Electronic Commerce: Security, Risk Management and Control

Article excerpt

Electronic Commerce: Security, Risk Management and Control, by Marilyn Greenstein and Todd M. Feinman, 1999, New York: McGraw-Hill.

With the rapid growth of e-commerce, one can readily imagine the number of loss exposures that have already surfaced. Understanding the nature of the exposures and finding effective treatment techniques are major challenges to risk managers today. The terrain is largely uncharted, a new language is developing, and the pace is fast. Any resource that can aid in understanding the exposures and conceptualizing treatment techniques is valuable. Electronic Commerce: Security, Risk Management and Control by Greenstein and Feinman is such a publication. Although the target audience for this text is accounting professionals, the auditing model that is used is valuable to the risk management profession as well.

The publication is aimed at students who want to quickly acquaint themselves with the world of e-commerce and common e-commerce challenges for firms. The need for this knowledge becomes apparent with information such as "The ease of use of the [World Wide Web] has contributed to the Internet's exponential growth rates.... traffic doubles every 100 days" (p. 7). This represents an incredible growth opportunity for business if handled correctly. The authors express the sentiment that the only limit to this growth potential is our own mental constraints. Each chapter of Electronic Commerce effectively uses learning goals, key words, endof-chapter review questions, discussion questions, mini-cases, and thorough references. Clearly illustrated diagrams throughout the text reveal complex relationships common to e-commerce transactions, such as how the concept of "cookies" relates to privacy issues and marketing needs. Each chapter introduces the reader to terminology and an array of new acronyms that will soon become a part of everyday vocabulary. HTTP, HTML, and DOM are related terms denoting important aspects of electronic commerce that many of us may recognize but perhaps cannot explain. Major concepts discussed in each chapter are further supported by practical vignettes on e-commerce challenges experienced by a variety of well-known business organizations. For example, in the discussion of regulatory environment, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company's linking agreement is presented to enhance the reader's understanding of trademark issues. …