Assignment 1: Security Threats on Information Resource
Security threat concerning information resource is a major concern in for business people and organizations. A strong security system should, therefore, be developed and maintained to assist in guarding this information against current and future security breaches. This section will address the best way to protect institutional information against security threats.
A firewall is a small device that is used to enforce security policies within a network or between networks by controlling traffic flows (Sheth and Thakker, 2011). Firewalls are of three types; Packet Filtering, Application/proxy firewalls, and Packet Inspection. Of the three, Packet firewalls are the best since they are much faster than application firewalls and offer a good deep-packet inspection which permits the firewall to dig into the data portion of the packet and match on protocol compliance, scan for viruses and still operate very quickly.
There are two types of encryption used today. These are symmetric cryptography and asymmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption uses a shared key for encryption and decryption between the sender and the recipient. This necessitates the use of a secure method for transferring the key between these two ends. Asymmetric cryptography splits the keys into two smaller keys; one public shared among authorized recipients and the other private kept by the owner. Information encrypted by the public key is decrypted only by the corresponding private key.
For disaster recovery, there are two types of sites namely a hot and cold site. A hot site is a location that is ready for implementation, that is, equipment is already set up with current data on arrival. On the other hand, a cold site is just space with nothing set up. One has to set up the equipment and make all the connections on arrival.
Besides security threat on an organizations network, other information resources also face this risk of security. These information resources include publications containing information regarding the organization, human resource, that is, the employees working in that organization, and advertisements made concerning the business (Workman, Bommer and Straub, 2008). These sources too can be encountered with security threats in one way or another. Publications such as journals and brochures can be tampered with and edited by potential competitors, and false information added that could breach the reputation of the organization. Employees, especially those involved in making strategic decisions and being charged with the responsibility of holding crucial information about the company may find themselves, faced with security threats especially from rival companies. They may be abducted and forced to provide information that would otherwise remain confidential. This information will then be used by the rivals to their advantage. The said employees could even be killed which could be a big blow to the company since such an employee is an important resource to the success of the company.
The above-mentioned threats can be minimized or prevented through various actions. One, all the publications regarding the company should be made and monitored by a department in the organization and similar information posted on the companys website to maintain similarity. The customers will, therefore, be able to verify what they read on the publications from the website. This applies to the advertisements made, either on billboards or social media. Employees, especially those holding top information about the strategies of the company should be provided with a security detail by the company to safeguard them at all times, especially when outside the workplace.
Assignment 2: Data Communication - A Case Study of Walmart
A strong data communication system is essential for organizations to realize success. Walmart has made various changes in its data communication system to approve its suppliers access to sales and inventory data. They did this by adding a customized Web site for its suppliers which allows them to access sales, inventory and forecasting data over an extremely fast connection. They also installed a sophisticated security system that prevents suppliers from accessing information about each others products (Slemmons, 2011). There is also a web-based access to its RetailLink system which allows suppliers to use information in the database.
Other typical data communication applications at Walmart include automated distribution, computerized routing, and electronic data interchange. Walmart has also installed wireless communication technology to ease its operations. This is being used for the Warehouse Management System (WMS) in tracking and managing the flow of goods through its distribution centers. An additional wireless application is used to control and monitor forklifts and industrial vehicles moving merchandise inside its distribution centers. The most current data communication application in Walmart is the Vehicle Management System (VMS). It has unique features such as a two-way text-messaging system which enables the management to channel material-handling resources to areas most needed effectively. Walmart says that VMS has significantly improved safety and raised the productivity of its operations.
Walmarts system can be split into several components namely production, supply, inventory, transportation, location, and information. Production focuses on strategic decisions concerning manufacturing of products. Walmart then obtains the required inputs for production from its suppliers. Inventory is effectively managed on a daily basis through the use of Radio Frequency Identification technology. Transportation services are offered using trucks to the customers. Products are also available in Walmart stores. Walmart emphasizes on the identification of customer demands when deciding on the location of its stores and production facilities. Information is the final component, and Walmart has all its stores globally connected with each other using the largest satellite system. This allows sharing of customer feedback and information to help in improving the business.
Networking concepts such as bandwidth, routing, routers, and client/server model can be used to improve the networking needs for Walmart. Bandwidth refers to the quantity of data transferrable from one point to another in a certain period. With its large system, Walmart can increase the amount of information being shared among its stores to save on time. Routing process decides the path to take. The path which offers fastest link between the users of information should be applied. Routers are network connection devices that link network systems and controls traffic flow. The safest and fastest router should be utilized by Walmart since they have many stores and production facilities across the globe. Client/server model is software that runs the local computer and communicates with the server to request information. Walmart should utilize these networking concepts to assist in their networking needs, making their system even more effective than it already is.
To sum up, information security and strong data communication systems are very essential in businesses today. With the advancement in technology comes the risk of companies important data being accessed by malicious individuals and this calls for the implementation of systems that minimize, if not eliminate, these security threats.
Sheth, C., & Thakker, R. (2011, February). Performance evaluation and comparative analysis of network firewalls. In Devices and Communications (ICDeCom), 2011 International Conference on (pp. 1-5). IEEE.Slemmons, A. (2011). Walmart Information Systems Research Project-Group2 CIS 511 Fall 2011 Amber Slemmons, Brooke Williams, Cheri Evans, Ismael Molina, & Wesley Belz.
Workman, M., Bommer, W. H., & Straub, D. (2008). Security lapses and the omission of information security measures: A threat control model and empirical test. Computers in human behavior, 24(6), 2799-2816.
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