
  • Applications associated with security and surveillance to keep a track of all the vehicles and modes of transport that are being used simultaneously (Polzin, 2016)

Business Requirements

There are several requirements in association with the public transport. With the increase in the population and the increase in the number of vehicles on road, there are often situations of congestion that have been observed. Also, in case of air or rail transport system, there are often scenarios wherein the passengers fail to book their tickets online on the referred date of journey due to unavailability of the space. It is necessary for the public transport systems to manage the traffic to make sure that the real-time information is made available to the customers and there is no congestion or situation of unavailability (Mala and Leela, 2014).

 

System Requirements

The system that is required to be developed for the management of public transport shall fulfill the following set of requirements:

  • The system reviewers and analysts shall have the ability to locate a particular vehicle automatically with the aid of GPS
  • Radio and cellular communication systems and technologies shall be integrated to ensure that proper and adequate communication is maintained
  • The information of the passengers shall be available on a real-time basis and shall be stored in the database for future use
  • There shall be automated counters set up for the passengers to obtain tickets and passes for the journey (Litman, 2017)
  • Security tools and surveillance equipment along with its monitoring shall be done to ensure that there are no loopholes in the security
  • The information regarding the best route to follow shall be displayed to avoid the situation of congestion and jams
  • The passengers shall be made aware of the next stop through the announcement system

There shall also be the following non-functional system requirements that shall be present in the system.

  • It will be required for the system to showcase enhanced performance to make sure that the end users do not have to compromise on the response time at any point of time and there is also minimum throughput time involved (Trommer, 2017)
  • Reliability of the automated system will also be extremely essential and a required aspect as it will be necessary to make sure that there is always valid information reflected by the system for the end users
  • It will be required for the system to showcase enhanced usability to make sure that the end users do not have to compromise on the functional aspects that are included and all of their expectations are met
  • Scalability of the automated system will also be extremely essential and a required aspect as it will be necessary to make sure that any of the changes can be incorporated easily without much of re-work
  • It will be required for the system to showcase enhanced availability to make sure that the end users do not have to compromise on the access time for the system. It shall be available for access at all times
  • Maintainability of the automated system will also be extremely essential and a required aspect as it will be necessary to make sure that all the upgrades can be made with much ease.

Software and Vendor Selection

The system that will be installed for the management of public transport will be required to reflect high availability along with required functional and non-functional aspects.

Following are the key factors that will be required to be considered while selecting the vendor and the software package.

  • There shall be multiple levels of software support along with enhanced maintenance that shall be promised
  • The parties shall sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that shall include the escalation procedures along with all the terms that are agreed upon
  • Upgrade paths along with the information on the upgrade schedule shall also be included
  • Testing types and mechanisms that will be covered shall also be explained
  • It is necessary that the expectations along with the requirements of the organization are met and the selection shall be done in such a manner that the needs are fulfilled
  • There shall also be an study that shall be carried out on the future trends in the field of public transport and the flexibility and scalability associated with the selection of the software that is made
 

Methods of Utilization of Technology: Custom Developed Software

Public transport services and providers can made use of the technology in terms of the custom developed software to implement the functional and non-functional aspects in their architecture. It is the software in which there are features and functionalities present according to the customer expectations along with specifications that are listed out by the customer. There are various modes of public transport along with several agencies and providers that provide them to the people. There may be certain requirements that may apply to one of the providers which may not be any use to the other. For example, the requirements of a public transport agency that provides road transport and the one that deals in to the rail transport will be different from each other. The costs may however rise up in this case.  

Package Purchasing

The second option which may be used for the deployment of the automated systems in the architecture of public transport system is packaged purchasing. These are the software packages that are readymade and can be deployed with immediate effect. Because of the nature of these packages, the cost that is associated with them is usually low. There is also a lot of information that is already available regarding these packages in terms of their performance and the level of customer satisfaction associated with these. A market study can easily highlight all of these details and the selection process becomes easier. There is also an ease of training and documentation that comes along with these. However, they score less on the mapping of the business specifications with the requirements that are targeted by the package. 

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is one of the most commonly used methods and can be used by the public transport providers and agencies as well. A third party is involved in this case which is responsible for carrying out all of the tasks that are related with design along with deployment of the information systems. It will therefore be certain that the amount and level of management and monitoring that will be involved in this case will be low. There may however be increased time that may be required to obtain and implement these packages. 

 

Level of Efficiency

The efficiency of the technical implementation of the automated systems in public transports is based upon various success factors.

  • It will be required to analyze the actual budget with the estimated budget and the same will go in case of the schedule as well. Level of efficiency will be calculated in terms of the higher value of the match between the two.
  • Manual processes will be cut down with the implementation of automated systems and this percentage will be significant to understand the efficiency levels
  • It will be required to make sure that the employees are satisfied which will be highlighted with the aid of their satisfactions levels
  • It will be required to make sure that the customers are satisfied which will be highlighted with the aid of their satisfactions levels

Potential Security Risks and Data Breaches: Confidentiality Attacks

  • The automated system that will be designed for public transport will be composed of numerous entities that will be inter-linked and inter-dependent upon each other. There may be case of eavesdropping that may occur because of the presence of such huge number of entities (Lu, 2014).
  • The attackers may take advantage of the presence of several entities and may therefore find it easy to track the activities that take place in terms of movement of the passengers or the allotment of tickets and likewise (Mahmoud, 2015).
  • There will be various technologies, processes and concepts that will be used in the automated systems that will be designed for public transport and data mining will be one such technology. There may be confidentiality risks and threats that may emerge because of the same (Microsoft, 2016).
  • The information sets and the containers may be modified and changed during their transition from one source to the destination. There may also be reconstruction of the contents that may be done (Jing, 2014).

