Network and Information Security Technologies

Assessment Task

The report is to be based on the following case study scenario about network and information security technologies.

Almost all businesses use the Internet these days to offer various services to their customers. Some of these activities require collecting user/customer information including commercial transactions and exchange personal and/or sensitive information. While the internet is a very convenient option for both businesses and for customers, there are also risks associated in using the internet. Some of these risks are related to the potential for unauthorised access of information of customers; ranging from personal details and financial records to their online login details. Recently, there have been numerous incidents where hackers have accessed user information which have then been used for various purposes. There have been instances of ransomware and other malware attacks, and even publishing confidential client details leading to highly difficult situations for customers of some organisations. As a result, information and network security is becoming more and more important for organisations though improved security means additional costs for small organisations which do not command big budgets.

You have recently completed your postgraduate degree in the information systems/technology field of an Australian University. You are now working as the Research and Technology Assistant to the ICT manager of a small software organisation based in Melbourne. Your organisation was established less than 5 years ago. It develops and customises applications specialising in information and network security area. The clients of your organisation are mostly in the major cities of Australia and range from small to medium size organisations. At present, your organisation undertakes projects to develop applications in-house or to customise off-the shelf software in agreement with larger vendors. Your organisation’s current business scope is limited to that of development of applications. It is now exploring options to expand the business in the next five years to other branches within ICT, and to all parts of Australia and even overseas if possible.

One future option is to diversify the business into providing ongoing information and network security services to businesses that have an online presence. That will require managing the online security of those organisations; security of their websites and client databases. However, the Business Development Manager of your organisation has revealed that the potential client organisations for this new line of business could include online gambling organisations as well as small pharmaceutical and hospitality industry organisations.

There are some concerns among your executive management team that not all the potential client organisations may be engaging in socially acceptable ethical businesses. Yet, there is another school of thought within the management that your organisation must be more concerned about the bottom line (economic aspects) rather than the triple-bottom line aspects (social, environment and economic) aspects at this point in your organisation’s business life cycle.

Your ICT Manager has been asked by the CEO of your organisation to investigate the possibility of this expansion. He (your ICT Manager) has requested you to undertake preliminary research and draft a report that he can finalise and submit to the next Executive Management meeting.

Your research and the subsequent report should cover the following tasks:

  1. Definition/s of information and network security and the most up to date developments in the field. This investigation must consider different types of applications used in various industries and in different parts of the world. As a minimum, assess three information/network security applications currently in the market and their uses. Your report should not just focus on generic technology descriptions only but must identify actual examples of both information and/or network security solutions. Consider any success/failure factors. Research must focus on both Australian and global aspects in different industries.
  2. Based on the findings from the previous section, propose how you can use these applications to expand your organisation in the next five years. Discuss whether the organisation should focus on customising off-the-shelf applications as you have found, or develop products in-house to provide the ongoing security maintenance services to client organisations.

As a part of this analysis, consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of your solutions and the various risks with respect to the solution/s you propose. The Report must focus on security and technology aspects as a priority, and propose potential solutions to overcome any disadvantages/risks identified in your analysis. Additionally, explore the ethical, social and legal considerations that your organisation should consider as a part of the proposed strategy where some of the clients may not engaged in strictly ethical businesses. Discuss some proposals to address these concerns and make relevant recommendations.

Your analysis and proposed solutions in task 2 should provide three to five recommendations at the end of your report. Make sure that the specific recommendations at the end of your report have been evaluated as a part of your report discussion.

The report should be at a strategic level and must not consist of highly technical details as most of your readers are not from an information technology background.

