Electronic Risk Management

Electronic Risk Management

Tapen Sinha (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico and University of Nottingham, UK) and Bradly Condon (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico and Bond University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-092-9.ch023


Doing business on the Internet has many opportunities along with many risks. This chapter focuses on a series of risks of legal liability arising from e-mail and Internet activities that are a common part of many e-businesses. Some of the laws governing these electronic activities are new and especially designed for the electronic age, while others are more traditional laws whose application to electronic activities is the novelty. E-business not only exposes companies to new types of liability risk, but also increases the potential number of claims and the complexity of dealing with those claims. The international nature of the Internet, together with a lack of uniformity of laws governing the same activities in different countries, means that companies need to proceed with caution.
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A Global Problem Of Viruses

Computer viruses have become synonymous with electronic risk on a global scale. The method of electronic infection has changed dramatically. In 1996, e-mail attachments were responsible for 9% of infections whereas 57% of infections came from floppy disks. In 2000, 87% infections came from e-mail attachments and only 6% came from floppy disks. By 2004, the rate of infections from e-mail attachments had topped 99% of total infections (Source: ICSA Labs Virus Prevalence Survey, various years). As a result, in 1997, only 30% of all institutions used virus protection for e-mails whereas by 2004, the use of virus protection had almost reached universality (ICSA Labs Virus Prevalence Survey 2004, Figure 15). However, the rise of the use of virus protection has not reduced the rate of infection. Figure 1 shows how the rate of infection has changed over a period of 9 years. Despite the near universal use of antivirus software, the rate of infection has increased more than eleven-fold. The biggest jump in infection came between 1998 and 1999. It has not decreased since (see Table 1).

Figure 1.

Spam has become a huge segment of e-mails

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