ABC Accounting, Inc.: Comprehensive and Secure Solution (200 Points)
Assume you are a consultant to a local business that has asked you to propose an enterprise-wide solution that includes topology, network devices, IP infrastructure, and network security. The scenario is as follows:
A small accounting firm, ABC Accounting, Inc., landed a large account a year and a half ago that has already led the company to grow from five employees to 200 employees and expectations to employ 350 within a year’s time. In the face of continuing expansion, ABC plans to add offices in their current building that will span a total of three floors. At least one third of ABC employees have laptops and travel often.
All ABC employees have Windows 7 computers, which currently are not connected to each other.
You have been hired as a consultant to provide a detailed technical proposal that recommends a solution that addresses each of the detailed specifications that follow. Your solution regarding each specification should comprise a separate section of the body of your proposal.
Topology (type of network) and network devices
ABC needs to set up a network and requires clarification regarding the type of network (or topology) in order to properly configure the connections among all PCs within the organization.
The company is looking for guidance regarding the type of network devices that will connect the machines together. Brand is not mandated. The company asks that you explain what internal and external networking components are required (explaining each and justifying WHY you chose the network devices you did).
The network must have the capacity to:
Connect all users to company resources (e.g, printers, scanners, and other items).
Provide file sharing options.
Manage these resources in a central location.
All proposals should include cost elements.
ABC has asked that you provide details regarding an IP structure (which includes static, DHCP, or the possibility of both, and proper IP Class assignment) that is mindful of the company’s expectation of continued growth.
Basic security has always been in place and now the company would like you to make this a secure facility to protect against internal and external security threats.
Be sure to include details with respect to:
Social engineering/internal threats.
Your draft proposal should include each of the following sections, with each preceded by an appropriate heading:
Table of Contents
Body, including a separate section for each numbered item in the specifications above
Any appendices you feel appropriate
All Academic papers should include a cover page with your name, date, school name, section, course name, and instructor name.
Support each of your four proposed elements by citing at least one credible source, which may be ITS310 module content, material from the Network Pro LabSim, and/or any credible outside source. Your paper should be 8-10 pages in length with document and citation formatting per the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA Requirements.
Comprehensive and Secure Solution: ABC Accounting, Inc.
Organizational expansion and development demand the improvement of systems to ensure enhanced efficiency and improvement of quality in organizational services delivery. An efficient IT infrastructure is critical for the continued development of an organization. The development of a good IT infrastructure promises efficiency in communication, sharing of information, effective storage and retrieval of such information, and organizational security. The infrastructure limits misuse of information within the organization or access by unauthorized individuals. Moreover, an excellent IT infrastructure enhances agility, potency, and allows the integration of applications that are directed towards the enhancement of the Company’s efficiency. As the ABC Accounting, Inc. continues to grow, there is a need to develop an effective system that addresses key issues concerning management of information and resources, minimizes insecurity and threats within the company’s IT infrastructure, and enhances general effectiveness within the system. This report offers an enterprise-wide solution that recommends an efficient system including topology, IP infrastructure, network devices, and network security.
The company should focus on the implementation of the hybrid topology. The most effective combination for the hybrid topology will be the star and tree topologies. This combination will be fast, easily upgradable, and lower costs of maintenance and management. Also, it will allow easy troubleshooting, setup, and modification. In addition, though installation is costly, its efficiency and reliability in the performance of different tasks will prove cost-effective in the long-term. This type of topology will be effective in the ABC Accounting, Inc., which will have three floors and numerous computers. The integrated topologies will work efficiently with the different work units. Organizing the structure to ensure that each work unit has an IT department and a supervisor with clearly demarcated roles and responsibilities will enhance effectiveness and ensure efficiency in the organization. Moreover, the hybrid topology will give room for the different IT departments and supervisors to work co-jointly and relate with the chief information officer. The process will minimize any internal and external threats and make sure that the security of the system is guaranteed.
The company should create an employee portal that will offer a platform for accessing work-related resources, allow interaction between employees and the management, and access to organizational news. The portal will serve as the entry point for ABC’s intranet. The internet-based private network that uses Internet protocols and services creates a private network with limit access for the ABC employees and management. There is a need for the company to create a user interface that connects internet routes and the internal network lines but ensures the protection of the interface from unauthorized users. The company should consider setting up an intranet site that will allow employees access to the organization’s system through authorized computers or entrance through an established secure mechanism. The IT team may integrate software and hardware protections to create the secure path between the intranet and the internet (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013). The combination of the protections guarantees a secure system that will limit the use of information by unauthorized individuals.