Specifically your report should include the following (word count details are approximate guidelines only):

  1. Title page: Unit code and name, assessment number, Report title, assessment due date, word count (actual), student name, student number, email address, campus lecturer/tutor, and Unit Coordinator. If applicable, add extension request ID and the new due date. Must be formatted to a standard required for a professional/business report. Check week 6 materials for example of a professionally formatted title page. Not included in the word count.
  2. Executive summary: should include the purpose of the report, the problem including key issues considered and how they were investigated, your findings, and overview of your recommendations. This part must not be longer than one (1) A4 page. Not included in the word count.
  3. Table of Contents (ToC): should list the report topics using decimal notation. Needs to include the main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers, using a format that makes the hierarchy of topics clear. Because you are including a ToC the report pages should be numbered in the footer as follows: title page has no page number; and main text to have Arabic numerals commencing at 1. Create the ToC using MS Word’s ToC auto-generator rather than manually typing out the ToC. Instructions can be found here . Not included in the word count.
  4. Introduction: provide a brief description of the organisation as given in the case scenario including any assumptions, a concise overview of the problem you have been asked to research, the main aims/purpose of the report, the objectives to be achieved by writing the report (include the tasks outlined in the case study) and how you investigated the problem. Provide an outline of the sections of the report. Should be approximately 300 words.
  5. Body of the report (use appropriate headings in the body of the report.): Define key terms you will use in your report, such as what is meant by ‘information/network security’. Present your ideas on the topic and discuss the information you found in your research that was relevant to the report’s objectives. Provide an analysis of the information that you gathered. Ensure that you explore the tasks listed in the case study scenario. In your discussion, examine the issues from a global perspective as well as from the local perspective (of the fictional organisation that is the centre of this report).

Do NOT use generic words such as ‘Body, Body of the Report, Tasks’ as section headings. Create meaningful headings and subheadings that reflect the topic and content of your report. Should be approximately 1700 words.

  1. Conclusion: restate the purpose of the report and key issues investigated and the related findings based on your research and analysis. Explain the significance of your findings for addressing the problem stated in the case scenario and any limitations. State how your report has achieved its objectives and any future work to be considered. Should be approximately 300 words.
  2. Recommendations: 3 to 5 recommendations required (must be based on your findings and proposed solutions discussed in the body of the report) what would your recommendations be to your CEO and the executive management team in this situation? Provide some guidelines for the organisation with respect to the use of robotics as a future technology in your organisation. Format according to the Report Writing Guidelines discussed in the Unit. Should be approximately 200 words.
  3. Reference list. Not included in the word count.
  4. Appendices if necessary. Not included in the word count.

Marking Criteria

This assessment is criterion referenced which means your work is assessed against the criteria in the marking rubric below.

Criteria

Quality

High Distinction

Distinction

Credit

Pass

Fail

Executive summary

The executive summary contained:

The executive summary contained the proper sections but did not include enough detail.

The executive summary had sections which were too brief or missing. Did not include enough detail.

The executive summary lacked clarity and has incomplete or missing sections. It did not clearly explain the problem, how it was investigated and your recommendations.

Entire sections of the executive summary are missing. There is a lack of detail and the problem is not well explained.

- a brief description of the purpose of the report

- the definition of the problem, key issues explored, and how they were investigated

- a summary of what you found and what you concluded

- overview of your recommendations

- meets recommended length

Table of contents

Lists the report topics using decimal notation. Includes meaningful main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers. Format makes the hierarchy of topics clear. Auto generated using MS Word.

A few things missing from the table of contents.
Pages are numbered.

Some things missing from the table of contents.
Pages may not be numbered.

Includes the main headings only.
Pages may not be numbered.

Table of contents missing.
Pages not numbered.

Pages are numbered.

Introduction

Set the scene for the report; gave some background information for the topic. Included a brief description of the organisation.

The introduction contained the proper parts but did not include enough detail.

The introduction had parts which were too brief or missing. Did not include enough detail.

The introduction lacked clarity and had incomplete or missing parts. It did not clearly introduce the report.

The introduction was missing or was a repeat of the executive summary. It did not clearly introduce the report.

Stated the objectives of the investigation. Included the problem you are addressing and the key issues to be explored.

Explained the research method used to gather information.

Outlined the sections of the report.

Body of report: Selection and sequencing of subject material; including evidence.

Selected exact amount of relevant material that supports argument with no contradictions.

Selected large amount of relevant material.

Selected adequate amount of material.

Selected adequate amount of material not all of it relevant.

Selected too little material or material that is irrelevant.

Substantial, logical, & concrete development of ideas. Arguments were logical and clear.

