The purpose of this paper is to analyze an enterprise which uses multiple networks and operates a wide area network in its daily operations in order to communicate between different departments, users and localtions for transfering useful information. the network system that will be studied in this paper is a complex network unlike a small home or office network and there are a number of networks that will increase the risk to the securtiy of these networks. Introduction to the Enterprise The enterprise that will be the subject of the report is Insitute of Business administration which is a university in South East Asia.
South East Asia is known for software and IT solutions however, it is still one of the devleoping parts of the world and most of the universtities face considerable issues regarding to security of the information technology resources and databases. The university employes more then 300 employees for day to day operations and the IT department consists of 65 people in total. The IT staff is placed at differnet locations in order to perform different duties. The university has a wide area network in place which integrates a number of loccal area network that have been installed at a number of places in the university.
The university has two campuses in the same both at extreme ends of the city which makes them way apart from each other. There are two hostels which are also away from the university and an external library as well in the heart of the city where students from the centre of the city can access their saved files on the campus management systems anytime (McNab, 2007). The university has an enterprise wise system which integrates a lot of softwares and application under one umbrella and provides real time information sharing and generation to all the deaprtment to whome the information Is relevant.
To name a few departments using softwares, the university has a complete accounting and finance oeprations software to keep track of expenses and revenues, there is a library management system in order to fascilitate students while using the library, students have their own campus management system with which they are connected to the campus portal and can review their profiles, grades, reports and assignements from their registered courses. Also there are two hostels which have their own local area networks.
The two hostels have separate networks because of the fact that due to cultural reasons and university policy, female hostel and male hostel students cannot share files between them. there are a number of securtiy softwares that are in place in order to control authentication of users accessing the campus database. The local area networks provide both wire and wireless connection and authorises vistors at the campus premises to connect to the network, therefore there is a high risk of inwanted penetration into the main server and system through viruses and misuse of fascilities (McClure, 2009).
Above is an overview of the network system in place at the university. There is a centre IT building where there are around 1250 users including the IT staff that monitors and controls the servers. The IT staff belongs to different departments and serves them according to their need by enabling them to connect to the main server and share access information. The picture shows that every building has its own set of work station groups which means that every building has its own small local area network which is limited to access files in the same building.
However, they are also linked with the main server which gives limited access to each building depending on their need. The administration and the students all have their own querries and problems regarding the network and they all complaing about the system crashes and virus assaults at a high frequency. Upon survey the problem that was identified was mainly with the software and the hardware that were being used by the IT staff in order to provide and link the entire campus with the main server. Weaknesses
As it has been discussed above that there are two major weaknesses, that is hardware and software, in this part of the paper we will discuss how these weaknesses actually effect the enterprise performacne and operations of the IT department. As far as the hardware issues are concerned, most of the problems that are faced by the university are due to the mis-use and ease of connection with the networks. Wireless routers are spread all over the campus and thus they make the network accessible to even those users who donot belong to university but are located in the near abouts of the university.
The traffic on the network increases and thus the systems fail to respond as the hardware and systems installed with the main server are not capable to handle the load more then what they are actually designed for. This unwanted access to the network also creates problems for the securtiy of the system because these users are more likely to transfer viruses and infected files once they are connected as the IT department is unable to reach them in order to educate them how to keep there computers free from worms and viruses.
Moreover, these routers and local area connections in all the buildings are usually located out in the open, thus it is easier for them to get damaged or get overheated duet o sunlight and get damaged due to natural factors such as humidity. Thus, when the access from one point is lost, other points are overburdened and the systems crash resulting in data losses (McNab, 2007). As far as the software capabilities are concerned, one of the major problems is that the entire network has been designed on microsoft windows netwrok operating system.
Consequently the campus management systems that are designed are also designed keeping in mind the same operating system and are prone to security threats as much as the operating system itself. Students at both the hostels use the network more then any other building and consequently share heavy and large number of files 24/7. Most of the viruses that are there on the net are basically designed for windows operating system and the applications that are desgined for the same operating system, thus the heavy downloading by hostel students results in high frequency of viruses crashing the systems and infecting the servers quite frequetly.
Although antiviruses and security softwares are there to keep these worms from infecting the network and despite virus definition updates for the security systems, it is dificult to block all the threats. Improvements/Recommendations In order to cope up with the problems identified above, some recommendations are beiong presneted in this part of the report to make the network more reliable and stable and to abstain from more data and system losses.
The first recommendation is to analyze how many routers are needed to exactly cover the entire campus. The problem that others outside the campus can also access the system will be removed only if the system and wireless networks donot provide connectivity anywhere outside the campus boundaries. Moreover, another recommendation that will prove to be useful is that the rotuers and equipements must be kept in a safe surrounding. They must be enclosed in order to save them from damages such as water, humidity, damages due to malhandling or sunlight.
Same is the case with servers, there performance is effected if they are not kept in an air coinditioned environement because they need cool air otherwise there is a great chance that they will melt their own boards from their own heat that they emit (Cole, 2009). Secondly as far as the software are concerned, changing the entire system to linux is an option that most of the universitites and even the bigger enterprise are considering now. The reason is that the linux operating system does not allows any one exept the administrator to access the system files inorder to corrupt them and crash the system.
Also the operating system is to a very good extent virus and worm resistant and there are comparitvely less chances that students from the hostel and even those outiside the campus will be able to contribute to more system crashes. Linux is much faster, much lighter then windows and most of the applications that have to be bought by the university for windows are free on linux servers. As the linux operating system and the software applciations are faster, thus it will automatically increase the efficiency and the capabilities of existing servers as they will be able to process more information in current resources. he campus management systems can also be designed easliy on linux and there is not much to be done.
They will also get secure from viruses and will give securtiy to teachers and students to store their valuable doccuments and inforamtion on the campus management systems and access them whenever and where ever they want. Policies and Risks The policy of the university related to network system and hardware clearly states that it is the responsibility of both the management and the students to adhere to the rules, regulations, precautions and requirements by the system admistrators regarding network securtiy.
Therefore as the risk posed by the weaknesses that have been identified are high, thus, the policy also allows the administrators to block all the users from accessing the system if they donot adhere to the system security policy document. All the systems provided by the university will be tranformed from windows to linux and thus students will also be advised to do the same.
Incase they donot, the IT department will not be responsible for compatibility issues because of the fact that the securtiy that are recommended in this paper are the only option left for the campus IT management team and also is the best option for both the adminsitration and the students. The risks that are involved can provide illegal access to unauthorize users, can result in loss of data through viruses and also infiltration into intellectual property of students that they have worked upon for so many years and saved on the campus systems (Ousley, 2003).
The university is determined to have one of the best management systems in place and thus it will also require that the security measures will compliment this mission. Incase these issues are not addressed at the right time, the university will not only loose the money that it has spent on designing these systems, but also , will loose valuable data pertinent to students and their grades which will jeapordize the ratings of the university with respect to others in the region. This will prove to be a bad patch on the credibility of the information that the university releases to the industry for which it produces graduates.
Moreover, the students also require credibility and the access of the systems in safe adminsitration so that securtiy, fairness and integrity of data is maintained (McClure, 2009). Conclusion The reocmendations that have been provided to the university are crisp and clear and will surely contribute to add value to the service that it provides to the faculty, the administration and the stuidents who are the major stakeholders of the networks that are currently installed through the campuses that the universtiy operates.