ITGS Syllabus

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Topic 21

Threat of compromising data integrity in shared databases by Simon Ruiz

1. What are the issues associated with this subject?

The issues associated with the sharing of databases are concerned with the administrators’ decision granting level of accesses, limitations to users to whether they can delete/add/edit the data on the database(s). By that, it may or may not cause accidents to happen when users edit the same data at the same time. For example, if User A and User B wanted to fix the exact same data or the datum on the database(s) on a simultaneous timing, the computer can not distinguish which command to follow. This is presuming that the administrator gave access to the users to edit the data he or she has created.

2. How did this technology emerge?

The technology of sharing databases emerged from the need to share data to non-administrators such as customers and users who need the information of a particular group’s data. The distribution can however vary, but the raw data can be shown through various ways, and on an important note, just the data.

3. Who are the stakeholders?

The stakeholders, the one actually holding the bet, will be directly the administrator(s) of the database(s) who will want reliability of the database to be valued high among the users.

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages for those stakeholders?

The advantages and disadvantages are hard to evaluate for the administrator(s). The one possible advantage for the administrator will be that he has all the power to change whatever he wants at the database and yet it can be a disadvantage too. For example, if he lets many users have access to the data to the level of adding/deleting/editing the data, it is possible that they could indicate errors within the database(s). On contrast, when many users have the right to edit data, again, the computer will be unable to distinguish which command is definite, causing a distortion within the database(s).

5. What solutions can overcome the problem?

Some of the basic solutions for this are the presence of passwords. Passwords will actually guide to the specific users to specific information and nothing more than that, which can be efficient if the password is not hacked, of course. Another solution will be for the administrator to limit the advantages of the user’s level of access to the database in order not to cause the accidents within the database(s). Also, the administrator can create another database(s) exactly the same, in order to backup if the distortion happens caused by the users.

6. What areas of impact does it affect?

The areas of impact are directly concerned with the significance of the database(s). It will directly affect the knowledge of the user accessing the data from the database whether the data is accurate or inaccurate.

7. Evaluate the impact locally and globally.

To determine the impact of the database in local or global terms will again to evaluate the significance of the database(s). For example, if every information were deleted in “Google”, a huge database, the whole world would probably start to panic and cause chaos. On the other hand, if a database is deleted for a unknown school in the jungle of Papua New Guinea, the impact would only affect the very few students and staffs involved to the school.

8. What are the ethical issues?

The ethical issues involved in sharing databases concerns netiquette. Netiquette is a word combined with the word “net” and “etiquette”. If a generous administrator gives the user the privilege to change almost everything to a database, it is up to the user whether he will make good use of the privilege, or to vandalize the data stored inside the database(s). There are some cases such as hackers hacking inside restricted databases, for instance the database of the Pentagon. The hacker can say that he had the right to see the information because the information was there for him to see, regardless of how high the security was.

9. Who is responsible?

Ultimately, the responsibility will all be on the administrator(s) because they have the actual control whether to limit the privileges of the users. Whether they apply passwords or other restrictions, it is up to the administrations for the concern of the network security level which determines the reliability of the solutions.

10. Who is accountable?

Again, the important note is that the administrator(s) gets to ultimately decide the limitations of the users. Network security will be another task responsible for the administrators but if a distortion happens within a database, the users will have the privilege to distort it but not until they can fix it.

11. What laws apply?

At this moment, the laws that apply to sharing databases are limited among few authority figures that consider the database to be top secret or important not to be shared among common users. Laws concerning databases are not commonly known but as still considered as the basis of netiquette. The laws that illegalize the abuse of databases will soon be suggested.

12. Are there alternative decisions?

The alternative decisions for the sharing of databases would be simply just not create databases that can be shared among common users. That is the extreme case. Administrators often are innovative at the limitations that the users can have when they access the data on the database(s). Some examples include technology for what time the users can access the database, avoiding errors when the editing of the data is done simultaneously.

13. What are the consequences of these decisions?

The consequences of these decisions concern the rights for the users to access the level of information they can delete or the timing they can access. The objective of the database(s) is for merely for the administrator to provide the information to the specific users who value the information as a necessity. But again, the equity of sharing database(s) causes many distortions within the database.

12 Comments:

Anonymous said...

