Corporate social responsibility is an increasingly common discussion in business today. Corporations want to avoid the perception of being large, impersonal and uncaring organizations that only care about profits. Look at the newest Television commercials from AT&T and Verizon. Slogans such as “we never stop working for you” are intended to be a continual reminder that they care about consumers. Corporations also try to increase their perceived social responsibility through their contributions to charity groups and political organizations. However, the latter can often backfire. Continue reading “Corporate Social Responsibility” »
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According to Chapple (2000), Normalization is “the process of efficiently organizing data in a database.” He explains that the two goals of normalization are “eliminating redundant data (for example, storing the same data in more than one table)” and “ensuring data dependencies make sense (only storing related data in a table).” For experienced database designers, these concepts are obvious and commonplace, but nevertheless important.
The Normal Forms is a series of guidelines produced to direct the creation of normalized databases. There are five normal form levels, from 1NF – 5NF. Chapple notes that many systems adhere to levels 1 – 3 with an occasional 4NF. However he says the “fifth normal form is very rarely seen.”
Chapple identifies each of the levels as follows.
First normal form (1NF) sets the very basic rules for an organized database:
- Eliminate duplicative columns from the same table.
- Create separate tables for each group of related data and identify each row with a unique column or set of columns (the primary key).
Second normal form (2NF) further addresses the concept of removing duplicative data:
- Meet all the requirements of the first normal form.
- Remove subsets of data that apply to multiple rows of a table and place them in separate tables.
- Create relationships between these new tables and their predecessors through the use of foreign keys.
Third normal form (3NF) goes one large step further:
- Meet all the requirements of the second normal form.
- Remove columns that are not dependent upon the primary key.
Finally, fourth normal form (4NF) has one additional requirement:
- Meet all the requirements of the third normal form.
- A relation is in 4NF if it has no multi-valued dependencies.
Chapple (2000). Database Normalization Basics. Retrieved May 12, 2009, from http://databases.about.com/od/specificproducts/a/normalization.htm
Continuity planning works to provide procedures to be used when a catastrophic event occurs that affects the security and/or integrity of information. Information security efforts must thwart data threats of all types, including intentional, accidental and natural. Critical data may be loss due to attack, inadvertent deletion, hardware failure, and a myriad of other ways.
Many security risks exist outside the organization. Such risks must be considered in the development of a business continuity plan (BCP). The largest, most obvious risks are natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and fire. Such events can create overwhelming circumstances and are usually unavoidable and uncontrollable. BCP’s must include off-site data backups for this reason. If a single server, or the entire building were to be destroyed, the data must be kept in off-site in a secure location.
Other external risks include power service failure, telecom service failure and physical security threats. While these events may not be considered catastrophic, they should be considered in a BCP and rapid recovering or secondary services must be considered. Some examples may include uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems or redundant WAN services.
Other non-natural events have recently come to the forefront. Acts of terrorism (directly causing physical damage) and non-physical threats such as viruses, must also be considered.