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The Internet and assurance services.

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1.0 Introduction The Internet is the greatest business tool ever invented. Merchant, trading partners and Online retail shoppers can find greater selection, convenience, and lower prices on the Internet. Online businesses can reach millions of shoppers and business partners, provide 24 hours seven days a week of products and services, and better meet their customers individual needs. For these reasons, E-Commerce over the Internet has been growing. According to ActivMedia, e-commerce activity for 2000 will be $132 billion worldwide, which is twice as much as estimated for 1999. This figure includes revenues from B2C, B2B and Internet services. According to a study by eMarketer in April 2000, almost 34 million US households were actively using the Internet, and of that number 23.5 million or 69% have made a purchase. (http://www.cpawebtrust.org/online.htm) However, despite the Internet's many advantages and opportunities, it also raises some new risks for businesses and has some customers worried. The risks are fraud, poor sales conversion rates, detrimental effects of negative PR due to privacy breaches and security problems. A recent study by the Internet Fraud Complaint Centre (IFCC) showed that online auctions accounted for 48.8% of fraud complaints. Non-delivery of goods ordered online came in second, at 19.2%. Other top fraud complaints to the centre involved: securities and commodities (16.9%), credit cards (4.8%) and identity theft (2.9%). The IFCC, which is jointly run by the FBI and the Justice Department's National White Collar Crime Centre, received an average of 1,000 complaints per week after opening in May 2000. (http://www.cpawebtrust.org/online.htm) In order to reduce risks, many technological solutions have been developed such as Firewalls, encryption, and digital signatures, etc. Despite these available solutions, most of Internet users still lack confidence in the medium. Therefore, third-party assurance service is needed to ensure secure transaction. 2.0 The Third-Party Role of Assurance Service According to AICPA, Assurance Services are defined as independent professional services that improve the quality or context of information for decision-makers. ...read more.


Due to characteristic of cyberspace, impersonation can be the one risk for the e-tailer. In simple word, Customer and merchant cannot meet by face to face. Therefore, customer can use fake or others ID to purchase product. There are two reasons for fake customer to use other identity. The reasons are theft and malice. The objective behind theft is to buy the goods or service without the need of paying. Also the bill will be forwarded to whom ID is misused or abuse. In other words, the theft will use others details to purchase goods or service. The intention of malice is difference from the theft. Instead of acquiring goods of services without paying, also they have other motives such as intrinsic satisfaction to the hacker, to hurt corporation profits and customer relations of competitor or former employer. * Denial of service attacks Denial service attacks occur in a typical connection. When the user sends a message asking the server to authenticate it, the server returns the authentication approval to the user. The user acknowledges this approval, and is allowed onto the server. In a denial of service attack, the user sends several authentication requests to the server. All requests have false return addresses, so the server cannot find the user when it tries to send the authentication approval. The server waits, sometimes more than a minute, before closing the connection. When it does close the connection, the attacker sends a new batch of forged requests, and the process begins again--tying up the service indefinitely. Furthermore Denial-of-service attacks can essentially disable your computer or your network. Depending on the nature of your enterprise, this can effectively disable your organisation. Also some denial of service attacks can be executed with limited resources against a large, sophisticated site. This type of attack is sometimes called an "asymmetric attack." For example, an attacker with an old PC and a slow modem may be able to disable much faster and more sophisticated machines or networks. ...read more.


* VeriSign Although travel.com.au have utilise some of encryption and authentication system to maintain data integrity. However by employing third party such as VeriSign, data integrity in the transaction process would be maximise. VeriSign, Inc. is the world's leading Internet Certification Authority, the trusted third party that authenticates, issues, and manages digital certificates on the Internet. VeriSign's Digital IDsSM enable trusted electronic commerce by authenticating the individuals, organisations, and content involved in an electronic transaction. (http://www.1888wwsports.com) Finally, it is recommended that the travel.com.au have to concentrate on auditing and monitoring process. As it is mentioned before, it should develop its risk management program as well. There are one new warn us is that Amazon has been hacked since last October. There is no doubt its site has utilised the latest mechanism. However, the latest mechanism is not enough to protect hacker. Therefore, only way to ensure the security is develop its risk management plan and continuously check, monitor and updated its security system. In conclusion, it can be said that the travel.com.au has satisfied every four categories, which is: * Security of data * Privacy of data * Business policy * Transaction processing integrity For the security of data, it has used SSL and 128-bit encryption technology. Also, it provides variety of payment system. These techniques can be applied to data integrity as well. Furthermore, its business policy has been clearly stated and followed. One of important stated policy is privacy policy of customer data. It has concern privacy and security of customer data as its asset. Therefore, it can be said the security level of the company is acceptable. Moreover, by using of Web site seal as a security tool, it can convince the customer and improve security. It is the current trends hiring the third party, which is specialised in assurance service, to enhance firm's security level. Also, it is less costly way to assure the site. Finally, say again, there is no perfectly secured Web site. Therefore, continuous security management is one of the key factors to success in marketspace. 8. ...read more.

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