You have clearly explained the danger within sharing data bases and I have learned the general knowledge about data bases. Nicely written with a lot of evidence. Good job.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 7:35:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Refering back to your work you have clearly explained what the threats of compromising data integrity in shared databases are. However I still am not quite sure how users apart from the administrator changing or deleting information would cause distortion within the database.

Monday, November 27, 2006 3:40:00 AM

Anonymous said...

This essay successfully delivers interesting views on the tradeoffs that shared databases bring about, while also posting detailed information on the topic by throughly following the specified format. Learned a lot about the system of shared databases.

Monday, November 27, 2006 7:30:00 PM

Anonymous said...

A extremly well designed essay. You clearly and consiely outlined your points making this easy to read and understand. This essay showed how networking could potentially be dangerous, but it would be interesting if you integrated the better qualities of networking as well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 7:43:00 PM

Anonymous said...

If you are worried about people accessing the same data at the same time, a simple solutio would be to allow the user to work on the data in a terminable, and only when the user saves it, it refreshes the data on the server. Otherwise modifications are not recognized. How do people access the same website at the same time? Would that create problems? It appears to be working fine. Administrator decide security clearence according to the rank to the user.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 8:08:00 PM

Anonymous said...

If you are worried about people accessing the same data at the same time, a simple solutio would be to allow the user to work on the data in a terminable, and only when the user saves it, it refreshes the data on the server. Otherwise modifications are not recognized. How do people access the same website at the same time? Would that create problems? It appears to be working fine. Administrator decide security clearence according to the rank to the user.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 8:08:00 PM

Anonymous said...

About that point with the hackers going into the Pentagon. Is that referring to the right to information?

I'm all for limiting access to administrative rights, prevents a lot of chaos from users who just like to click around. Good essay.

Sunday, December 03, 2006 1:01:00 AM

ronniewonnie said...

Terrific essay, Simon.
I really am afraid of hackers becuase you sometimes dont even know when your privacy is being invaded. The part about the hackers hacking into the pentagon mother computer was very interesting.
Ronald Chu

Monday, December 11, 2006 9:48:00 PM

ronniewonnie said...

Terrific essay, Simon.
I really am afraid of hackers becuase you sometimes dont even know when your privacy is being invaded. The part about the hackers hacking into the pentagon mother computer was very interesting.
Ronald Chu

Monday, December 11, 2006 9:48:00 PM

harsh said...

Hmm..I think the administrator should have the sole control of the database. Sure he'll have a lot more work to do but this way atleast he can be sure that nothing would go wrong and if something does go wrong he can blame himself. One thing that we should all understand is that "you can't trust anyone, not even your mom" so I think the best way is let the administrator control the database and don't let anyone else make any changes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 2:40:00 AM

HeeJun Son said...

As Oli mentioned, I do not understand if you are justifying the man hacking Pentagon's database. Isn't it an illegal thing to do? If it is not illegal, I can hack the famous bank's database and say "I had right to see." I strongly agree with you with other topics. Good essay, Simon.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 10:57:00 PM

Anonymous said...

I think it would've helped extensively if you employed more examples. for example, it is very helpful in a department store. When something is purchased at one counter, the cashier, alters the information at every computer in the department store allowing for successful tracking of inventory. The downside is that if some computers are struck with a virus, a company wouldn't know which companies hold the right information.
-Aditya Kumar

Friday, December 15, 2006 6:03:00 AM

4 Comments:

Blogger sam_shobeiri said...

I love your example of "a unknown school in the jungle of Papua New Guinea". I think its brilliant...

But anyways I agree that the responsibility here lies on the administrator. If he leaves the database for everyone to edit, then he should be prepared for its consequences. Therefore I agree that he should limit the privillages to selected users.

January 07, 2007 6:38 PM  
Blogger Juju said...

Must have been hard to write this essay. I still do not understand though, why cant the computer follow both commands at the same time?

January 07, 2007 7:00 PM  
Blogger Akash said...

hey niggers.... ur essay sucks balls u suck go die why would u waste ur time writing this stuff man? damn son u crazy or something? bitch please, u got a mental disease... peace out homies

January 14, 2008 2:15 PM  
Blogger Sophil Vijay said...

Thank u this helped a lot while i was studying

October 15, 2008 11:51 PM  

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