Offered solid development of ideas but less original reasoning.

Some development of ideas; not much original reasoning.

Not much development of ideas. Very little original reasoning. Only a few tasks were addressed.

No development of ideas or original reasoning. Minimal addressing of tasks related to the report topic.

All tasks in the specifications addressed.

Most of the tasks in the specifications were addressed.

Some of the tasks in the specifications were addressed.

Offered somewhat obvious support that may be too broad.

Offered simplistic, undeveloped, or cryptic support for the ideas.

Assumptions were made explicit. Key terms were defined.
Details were germane, original, and convincingly interpreted.

Assumptions were not always recognised or made explicit. Key terms were defined.
Contained some appropriate details or examples.

Assumptions are not always recognised or made explicit. Most Key terms were defined.
Contains some appropriate details or examples.

Some Key terms defined.
Details were too general, not interpreted, irrelevant to problem, or inappropriately repetitive.

No Key terms defined.
Inappropriate or off-topic generalisations, faulty assumptions, errors of fact.

Conclusion

Problem restated clearly, main points and supporting arguments summarised.

The conclusion contained the proper parts but did not include enough detail.

The conclusion had parts which were too brief or missing. Did not include enough detail.

The conclusion lacked clarity and had incomplete or missing parts. It did not clearly conclude the report.

The conclusion is missing or was a repeat of the executive summary. It did not clearly conclude the report.

Stated the significance of the findings and that the objectives of the report had been met.

No new material.

May have included some new material.

May have included some new material.

Included new material.

No new material.

 

 

 

 

Recommendations

Suggested specific actions to address the problem.

Most suggested actions were relevant to the problem.

Suggested actions were somewhat relevant to the problem.

Suggested some actions. Not all actions were relevant to the problem.

Recommendations missing or irrelevant to the problem and/or did not relate to the findings.
Not formatted correctly.

Actions were clearly based on the findings of the report.

Actions were based on the findings of the report.

Not all actions were based on the findings of the report.

Not all actions were based on the findings of the report.

Correctly formatted recommendations based on report writing guidelines.

Correctly formatted recommendations.

Recommendations not presented effectively in line with the report writing guidelines.

Descriptions of possible actions but no specific actions proposed or not formatted in line with the report writing guidelines.

Organisation and structure:
- ideas/main points;
- grammar, punctuation and spelling; and
- structure of sentences and paragraphs.

Organisation fully supported the problem being addressed and the objectives of report.

Organisation supported the problem being addressed and the objectives of report.

Organisation supported the problem being addressed and the objectives of report.

Some signs of logical organisation.

Unclear organisation or organisational plan was inappropriate to problem being addressed.

Sequence of ideas was effective.

Sequence of ideas could be improved.

Sequence of ideas did not always flow in a logical manner.

May have had abrupt or illogical shifts and ineffective flow of ideas.

Poorly worded sentences. No linkages between paragraphs.

Excellent sentence structure. Well-constructed paragraphs; clear linkages between paragraphs.

 

Good sentence structure. Linkages between paragraphs were mostly appropriate.

Some good sentence structure. Linkages between paragraphs could be improved. Some brief, undeveloped paragraphs.

Some awkward sentences; paragraphs not well linked. Paragraph structure not well integrated; contained extraneous information.

Showed minimal effort or lack of comprehension of the assignment.

Written expression was clear and correct; Grammar excellent; correct use of punctuation; minimal or no spelling errors; and evidence of thorough proof-reading.

A few errors in grammar (wrong verb tense, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, apostrophe errors, singular/plural errors, article use, preposition use, split infinitives, etc.). Made occasional problematic word choices or syntax errors. A few spelling or punctuation errors.

Some distracting grammatical errors (wrong verb tense, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, apostrophe errors, singular/plural errors, article use, preposition use, split infinitives, etc.). Errors in punctuation and spelling. Little evidence of proof-reading.

Some major grammatical or proofreading errors (wrong verb tense, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, apostrophe errors, singular/plural errors, article use, preposition use, split infinitives, sentence fragments, word form errors, etc.). Language frequently weakened by inexact word choices. Spelling errors

Numerous major grammatical and spelling errors which seriously detracted from understanding the writing; or incomprehensible.