Local Area Network
The ABC Accounting, Inc., should establish a local area network to enhance information sharing within the organization. The local area network (LAN) will make it possible for employees and the management to share information using personal computers (nodes) and work units within the organization. Additionally, it will allow efficient communication through enhanced information sharing among the computers and other electronic devices such as printers and scanners among others. According to Uden, Liberona, and Welzer (2014), a LAN allows the organization to control the group of computers and all associated devices within the organization. As such, it makes it possible for an organization to integrate multiple applications and store data that is then shared by the multiple computers within the organization. Of greater importance, however, is that the organization should focus on the integration of the wireless and Ethernet LAN to enhance the effectiveness of the system. This process will improve communication and information sharing within the ABC Accounting, Inc.
Wireless and Ethernet Connections
The Wireless and Ethernet LAN boost communication and information sharing by making it possible for employees using desktops and laptops to share information and communicate effectively. For instance, the Wireless LAN allows users to move their laptops from place to place within the company and allow the synchronization of data and sharing of application across various devices. The LAN technologies increase organizational and individual flexibility and improve services delivery thus driving the organization towards the achievement of the set objectives/goals. However, the cost of the installation of the WLAN and Ethernet is significantly high but will benefit the organization immensely. The LANs will allow fast and efficient transmission of data, information sharing, and communication compared to other methods of cheaper installation such as the telephone system. They also have a wider application within an organization.
The Virtual Private Network
Most employees of the ABC Accounting, Inc. travel often across the world. While traveling, they need to access the corporate intranet for organizational news, corporate duties, and to communicate with other employees and the management. There is, therefore, a need for the organization to implement and integrate a virtual private network to allow traveling employees to access the corporate intranet. According to Wager, Lee, and Glaser (2013), the VPN allows the transmission of information and data across public or shared networks as if the computing device is directly connected to the organization’s intranet. The ABC must, however, ensure the VPN and the LANs are secure to minimize unauthorized access and internal and external threats.
Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Assessment
Upon the implementation of the different strategies, the company faces specific threats and vulnerabilities. There is the need for the company to establish a team of IT experts to develop and maintain security within the organization. For instance, malicious internal or external entities may gain unauthorized access to the company’s intranet through the LAN and wireless connections thus bypassing the firewall protections available (Cremers & Mauw, 2012). In such instances, the entities may misuse client information causing mistrust from the customers. Also, poorly encrypted or unencrypted sensitive information transmitted between the devices may be intercepted and leaked thus harming the organization’s reputation. The corruption of data due to improper synchronization and loss of laptops and personal computing devices may lead to the loss of sensitive information (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013). As such, there is a need for the company to establish an efficient security system or firewalls.
The IT and Security teams will have to work closely to minimize threats and secure the systems and corporate information and data. Firewall protection will support the development of an access control policy between the organization networks through a system or a combination of systems. The protection will include software that protect the computing devices and resources and, which may integrate hardware and policies that target protecting organizational resources, information, data, and access and sharing of such resources. The ABC Accounting, Inc. should incorporate a proxy server firewall (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013). The firewall protection will not require a huge amount of money and will be cost-effective in the long-term.
Authentication and Security Protocols
According to Boyd and Mathuria (2013), there is a need for any organization to establish effective security protocols and user authentication to make sure that the systems are secure. The authentication in the organization should include passwords, biometric authentication systems, and tokens. Using these authentication processes would minimize internal and external threats. Even when passwords and tokens are widely used today, they offer weak security and thus can be manipulated easily. Also, tokens ca be stolen and used by other individuals within the organization. As such, it would be critical for the company to use the biometric identification system which utilizes biological data such as voiceprint, handprint, retinal scan, fingerprint, or full body scan (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2013). However, this is an expensive security measure that would require significantly high capital compared to the passwords and tokens. On the other hand, security protocols such as cryptographic keys are shared, short, and cannot be updated automatically and thus despite their lower cost of implementation may prove ineffective.
The implementation of an efficient and comprehensive security plan will be critical for the ABC Accounting, Inc. as it continues to expand. The company must focus on the establishment of a secure and an efficient system that allows fast and effective communication and transmission of data and information. The implementation of the proposed plan will ascertain the security of the organization. Though it will be costly to install the topology and integrate the different network devices and security, the systems will be efficient and will play a significant role in leading the company towards the achievement of corporate strategy and increased growth.
Boyd, C., & Mathuria, A. (2013). Protocols for Authentication and Key Establishment. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Cremers, C., & Mauw, S. (2012). Operational semantics and verification of security protocols. Berlin : Springer.
Uden, L., Liberona, D., & Welzer, T. (2014). Learning Technology for Education in Cloud. New York: Springer.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2013). Health Care Information Systems: A Practical Approach for Health Care Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons.