Threats in a Pharmacy and their Control Measures

 Threats in information security have been a common issue for many past decades. Threats refer to possible harm that a security system could face if vulnerabilities in the system were exploited (Whitman & Mattord, 2012). Intrusion into a security system could take different forms of threats; physical and logical. Physical threats refer to physical access to unauthorized access location with a malicious intent (Bosworth & Kabay, 2011). Logical threats refer to using electronic means such as a remote computer to gain access to unauthorized place. The two forms of threats could lead to great damage in the business in terms of loss of assets and business integrity.

5 potential physical threats

            Theft in the pharmacy is highly likely through the pharmacy backdoor. An intruder with a malicious aim could either steal the pharmaceutical drugs that are conveniently located at the backdoor thus ease the workload in transporting the drugs from the store. Funds located in the shelf counters can be stolen leading to heavy financial loss.

Vandalism can also occur in case of unauthorized access. A vengeful former employee of the pharmacy could seek to vandalize the vital equipment such as the desktop computers close to the backdoor in a mission to revenge a past-unresolved dispute. The intruder could also start a fire in order to cause property damage and the pharmacy would incur heavy losses.

Unauthorized physical access into the pharmacy poses as a major threat. An intruder with technical competency could access vital information in the desktop computers. The intruder could gain crucial information such as confidential customer information. The pharmacy’s credibility could be at stake due to leaking of sensitive information. Further financial losses can occur in case the affected customers decided to seek legal action against the pharmacy. A malicious hacker can gain access to the pharmacy’s fund through the backdoor. Major financial losses can occur in case of the funds’ withdrawal by the hacker.

Disgruntled employees can influence the prosperity of the pharmacy in a negative manner. In the case of poor work relations between the employer and the employee(s), negative impact could occur as a result. Unhappy employees could destroy the pharmacy’s reputation and cause decline in productivity through various ways. The pharmacy’s most valuable clients could be lost in case of disgruntled employees’ unethical interaction with them through rudeness or provision of poor services (Kavaler & Alexender, 2014). Such employees would leak important information to potential competitors or tarnish the pharmacy’s image. Loss of profits and the pharmacy’s integrity could be lost as a result.

Fire hazards are a likely tragedy in the pharmacy. Possible electrical faults leading to a disastrous fire could occur in the pharmaceutical drug storage area due to its proximity to the desktop computer. A minor scenario of fluid spillage or improper handling in drug transportation could cause spillage of the drugs in liquid form. Such spillage could cause a fire outburst leading to damage of property or combustion of the entire pharmacy.

5 impacts of logical threats

Logical threats refer to damage to electronic devices for example computers without physical distortion. Logical threats entail attacks that are aimed at destroying the software component of the computers or rendering them useless (Fennelly, 2013). They are implemented through; injection of the computers with viruses, reconnaissance attacks, social engineering, compromise of machines, distributed denial of service and reconnaissance attacks. These threats pose a great challenge to business firms and are most common due to the remoteness of their implementation. They cause disruption in workflow and lead to great financial losses. Their impact on a business firm such as a pharmacy cannot be underestimated.

When malicious software such as viruses are injected into a computer, they corrupt the computer system and replicate themselves (Amoroso, 2013). In turn, this could lead to wastage of computer memory due to bulk memory allocation of the malicious programs. Some viruses tend to completely damage the computer system and render them useless. They disrupt the operating system causing malfunctioning. Affected computers tend to be slow leading to loss of productivity. Funds allocated to repair the computers and purchase new ones to replace the damaged computers lead to reduced profits.

Attacks such as denial-of-service corrupt networks, systems, or services with the intent to deny service to the intended users (Amoroso, 2013). The pharmacy’s online clients are not able to access the services due to disrupted network, this may lead to reduced customer turn out over time hence reduced profits. The attacks also lead to disruption of normal business services causing heavy losses in terms of profits.

Loss of privacy is also a common feature related to the logical threats. Malicious hackers are applying trojan horses to host computers to trick the unsuspecting clients to enter login information in false scripts other than the pharmacy database. The customer privacy policy is infringed. The information gathered by the hackers may be used for malicious purposes, which violates ethical business codes.

Damage to the pharmacy’s reputation is a likely impact in the case where unauthorized persons through remote hacking access private and confidential information relating to the pharmacy and the customer information details. Using methods such as reconnaissance attacks and phishing, vital information is exposed. This ruins the pharmacy’s reputation and its credibility is lost, as long as tough measures are not implemented to secure the pharmacy’s network system.

Reconnaissance attacks are used to gain access to the host’s network system. In case the pharmacy’s network system is penetrated, the hacker may withdraw the available funds leading to a massive financial loss. Any business cannot thrive without money to fund it therefore it may lead to total closure of the pharmacy in case all the funds are stolen from the pharmacy’s online account by the hacker

 

Security controls against physical threats.

Theft of pharmacy’s assets can lead to the pharmacy closure in case it is not restricted. It can lead to huge financial losses or destroy the consumer confidence in the pharmacy. Theft can be controlled through use of video surveillance cameras that are strategically located in the pharmacy to capture movements in and out of the pharmacy. In order to enhance the efficiency of the video surveillance, application of intrusion alarm systems is necessary to ensure that any robbery trigger is detected and recorded.

Highly sophisticated locks need to be placed on the doors especially the backdoor to ensure that security is tightened up to keep out unauthorized personnel. Biometric devices such as a fingerprint scanner and the eye scanner are important in ensuring security of a business firm; this is because the devices require unique identification of each member in the firm using biometric authentication (Bosworth & Kabay). Each fingerprint is unique thus only authorized staff members will be allowed to access the important pharmacy sections such as the caged area and pharmaceutical drug store area. Such security measures ensure that unauthorized members cannot gain access to the pharmacy.

Frequent assessment of the employees is important in ensuring that the working environment suits each employee. Work relations between employees and the employer will be assessed to ensure that there is friendly communication between the two parties. It is implemented using questionnaires and interviews whereby the employees are asked a series of questions pertaining to the staff relationships. This ensures that disputes amongst the staff members are solved. Disgruntled employees are given a chance to give recommendations concerning how the working environment operates. Persistent disgruntled employees are laid off from work in case the disputes are not solved. The measures are important in ensuring that privacy in the pharmacy is adhered to and the business reputation is maintained.

Unpredictable disasters such as fires need to be considered in ensuring that physical treats do not tamper with the operation of the pharmacy. Smoke detectors are very effective in detecting initial signs of a potential fire. To boost the reliability of the smoke detectors, sprinklers need to be implemented in the pharmacy to ensure that fire is extinguished at its initial stage. Tragedies such as fire cause great damage especially on highly flammable equipment such as cartons and some of the drugs contain flammable chemicals.

Proper storage of the pharmaceutical drugs is important to ensure that spillage incidents do not result in massive tragedies such as fire. The distance between the pharmaceutical drug store area and the caged area should be large enough to reduce instances of electric faults causing fire tragedies. In addition to that, fire extinguishers should be strategically located in the pharmacy to help combat with fire incidences.

Security controls against logical threats.

Viruses and Trojans cause great harm to the computers. They interfere with the normal functioning of the computers and leak vital information to malicious hackers. The installation of software safeguards such as the antivirus is essential. The antivirus detects malware and other Trojans and eliminates them from the computer. The antivirus software also protects the computers from potential harm during online activities……