Observed professional conventions of written English and report format.

Observed professional conventions of written English and report format; made a few minor or technical errors.

Needed to observe professional conventions of written English and report format; made numerous errors.

Needed to observe professional conventions of written English and report format; made repeated errors.

Did not meet professional conventions of written English and report format.

Evidence of poor planning and/or no serious revision of writing.

Report Layout:
-
Title page; and
- length and formatting.

Title page contained all necessary information: unit code, assessment number, report title, assessment due date, word count, student name, student number, email address, campus lecturer/tutor, and unit coordinator.

Title page contained all necessary information.

Title page contained all necessary information.

Some necessary information was missing from the title page.

Title page missing or missing necessary information.

Correct length  (close to 2500 words)

Mostly correct length  (2250-2750 words)

Reasonable length

Length just outside the 10% of required length (2500 words)

Too short (<2000 words or too long >2750 words).

Tidy final version - including no, track changes or unnecessary spacing or indentations, correct alignment of sections.

Mostly tidy final version

Tidy final version

Can improve the final version appearance.

Extensive improvements need to ensure good layout.

Formatted using 12 point font, 1.5 line spacing and margins of 2.54 cm.

Formatted correctly.

Some minor formatting errors.

Major errors in formatting.

Formatted incorrectly.

References (1): Evidence of research and analysis of the references based on the ARE framework.
Selection and use of references based on the Triple R framework.

Thorough research indicated; clear well-thought out analysis clearly integrated into discussion.

Research was generally thorough; analysis was generally well done; integrated into discussion.

Some evidence of research; basic analysis; some integration into discussion.

Basic research; weaknesses evident in analysis.

Little or no evidence of research and analysis of information.

Analysed and evaluated information in great depth.

Analysed and evaluated information in considerable depth.

Analysed and evaluated information in reasonable depth, some description.

Little evidence of analysis and evaluation of information; recounted and described. Details were too general, not interpreted, irrelevant to topic, or inappropriately repetitive.

Neglected important references.

 

Simplistic or undeveloped support for the ideas.

Used references to support, extend, and inform, but not substitute writer’s own development of ideas.

Used references to support, but not substitute writer’s own development of ideas.

Used references to support, but not substitute writer’s own development of ideas.

Used relevant references but lacked in variety of references and/or the skilful combination of references.

Inappropriate or off-topic generalisations, faulty assumptions, errors of fact.

Combined material from a variety of sources.

Combined material from a variety of sources.

Combined material from a few sources.

Combined material from a few sources.

Overused quotations or paraphrasing to substitute writer’s own ideas.

Did not overuse quotes.

 

All references conformed to the Triple R framework and recent (within the last 5 years).

Did not overuse quotes.

 

Most references conformed to the Triple R framework and all were recent (within the last 5 years).

Did not overuse quotes.

 

Most references conformed to the Triple R framework and recent (within the last 5 years).

Quotations and paraphrases may be too long or not well integrated into the text.

 

Most of the references did NOT conform to the Triple R framework or were NOT recent (older than the last 5 years).

 

Possibly used source material without acknowledgement.

Selected references did NOT conform to the Triple R framework or were much older than the last 5 years.

 

 

 

 

 

References (2): In-text citations and reference list.

More than ten current references (up to 15) including more than six academic references;

More than ten current (up to 13) references including at least six academic references.

At least ten current references including at least six academic sources.

At least ten current references but less than six academic references.

Less than ten current references.

No academic references.

Thorough referencing. Citations and reference list accurate and consistent with APA referencing style.

A few inaccuracies with APA referencing style for citations and/or reference list.

Some errors in APA referencing style for citations and/or reference list.

Errors with APA referencing style.

Inconsistent with APA referencing style.

All citations/references listed.

All citations/references listed.

Some citations and/or references missing.

Incomplete reference list. References not cited properly in text.

Problems with citations and references.

Comprehension          

The content of the report was unable to be read and understood by the marker.

0 out of 30

 

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