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This programme shows how the database of the Massahusetts Blue Cross medical insurance scheme is protected against security risks and computing accidents.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: M352, Computer based information systems
Item code: M352; 08
First transmission date: 07-09-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:27
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Producer: John Richmond
Contributors: Charles Bachman; Ralph Loftin; Richard Maddison
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Blue cross; Boston; Journal file; Medical insurance; Salem hospital
Footage description: The programme opens with shots of the headquarters of Blue Cross medical insurance scheme in Boston, (Massachusetts). Film of a customer enquiry being answered at Blue Cross by accessing a database via a VDU terminal. In voice-over OU lecturer Richard Maddison explains Blue Cross's need to maintain the security and integrity of their information system. Interview with Ralph Lofton. Data Processing Vice-President at Blue Cross, who describes how the insurance scheme operate; Shots of a Blue Cross employee checking data by phone with a local hospital. Shots of a VDU screen carrying information about a Blue Cross subscriber. In voice over Maddison explains the need for both security and integrity of this kind of information. In interview Charles Bachman, Chief Research Scientist at Honeywell Systems, describes the areas where Blue Cross need to take security measures. A customer enquiry is seen being handled using an on-line VDU. Maddison's commentary explains what kind of information is prevented from appearing on the VDU screen. A number of Blue Cross terninal operators are seen at work. Interview with Marilyn Toda, the Database Administrator, who explains how terminal security is controlled. She shows us a listing of what kind of information is accessible from each individual Blue Cross terminal. Shots of terminal operators at work. Close-ups of VDU screens show the use of passwords and their security measures. A remote transaction entry system is seen being used. Maddison comments on the security aspects of the system. A close-up of a VDU screen shows data entry being rejected for security reasons. In interview Bachman describes the structure of the security database at Blue Cross. He constructs a diagram to illustrate his remarks. He shows how security is controlled at the program level. He also explains how the rigid seperation of programmers from operators adds to database security. Film of programmers at work, over which Maddison explains how the Blue Cross security system prevent them from actually running programs. Shots of the data reception area, where a seperate security system is examined. Shots of a member of staff using a password in this department. Interview with Bachman who uses a diagram to explain how problems of integrity (i.e. accidents within the information system) can occur. Director of Operations at Blue Cross, Paul MacDonald, describes the recovery facility that is used when errors or accidents have to be corrected. He demonstrates the use of a journal file. Bachman uses a diagram to explain the purpose of a journal file. Shots of Blue Cross computer operators using the journal file system. Bachman and Maddison together explain how the journal file is extended to include all new and,old information prior to dumping. MacDonald explains the importance of the recovery procedures. Interview with Toda who explains how the Database Administrative unit at Blue Cross fits into the system for maintaining integrity. She shows us a print-out listing that enables her department to check on the progress of computer runs. Film of a patient being admitted to Salem Hospital, Maddison explains how the Hospital Administration Department uses the Blue Cross database. Shots of hospital staff using terminals. Hospital Administrator John Samson describes the advantages of this on-line link with Blue Cross. Interview with Loftin who comments on the growth of the Blue Cross information system to include hospitals. Bachman comments on the significance of this growth of distributed information systems for both security and integrity systems.
Production number: 00525_4278
Videofinder number: 4180
Available to public: no