The Social System: User, Managers, and IT Professionals Introduction The role of Information Technology had long expanded its general realm from serving only the corporate hemisphere to domestic and government fields. However, observation made shows that there are many Personal Computers in today’s age, which are prone to severe virus and malicious software threats. This is becoming an increasing phenomenon, which needs to be addressed. In this connection, it is found that the Anti-Virus software needed to fight the growing menace turns out to be very costly for individuals and organizations to purchase readily in order to find a remedy to the virus threats.
To this end, the anti-virus software companies need to promote free distribution of such software in the market. It will help the companies to gain a huge market base, which again can be capitalized for selling of other products. Thus both company’s profits and as well as a safer software environment can be achieved in this regard. (Vamosi, 2004). Company’s Network and Home Users and free distribution of Anti-Virus Software Survey shows that virus infects the computers of maximum number of home users.
It creates a look of a contagious disease. The consumers of the Personal Computer users fail to protect their computers from such ongoing threat for the expensive nature of the anti-virus software. To this end, some small software companies are found to have been distributing free anti-virus software. However, the main problem adhered to such is the question of trust. Customers feel safe when purchasing software from premium brands like Norton.
Moreover, the free anti-virus software provided by the small companies also tends to work within limits. Thus, the end reason for its purchase remains unaddressed. The big companies previously used to create signature file updates for its corporate and consumer users. These signature file updates used to be rendered in a free manner. However, of late these signature-file updates are also being charged in an extra manner from its end users. It is found that the big software companies have turned out to become greedy aiming at making higher to higher profits through the sales of anti-virus software.
In this regard, the case of Symantec can be studied. Symantec, requires its consumers to pay $20 annually for subscribing to signature-file software packs. However, the company also additionally requires the consumers to pay $30 for every two or three year period for need of anti-virus software updating activities. Company’s in this regard can look forward to providing the consumers a free trial of the premium anti-virus software. This free trial can be given for a period of 15 days to one month.
After the completion of this period the consumers if they feel like can purchase the premium software. Otherwise, they can stick to its lower versions, which are distributed as free. In this fashion the company achieves both increased customer loyalty through enhanced customer satisfaction and also gets hold of a larger market base. The company also makes money out of the sales of the premium software. Additionally, the promotion of the free trial period of the premium anti-virus software would create market hype, as the advertising agencies would start highlighting the company behind it.
It would thus generate increased Brand Equity for the software company. The Windows Operating System is on the threshold of a research to create an in-built dimension of embedded anti-virus software in it. This possibility if made a reality would help the end users largely from the need to find additional anti-virus software. (Vamosi, 2004) Herein some of the free anti-virus software available in the market can be given in order to get a review on their distribution mechanisms and effectiveness. Avira generates the anti-virus software AntiVir for free for personal and institutional users.
Thus, it is better known as the AntiVir Personal Edition. The company has also generated Anti-Virus software for commercial purposes. Avast also provides a free anti-virus software for domestic or non-profit users. In the case of AVG Anti-Virus it provides an English version of free anti-virus software for non-commercial purposes. However, on the commercial scale it provides a one-month free trial pack of the premium anti-virus software. Comodo Antivirus software also has a free firewall for desktop users in both private and personal use.
(Anti-Virus Software, n.d. ) Network Security of the Company and Related Threats The huge use of Internet enabled activities like Social Networking and other information sharing activities have raised the question of network security. It is estimated that the total population in the world having an access to the web sphere stands out to be around 1.6 billion people. Statistics reveal that the number of social computing sites around the world comes to about 156 whereas the number of registered users stands out to be around 15 million.
The social computing sites meeting the needs of many are not being considered safe enough. There have been cases where security breach has been observed in this sphere. In this regard, one of the suggested solutions that can be mentioned is the installation of an anti-virus or firewall enabled software. It is expected that installation of such software would help minimize the risks involved. (Strassman, 2010) Another threat which the Information Technology managers in Corporate houses and as well as individuals working on their Personal Computers face is the growing effect of spam messages.
