Input Controls

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Many company’s do their best to protect data entry of the company, clients, consumers, and employees. The user interfaces consist of process-control which allows screen command from user in the system. Input controls will ensure that the data entered is safe, secure, complete and accurate. “Data can be entered into a computer application from either manual online input or by scheduled automated processing.

The input control reviewer should determine the adequacy of both manual and automated controls over data input to ensure that data is input accurately with optimum use of computerized validation and editing and that error handling procedures facilitate the timely and accurate resubmission of all corrected data” ( Application Self Evaluation. , September 25, 2012). The four types of input controls are audit trails, encryption, password security, and data security. An audit trail takes the source of the data from the each system, and record it once entered. In most businesses they have an audit group that records everything within the system.

It can also reconstruct events after problems have occurred, monitor the system or problem, and prevent unauthorized access. “A company might also use an audit trail to provide a basis for account reconciliation, to provide a historical report to plan and support budgets, and to provide a record of sales in case of a tax audit” (Rouse, M. , n. d. ). Audit trails is broken into many parts such as individual accountability, reconstruction of events, problem monitoring and intrusion detection. Individual accountability consists of action from the user that is monitor and tracked, which in turn gives them accountability of their own actions.

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This pushes the users into following policies and procedures set by the company and if taken advantage of the user will then be accountable for their actions. When there is a problem they will reconstruct the events by assess the amount of damages in the review report to pinpoint how, when, and they the particular problem occurred. When it comes to problem monitoring audit trail would use monitoring and tracking software in order to find the problem that occurred online. the results will be presented to the IT department real-time and helps to detect system problems, such as hardware failure, over utilization of resources and network outages.

Intrusion detection detects any unauthorized access or use of any system and the audit trail will record the data. That data is then effectively research in order to aid intrusion detection. Encryption is the most effective and efficient type of input controls. When you see that your data is secured, and protected this mean that it is encrypted. Encryption is broken up into two main functions such as symmetric and asymmetric. Both are great encryptions tools but the difference is in how they encrypt data.

Symmetric encrypt and decrypt data with the same key whereas asymmetric encrypt and decrypt data with different keys. When we talk about keys we are referring to private keys and public keys. The public key is freely distributed and private key is then we have password security input control which is a vital component on any network. Many industry use one of the many types of encryption to be able run on their network it will depend on the policies and procedures that are set. Password must be secured in many ways such as they will need to be in a certain length, and a combination of characters.

Most company’s make users change password every 30 to 60 days or more. It all depends on the policies and procedures they have set. From the user stand point it is tedious to continue changing your password all the time. The best way to ease the pain from the user is the have to be properly educated on why passwords have to be so complex and why they have to be change within a certain timeframe. Another input control is data security these are procedures that protect the system from data loss. Data security ensures the company’s privacy of information is being protected.

Audit trail stored the files and reports, then data security protect those files from unauthorized access. Data security is ran on a regular basis by the IT team, which is sometimes called maintenance on the network to be able to backup, store, secured and protect all data. If the data input controls were not in place the integrity of those errors can render any system to malfunction. If the system malfunction this could lead to disk crash, computer failures, and sensitive information would not be secured. Therefore, if sensitive information is not protected then anyone within the company will have access to it.

If the system starts to malfunction and the network is down this can cause the whole company to lose data and financial lose. In order to minimize such errors from developing most business would backup information on a regular basis. They can use of error detections and correction software by there IT department to rapidly defend against any issues. Companies can use validation rules to reduce the number of error and improve data quality. Whereas data recovery utilities can restore data loses and damages. Most companies will follow and policies and procedures to makes sure business needs are met. The input controls provided by graphical user interfaces (GUIs) constrain input values to help meet database integrity and validation rules. Sometimes, however, the only data available to be entered is considered invalid. Similarly, there are other times when the data to be entered is valid but is known to be inaccurate” (Flexible Input Controls, n. d). User interface design is the way data is communicated between one or more systems and how the user interacts with such system. This user interface must understand the user principles and human interactions.

This is why the user interface is an essential component of system development lifecycle. Input mask is an effective way to prevent errors and data entries. The advantages of restricting users within the user interfaces are only allowing them to access to certain information. Therefore the user will not change any configurations or settings within the user interface. They will not allowing them to access personal information other than their own. A disadvantage of not having restrictions is that the system is not protected. Users are gaining access to personal and sensitive information. [pic] References

Rouse, M. (n. d. ). What is audit trail? – Definition from WhatIs. com. CIO information, news and tips – SearchCIO. com. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://searchcio. techtarget. com/definition/audit-trail Flexible Input Controls for Humane User Interfaces | Usability, etc.. (n. d. ). Usability, etc. | Making things easier to use and understand. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://usabilityetc. com/articles/flexible-input-controls/ Application Self Evaluation. (2012, September 25). AMAS Website. Retrieved November 15, 2012, from http://amas. syr. edu/AMAS/display. cfm? content_ID=%23((%25! %0A

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