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Information Systems Assignment Question
Structure of the Research Paper
The reading of the journal papers for your first assignment, the Essay, has already provided you with good understanding on how a paper is written. When you write your research paper, you will be addressing it to the specific situation of your organisation. However, imagine that you would want to publish it in a journal so that other organisations can also think about your guidelines.
Organise your research paper in the following way:
- Title (you are required to provide your paper's title)
- Your name and student number
- Abstract (about 100 words)
- Body context (you could divide into several sub-sections if required)
The word-count limit for the introduction, body and conclusion of this paper is set at about 3,000 words. Use five (5) or more resources for your citing and referencing in Harvard style. Make sure to provide the name of the organisation as well as the URL, values, vision, and mission statement.
Please note that all assessment items in this course must adhere to the correct Harvard citing and referencing. For this purpose links have been provided to you on the study desk. However, you can consult the library web site for further details and clarifications.
Information Systems Assignment Solution
Current setup and changing needs
Traditionally the company has been making use of VPN to allow the branch offices to have secure access to the company resources. This set up of VPN is currently serving as a cost-effective and feasible solution in a number of ways (Ferrigni, 2003).
· Firstly, It is helping the company to allow for secured access to a number of users, based on a system which can effectively control the access rights
· It is helping to enhance the productivity of the remote workers
· It is allowing for reduction in communication costs and promoting more flexibility.
The current arrangement occurring within the company to facilitate the VPN is in the form of IPsec VPN as shown in Figure 1 given below. This method of VPN requires that an end user should have a VPN client software installed in his system. The user makes use of the internet to reach the company firewall and starts the process of key Exchange (Phifer, 2012). After the authentication has been done, the VPN tunnel or pipe is created and either of the two options, tunnel and transport is run. In the transport mode, only the transport layer part of the packet undergoes encryption, whereas in the tunnel mode the entire packet undergoes encryption. The strength of this method is that it provides a significant level of reliability with regard to confidentiality and integrity. By making use of universal cryptographic standards like MD5 SHA, or 3DES it allows a robust encryption. Figure 1 below illustrates the current method of IPsec VPN (Phifer, 2012).
The IPsec method of VPN, although serving the current purpose is not capable enough to meet the changing needs of the organization in a number of ways, as discussed below (Phifer, 2012).
· The biggest problem with IPsec VPN is that it requires a pre-installed VPN software on the remote computer. This makes an issue for the 'Anywhere Access' philosophy which the company currently operates on.
· While allowing access to external business users several issues arise. Many times the external users like partners and suppliers tend to have problems installing the client software at their end which leads to a lot of support calls.
· The use of IPsec allows access to an entire subnet of the corporate network. This creates several kinds of risks. For example, if the client PC gets infected with any kind of malware like Trojan or Virus, there is a possibility of it spreading within the entire network of the company (cisco.com, 2014). It could also possibly be used by hackers to gain unauthorized access.
· Also, since the connection passes through the firewall, it always requires the reconfiguration of firewall policies. This reconfiguration requires opening by ports of the firewall for configuring the type of user and his access (Faura, 2005). Opening up of ports can be a threat.
· It also requires Network Address Translations (NAT), since the internal resources have proprietary IPs. NAT tables can gain huge complexity with rising number of users.
· Also, this also gives rise to interoperability between the vendors. VPN client of one vendor might not be compatible with the other (Faura, 2005). Many times the sales teams or consultants of CloudReach have to connect to a number of VPNs. This again gives rise to a lot of issues in configuration management.
In order to overcome the disadvantages of the existing IPsec VPN and to gain more business advantage, converting the IPsec VPN to SSL form would be a recommended solution.
(Some parts of the solution has been blurred due to privacy protection policy)