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AIS Attacks & Failures-Who is to Blame?

AIS Attacks & Failures-Who is to Blame?


Using automatic identification technologies is a critical business strategy that is intended to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and productivity of an organization. Key technologies that fall within the automatic identification arena include bar coding, radio frequency data communication (RFDC), radio frequency identification (RFID), magnetic stripe, magnetic ink character recognition (MICR), optical character recognition (OCR), smart cards, voice recognition, machine vision, and biometric identification. A major advantage these technologies provide is an efficient and effective way of automatically entering information into computer database systems. Products need unique markings that allow for referencing and updating at any time (Sandford ,2005).


It is important that executive management and other key employees of the organization understand and recognize the costs and benefits provided by these technologies before moving forward with implementation. Utilized properly, they help to maintain a competitive advantage by providing timely and accurate operating information.

Bar Coding

The most prevalent kind of automatic identification for an item or product makes use of bar-code technology. Bar codes are appearing on almost everything from shipping containers to groceries, clothing, and even envelopes sent through the mail(Hollnagel ,2005).

Advantages to bar coding include improved accuracy of data entry, better customer service through faster checkout at point-of-sale, and greater control and reliance on inventory records. For additional information, refer to "Helping to Make the Bar-Code Connection" and "Bar-Code Technology" published in the Winter 1994 and Fall 1992 issues, respectively, of Infotech Update.

Radio Frequency Data Communication

Radio frequency data communication (RFDC) is a technology that transmits data through air waves rather than wires. It provides for greater flexibility for business applications because the technology is not confined to areas only accessible by wire. An RFDC system configuration typically includes a handheld terminal device and base stations connected to a host computes. Base stations are needed in order to control the flow of data from handheld terminals to the host computer (PC, mini or mainframe).

Handheld computers are normally used as input devices for capturing required information. They often include scanners that read bar codes in order to obtain faster and more accurate data input, as well as small monitors for displaying communications between the handheld and host computer. They may be "intelligent" terminals with their own operating system, or devices that receive operating instructions from the host computer. Other peripherals such as a radio transmitter/receiver, printer, or magnetic stripe reader can be added to handhelds depending upon business requirements needed for the job.

Examples of handhelds include Symbol Technology's Symbol Laser Radio Terminal (LRT 3800) and Telxon's PTC-960. With RFDC technology information entered/scanned into handheld computers is converted to radio signals and transmitted to base stations using radio frequencies known as narrow band or spread spectrum networks. This data is then converted to digital format at base stations and sent to the host computer for further processing or storage.

RFDC technology is also used by fork-lift drivers in the JCPenney distribution ...
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