Term Paper: Dobson Farm Products System Analysis

Pages: 8 (2592 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The software choice will need to be customized for the perceived needs and further consultation will be needed to select a software package that both accomplishes management goals and integrates well with other departmental software.

Information Isolation and Integration

Various departments will transmit information and reports via a company email system. A password system will be established to ensure that certain information cannot be passed to the wrong person, or accessed by an unauthorized viewer. An interoffice communications system will be set up to meet these needs.

Perceived Security Needs

Corporate espionage and theft are not new ideas. However the Internet has made information easier to access by a larger number of users. There are many types of hackers with many different motivations. Some do it for fun, some do it to steal personal information, some do it as a part of a challenge or dare, some are involved in corporate espionage, and some get into somewhere that they were not supposed to be by accident. It is not perceived that the security needs of a poultry and egg production facility would be as high as those that secure monetary information, such as a bank. However, there are those who may wish to obtain personal information on an employee or competitors who may wish to do harm to the system. Each department will have secured information as well. Although the perceived security risk is relatively low, there still needs to be some form of protection.

Security measures will involve setting up a separate server called a "Proxy Server." This offers better protection than a firewall, but works in basically the same manner. The Proxy server uses a set of data validation techniques and protocols, which can be custom configured to either allow or disallow information to be sent or received. A proxy server will be set up for the entire system as a type of gatekeeper. Only authorized personnel will be able to gain access to this system or transmit information.

Departmental information will involve setting up each department on a separate server, which is password protected. The person will have to enter the correct user ID and password to gain entry. In some departments, such as Human Resources, the information may be further segmented by a separate harddrive, which is password protected.

Certain information will be transmitted using the latest encryption technology available. Messages will be sent using 128-bit encryption. Encryption means simply changing the message into code and then de-coding it when it reaches to proper recipient. This will give an extra-added level of security.

Just as we lock our doors when we leave our house. The security measures proposed will provide a triple lock on the most sensitive information. First, the intruder must get through the first lock on the main system, which is the proxy server. Then they must get into the particular departmental hard drive. Even if they do get through the password "lock," they must then be able to break the encryption code. However, even these measures do not make the system invulnerable to those who truly wish to access it. It does make it considerably more difficult and only the most committed will access the system.

Hardware and Software Recommendations

There are several platforms, which can act as the communications backbone of the system. Windows NT offers the best options as far as security is concerned. Windows NT is advertised as the best system for security and stability. However, it has been the experience of this consulting firm that NT tends to crash at a high frequency. In theory it should not experience the frequency of interruptions that is does. The reality is that NT is does offer the advertised security, but can be costly in the long run in data recovery and downtime. It management chooses to use Windows NT, it is suggested that they also invest in an extensive data back-up and storage device.

The other potential communications backbone is Novell. It has proven to be the most stable system with the lowest amount of downtime. However, Novell is not as secure as NT and is easily broken into. This can be corrected by adding a proxy server to the entire system. The choice between Novell and Windows NT is a fifty-fifty split, depending on what is more important in management's mind, network security or stability with less downtime.

Both of these solutions will be approximately equal in cost. The disadvantages of there system can be solved with the purchase of another device. Due to the low desirability of the information, it is recommended that management go with the Novell backbone and a proxy server. Novell will work well with the Windows operating system suggested for most departments.

It is suggested that the PCs be Pentium Class processors. This will cause fewer incompatibility problems with integration. It is also recommended that Windows be used an all systems, as it is the most commonly used system for similar applications. It is easy to use for most average users. All systems within the system should be identical, except for specific software in certain departments. This will make the system easy to add on to and expand in the future, as it is a simple matter of adding another unit. One does not have to make an Apple or Macintosh talk to and IBM.


The current system will not meet the proposed expansion of facilities and staff. The proposed upgrades will provide the most stable and secure system for the growing enterprise. The system will meet the current needs as well as be easily expanded and upgraded to meet future needs.

Computer Systems Analysts, Inc. will continue consulting with the various departments and managers to assess needs and help with the set up of the new system. We will provide training for the staff and trouble shooting of the new system. We can also offer administration services as well through our highly qualified staff. Computer Systems Analysts, Inc. helps to make the purchase of a computer system cost effective. We will be there now, and in the future for your entire network needs.

Works Cited

Wilson, Tom, Information-seeking Behavior: Designing Information Systems to meet our

Clients' Needs. Department of Information Studies. ACURIL: Association of Caribbean

University, Research and Institutional Libraries. XXV Conference, 1995.

Zich, Janet. Design an Information System To Fit the Organization. Stanford University.

School of Business News releases. 2002. http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/research/faculty/news_releases/haim.mendelson/design.htm Accessed August 2002. [END OF PREVIEW]

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