Enhancing ICT Product Security; Analyzing Social and Ethical Implications of Past and Present Automation to Predict the Future of Automation in the Food Industry

Parajuli, Niroj, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Wylie, Caitlin, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Morrison, Briana, University of Virginia

The core issue presented by the advancements in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and the automation of the food industry is finding a balance between striving for efficiency and innovation while upholding ethical standards and social welfare. In the field of ICT security, as studied during an internship at Acumen Secuirty and capstone project at the University of Virginia, the main concern revolves around the ever evolving cyber threats that require robust security certifications such as FIPS 140 and Common Criteria to safeguard digital infrastructures. Similarly, exploring the automation of the food industry through a sociotechnical lens reveals a scenario where technological efficiency may come into conflict with job stability and ethical values. Both areas highlight the importance of taking a nuanced approach that not only promotes technological advancement but also prioritizes ethical considerations, showcasing how our technology driven pursuits impact both societal structures and individual lives. The technical examination carried out at Acumen Security underscored the various challenges involved in securing ICT products against complex cyber threats. By actively participating in evaluating Common Criteria, conducting network assessments and creating detailed reports, this project shed light on how innovative security certifications play a crucial role in strengthening digital defenses. This initiative emphasized the essential need for technical proficiency, effective communication and deep knowledge of security certification standards in navigating the ever changing cybersecurity landscape. Additionally, the project addressed the gap between current certification standards and the rapidly evolving nature of cyber threats, highlighting the need for continuous updates and agile responses to maintain robust security measures. Through collaborations with the engineering team and cybersecurity experts, innovative solutions were formulated to enhance the resilience of security systems, thereby setting a precedent for industry-wide best practices in ICT security. Similarly, the investigation of how technology impacts the food industry revealed the intricate relationship between technological progress and its societal consequences, particularly in terms of work dynamics and ethical concerns. The study brought attention to the dual nature of automation; while it boosts efficiency and precision, it also introduces challenges such as job displacement and moral quandaries. By examining collaborative robots (CoBots) and AI systems, the research promoted a balanced approach that aligns technological advancement with social justice, underlining the importance of policies and educational initiatives to address the negative effects of automation on employment. The research also delved into the psychological and community impacts of automation, such as the alienation of the workforce and the erosion of traditional skills, which are critical considerations for sustaining an equitable labor market. Furthermore, the study explored potential solutions, including the re-skilling of workers and the design of collaborative work environments where humans and machines complement each other, enhancing both productivity and job satisfaction in the food industry. The project undertaken at Acumen Security represented a significant step forward in bolstering the security of ICT products, contributing to advancements in certification methods that are more resilient and adaptable. Nonetheless, given the rapid evolution of technology and new cyber threats, continuous research is essential to enhance these processes further. The sociotechnical analysis on automation within the food sector shed light on social and ethical considerations, providing a foundational understanding that encourages future exploration into effective strategies for integrating technology advancements with societal welfare. These projects not only contribute to the immediate fields of ICT security and food industry automation but also offer a template for how industries can approach the integration of advanced technologies with ethical and social considerations. Looking forward, the insights gained from these studies advocate for a multidisciplinary approach in research and development, urging future researchers to consider not only the technological aspects but also the socio-economic impacts and ethical dimensions of their work. I want to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Caitlin Wylie for her invaluable guidance in improving my writing skills and broadening my analytical viewpoint. Her support and understanding during tough times were truly priceless, giving me the motivation to keep going and achieve success. I also want to show my gratitude to Rosanne Vrugtman for her expert help in handling the technical aspects of my paper, making complex ideas clearer and refining the presentation. Finally, I am thankful for the valuable technical advice and insights shared by Briana Morrison.

BS (Bachelor of Science)

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Briana Morrison

STS Advisor: Caitlin Wylie

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