Integrity Attacks

  • Public transport systems will be composed of a lot of information and it will be necessary to make sure that the integrity of the information is not altered or impacted at any time. Integrity will be restored and maintained only when there will be no change or modification done to the information contents without adequate permissions. There may however be cases of message alteration that may be reported in which the attacker may modify the message contents or the structure without authentication and authorization to do so (Bhabad, 2015).
  • Public transport systems will be composed of a lot of information and it will be necessary to make sure that the integrity of the information is not altered or impacted at any time. Integrity will be restored and maintained only when there will be no change or modification done to the information contents without adequate permissions. There may however be cases of media alteration that may be reported in which the attacker may modify the media contents or the structure without authentication and authorization to do so (Nichols, 2016).
 

Availability Attacks

  • Availability of the information is one of the prime necessities and requirements of the clients that is required to be maintained and offered. There may however be execution of various attacks that may impact the information availability. One of such attacks may be flooding attacks in which the automated system for public transport may be loaded with a lot of unwanted and garbage information that may bring down the service continuity and impact its availability (Panetta, 2016).
  • There may also be various attacks on the quality of the information that may be given shape by the attackers which will eventually impact the availability.

Guidelines on Mitigation of the Risks

  • There are several automated tools that have been developed in response to the attacks on the availability of the information and the system. Some of these tools include anti-denial and flood-detection tools that may control and prevent the attacks from taking place.
  • It is necessary to upgrade the first step to security which can be done only by enhancing the measures that are taken to ensure that there is proper authentication and access control implemented (Aws, 2016).
  • In the public transport systems that will be developed as per the latest technology, there will be prime use of the networks and the networking protocols. There are a majority of information security risks and breaches that are based on networks as the threat agents. It shall be made sure that steps such as network monitoring and analysis are carried out.
  • Cryptography and encryption is an important activity that is required to be incorporated in the public transport systems to make sure that the passenger information remains safe even if the attacker succeeds in stealing it (Wood, 2016).
  • Many tools are available in the market that has the ability to detect and prevent the intruders in an automated manner.
  • There are various attacks that are created by the attackers that are only based upon the specific version of the system. Such forms of attacks can be easily avoided with the aid of maintenance and regular upgrades (Amato, 2016).

Conclusion

Automation is the prime necessity of the modern day systems to make sure that the business processes and business requirements are met. There are several industries that have shifted and are making a move towards the automated information systems and once such applicant is public transport and related systems. There are a lot many business activities and operations that are handled and operated by the public transport systems on a daily basis. Manual processes cannot be applied any longer to handle these activities and operations. These can only be handled with the aid of automated and technically advanced systems that are specifically designed according to the needs and requirements. These packages and software can be availed with the use of several options such as customer software packages, packaged purchasing or using the option of outsourcing. There are several advantages that are offered by these automated systems in terms of the reliability, performance and agility. However, there are certain risks and threats that are associated with the information that is contained in these information systems. These risks are primarily categorized in three broad categories as confidentiality risks, integrity risks and availability risks. There are mechanisms and measures that have also been developed to deal with these risks and attacks. These mechanisms shall be incorporated and it shall be made sure that the information is always kept protected.

 

References

Amato, N. (2016). The hidden costs of a data breach.. [online] Available at: https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2016/jul/hidden-costs-of-data-breach-201614870.html [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Aws (2016). Overview of Security Processes. [online] Available at: https://d0.awsstatic.com/whitepapers/aws-security-whitepaper.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Bhabad, M. (2015). Internet of Things: Architecture, Security Issues and Countermeasures.. [online] Available at: https://www.ijcaonline.org/research/volume125/number14/bhabad-2015-ijca-906251.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Jing, Q. (2014). Security of the Internet of Things: perspectives and challenges. [online] Available at: https://csi.dgist.ac.kr/uploads/Seminar/1407_IoT_SSH.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Litman, T. (2017). Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Predictions Implications for Transport Planning. [online] Available at: https://www.vtpi.org/avip.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Lu, C. (2014). Overview of Security and Privacy Issues in the Internet of Things. [online] Available at: https://www.cse.wustl.edu/~jain/cse574-14/ftp/security.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Mahmoud, R. (2015). Internet of things (IoT) security: Current status, challenges and prospective measures - IEEE Xplore Document. [online] Ieeexplore.ieee.org. Available at: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7412116/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Mala, S. and Leela, N. (2014). Automated Fare Collection System for Public Transport Using GPS. [online] Available at: https://www.ijirset.com/upload/2014/icets/116_EC315.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Microsoft (2016). Core Infrastructure Optimization: IT & Security Processes - Best Practices for Business IT. [online] Available at: https://www.microsoft.com/india/infrastructure/capabilities/itprocesses.mspx [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Nichols, A. (2016). Perspective Threats Risk Analysis Process. [online] Sans.org. Available at: https://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/auditing/perspective-threats-risk-analysis-process-63 [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Panetta, K. (2016). Gartner's Top 10 Security Predictions 2016 - Smarter With Gartner. [online] Smarter With Gartner. Available at: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-10-security-predictions-2016/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Polzin, S. (2016). Implications to Public Transportation of Emerging Technologies. [online] Available at: https://www.nctr.usf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Implications-for-Public-Transit-of-Emerging-Technologies-11-1-16.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Trommer, S. (2017). Autonomous Driving: The Impact of Vehicle Automation on Mobility Behaviour. [online] Available at: https://www.ifmo.de/tl_files/publications_content/2016/ifmo_2016_Autonomous_Driving_2035_en.pdf [Accessed 12 May 2017].

Wood, P. (2016). Social hacking: The easy way to breach network security. [online] ComputerWeekly. Available at: https://www.computerweekly.com/tip/Social-hacking-The-easy-way-to-breach-network-security [Accessed 12 May 2017].

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