However, as regards their controllability some of the Information Technology managers feel that spam is controllable while some others defer on such grounds. A survey conducted states that around 68 percent of the individual users claim that the entry of spam messages to their Personal Computers is under control. However, in regards to Information Technology managers the situation is just the contrary. It is observed that around 79 percent of the Information Technology managers observe spam as a growing menace in the corporate sphere, which is seemingly uncontrollable.
(Gaudin, 2004) Another growing security concern that creates havoc other than virus and spam is the hacking population. Hackers bore deeply in the operating system of the companies software and dig out confidential information. Malicious software tools like Web Attacker are available which provides updated tools to that respect. Though the propensity of web attacking activities has considerably reduced yet the intensity of such attacks has robbed the software companies of their passwords, other vital information and infected the system with viral software.
(Goodin, 2006) The roles of top management/non-IT management, IT professionals, and end-users in maintaining network security In regards to providing a security mechanism for network security purposes against virus, spam and hacking threats the system administrators of a company need to device high profile security paradigms, which would enable only the project managers to get an access to project, plans. The system administrators can also make use of networking tools like ‘Open View’ offered by Hewlett Packard in order to acquire various information.
Moreover, the low-level system configurations must be checked at regular intervals and required activities must be conducted to update it. (Ou, Gonindavajhala & Appel, n.d. p.1). End Users security approach to Networking Security issues has triggered the emergence of a principle, which limits the administrative rights of the local computer systems. The administrative privileges help the end users to install and run a program all by themselves. It is observed that such spontaneous installation and running of programs along the internet sphere makes the Personal Computers amenable to virus threats.
Thus infringing the rights of installing and running the programs is expected to yield good results in the light of network security. (Wagley, 2010) Role of Corporate Customers to Free Anti-Virus Software The Corporate Customers have a gut feeling that Free Anti-Virus Software is not too effective for their computers. Thus, they go on waiting for the price of the Anti-Virus Software to get lessened. In this fashion, they tend to be negligent in regards to the high amount of virus threats that they face every day. (Donovan, 2005.
p-3). To this end, the corporate customers must at least go for the free trials of the premium anti-virus software packs to make their system virus free. They can then think of either purchasing it or going for a lower version. (Vamosi, 2004) Conclusion The demand for anti-virus software is continually increasing owing to the propensity of threats from malicious and other viral software. With the rise in demand the price of such anti-virus software is also countering an increase. Owing to the stated reason the corporate and individual computer users are finding it difficult to purchase such.
Thus the software companies are increasingly devising free anti-virus software models, which can help counter the cause. Free trials are initiated after which it is left to the users to purchase such or go for lower versions. This helps in satisfying the users and creates company goodwill. References “Anti-Virus Software”, cryer. co. uk. (N. D.). Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. cryer. co. uk/resources/antivirus. htm Donovan, E. (2005). Should Antivirus Software Be Free? Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. eddiedonovan. com/publications/ITM501MOD3CASE. pdf Gaudin, S. (2004). IT and End Users Differ on Spam Severity.
Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. afcea. org/signal/articles/templates/Signal_Article_Template. asp? articleid=2163&zoneid=284 Goodin, D. (2006). 2006 InfoWorld Security Survey: ITs confidence crisis. Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. infoworld. com/d/security-central/2006-infoworld-security-survey-its-confidence-crisis-620?page=0,0 Ou, x., Gonindavajhala, S. & Appel, A. (N. D.). Network Security Management with High-Level Security Policies. Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. cs. princeton. edu/~xou/publications/TR-714-04.pdf Strassman, P. (2010). Social (Network) Security. Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. afcea. org/signal/articles/templates/Signal_Article_Template. asp? articleid=2163&zoneid=284 Vamosi, R. (2004). Antivirus software must be free. Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //reviews. cnet. com/4520-3513_7-5124261-1.html Wagley, J. (2010). Network Security’s Achilles Heel: End-User Rights. Retrieved on October 25, 2010 from: http: //www. securitymanagement. com/news/network-securitys-achilles-heel-end-user-rights-007636