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The Business has experienced a healthy growth for the past few years. The owner, her husband and all the employees (both the permanent and casuals) has done a great deal in ensuring that the firm achieves the best. This has seen The Business expand to capture a larger market area. The firm now needs to employ a larger workforce because it has ventured into new territories which have greater needs. The security system it has employed is also fairly good. Both the physical security- in terms of physical structures- and the security on the computers data is fairly strong because as at current, only the owner of the business and the permanent employees can access the data on the computers. This means that the data on the computers are safe from intrusion by unwanted individuals.
This is a clear demonstration that the owner of The Business is conscious of security issues and is determined to ensure that as the business expands, so does the security measures that would help protect business data. However, there are various obvious security loopholes that the owner and her team has left out that can cause serious threat to the firm. The Business therefore needs some security measures improved on its system to achieve the maximum in its quest for growth.
Type and Layout of the Equipment
The company has been operating from home. However, the growth of the firm has forced the firm out of the house and therefore the firm needs to develop the type and layout of the equipment in its new facilities. The type of layout within the new location should be in a ways that would ensure that the firm is safe from the possible intrusion by unwanted individual. There is need for improved security because the Business is moving from the house where maintaining security was relatively easy, to a leased premise in a business park. The Business should take a Simple Office Layout in its new premises. Because it is coming into a new environment, the firm may not be in a position to hire larger space for its operations. For this reason therefore, the office plan should assume the open office system with only the owner and the computer server that have their offices partitioned from the rest. The computers should be properly arranged on the open office with each employee assigned a computer and a specific role to play, like monitoring customer tenders or responding to the questions that customers may pose online.
Other employees, especially the casuals should mainly be based at the stores. The moment the employees at the desk receives an order and it gets approved, the system should allow for a possibility to pass an instruction to the employees in the stores to package the approved purchase. The stores should be located, and if possible, in the same building as the office. The movement within the office should also be made easy. The owner should be in a position to monitor the work of all the employees by simply walking around the office or right from her desk. The computers should be positioned in such a ways that the employees would feel comfortable, but not in a way that would encourage them to get into irrelevant sights that would disorient them from their assigned duties in the firm.
Network Configuration that Would Support the System
The Business aims at allowing online access of its products to its customers. There is therefore a need to develop a web-based application that would make this possible. The firm should develop customer-support system that would make its products accessible online to various customers in various locations. In determining network configuration for the above process, the firm must first define its area of operation. Although the firm plans to attract overseas customers, it is very important that it concentrates on its customers who are within the country, or better still, those who are in the regions close enough hence manageable.
According to Markowitz (1952), at least two interfaces would always be required for network configuration with the use of a router. The two interfaces are LAN and Wan. The Business must therefore configure its local area network in such a ways that all the computers within the facility have the capacity to share information that needs to be shared and that no one else is in a position to access the information outside the LAN. This can be done with the help of the firewall and password protected computers. A switch section can be designed for partitioning of the switch into a number of VLANS. The owner should also consider coming up with Network Address Translation (NAT) routers. This would allow several systems within stated LAN. Another consideration that should be made by the owner and her team would be the development of personal firewalls. This is meant to keep away malicious users.
Types of Controls and Information Security Tools and Techniques
The technical team should determine Central Network Configuration which would help in the definition of switch VLANS, network routes and interface configuration. File Transfer Protocol (FTP), should be developed that would enable sharing of data from the serve to other computers and from one computer to other. The main server should be monitored by one permanent employee who would be able to monitor the sales of the being made at various points of sale. Because LAN is connected to WAN through the internet, there should be a firewall that protects the Business data from unwanted people who may want access the sensitive company data, or a possible malware transfer. From the server, data would have to pass through a firewall that protects it data in the server. It would move to the router which would make this data available in the internet. From the internet, this data would be received by another router which would again pass it though the firewall before it would be accessed by the client. This would protect both the client computer and the server from intrusion.
The firewalls would regulate the type of information that would pass to the server and the client computers. As such, it acts as a serve that prevents malware from getting into the computer from cyber criminals. The firewalls also ensure that there is no direct access to the information in the server or in the client computers. Criminals would not be able to access company details because the computers are well protected. All the computers within the plant should be password protected. This would further boost the security o the data in the computers. Each workstation should have a specific person assigned the duty to manage the customers from that desk and it is only that person that would be allowed the password. Such a person would therefore be held responsible in case of any data leak from his or her workstation. The office and the stores in general should have a standard security (Peteraf, 1993).
Buglers would not access the premise to carry computers containing critical information. This would not only bring the business down in terms of loosing items of trade, but also put the customers at risk because their bank information would be exposed to fraudster. This would create serious post purchase dissonance on the customers who would consider moving to other firms that are able to take care of their data. The password on the computers further makes it difficult for internet fraudsters to access individual computers from the internet (Oster, 1994).
The Business has had a very healthy growth over the past. The management has worked untiringly hard to ensure that the firm meets the specifications of the market in terms of the quality of the products and the time and efficiency of the purchase. As stated above, only those customers who had the best experience with the firm that would most likely come back for repeat purchase. Therefore, the needs of The Business car should be given priority by the firm. To succeed in this, security of the system should be closely monitored to prevent any malicious users. The computers must be protected with the help of the firewall and the password system. If this measure is taken, the business would be safe from fraudsters.
Markowitz, H. (1952). Portfolio Selection. Journal of Finance, 7(1), 77-91.
Oster, S. (1994). Modern Competitive Analysis. Nueva: Oxford University Press.
Peteraf, M. (1993). The Cornerstone of Competitive Advantage: A Resource-Based View. Strategic Management Journal, 14(1), 179-191.