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Applying Information Security and SDLC to Business: Amazon.com, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1623

Research Paper

Founded in 1994, Jeff Bezos started Amazon from his Washington State garage selling books. Nick Hanauer soon would invest $40,000 followed by Tom Alburg who invested $100,000. This allow Bezos design a website that appealed to more customers to sell books,  the website, Amazon.com took off in three years with increased book sales that amounted to over $15 million in revenue. Bezos decided to let other products be sold on the website, and his revenue grew increasingly. Amazon is now one of the largest known online retailers in the world. Amazon specifically works online and allows users with internet access to purchase books online. This paper will describe what software and hardware components, networks, and data Amazon uses along with the management of software. This paper will also provide an explanation of the technology that enables Amazon to operate including explaining the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methods and a detailed disaster recovery plan.

Current Technology

Bezos started with a basic technology system and then updated to Linux database. Linux is similar to UNIX because it is an operating system. Linux is user friendly and comes with its own firewall that protects transactions from their customers. Amazon currently runs through satellite communication technology that utilizes cloud technology in order to be accessible and allow for faster transactions, and provide Amazon to continuously add applications to make their website more efficient. Amazon has the world’s three largest databases using a total of capacity of terabytes. One of the systems used it ETL, which collects different data from one source and integrates it into another.

Because the system runs continually and has a large capacity a team with IS, personnel works around the clock to monitor the systems development, and can be ready in the event of a system failure (Layton, 2007). Information security within Amazon’s system is essential to providing secure transactions for customers and ensuring all personal information. Amazon Simple Storage Service is an application vital to customers who use Amazon on a regular basis. This service provides discounts on large orders but also transfer data to minor cost. Amazon sells and handles millions of transaction daily. Amazon must provide the appropriate database necessary for handling vast amounts of data. Amazon decided Oracle 9i database is the best option. Oracle is a large database server that provides protection to servers by restricting unauthorized users. Oracle 11g is an updated version from Oracle 9i and would be beneficial to Amazon; however, Oracle 9i still provides the necessary server protection to meet the needs of Amazon. Amazon encrypts all data that flow through their websites and databases. They encrypt customer personal information by translating to symbols and codes in order to prevent hackers from deciphering information. Their fail safe methods are allowing customers to use several purchases methods including, PayPal, Check, Credit Card, Gift Card, or by partially entering information and calling customer service to complete the transactions.

System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

The process of SDLC lends itself to the development of software aimed at an information application system that serves a company from the viewpoint of meeting customer expectations, and covering every possible enhancement that is desired in the system definition phase. Every desire in organizational function is placed on the table for discussion during the “system definition” phase, and from this planning process timelines for completion, and a budget to reach completion is determined. In addition to the initial requirements and budgetary constraints comes the evolution and change in desire, and team stability (Kroenke, 2012). The most crucial elements to project success are maintaining the same team members from conception to finish. In achieving system definition the team has defined the goals of the project, and the organizational functions for the desired application. Requirement analysis of the information gathered during system definition requires the team to further breakdown the desired system to assure project goals are on track. This process assist in assuring that clarity has been defined within the project regarding the creation of the application. Complication in project scheduling and budgetary constraint can occur during this phase, with change in technology (Kroenke, 2012). Continuing with the SDLC model will bring the team to “component design,” and during this phase further description of the desired application features will come to light. This phase will describe design features for the organization that detail the company business regulations, desired screen layout, pull downs, illustrations, and other documentation that will assure productivity for staff, customers and vendors that will use the application. Therefore, completion of this phase will bring the team to what the new system and its desired subsystems will accomplish in function, and how those functions will appear to the user. Each designed function can potentially send the team into a tailspin as technology changes during the process can cause the process to slow. Following component design is the implementation of the created system, and the task remaining is to build, test, and convert the users to the new system. (Kroenke, 2012)

Each subsystem with the system must be tested to assure that complete functionality to the specifications desired from conception. The project is nearing completion, and this phase demonstrates the teamwork that has been accomplished to date with potentially painful outcomes. To avoid the delay each element with the intended functions must test out to the expectations originally desired in system definition. The evolution of those requirements may have adjusted during the project journey from conception, but the created system must be tested for complications. The test plan will consist of the functions that users will execute in the new system, and also examine the incorrect functions to assure error messages will be displayed (Kroenke, 2012). Completion of the implementation phase brings the new system to maintenance. Maintenance of the system will last from the point of implementation, and last throughout its life span. Maintenance may include a variety changes in enhancements, and system failures. Much time and expense go into system development, and an organization should heavily consider the option to purchase an already existing collaboration tool like Microsoft Office 365. A company’s move towards a product like Microsoft Office 365 may be prudent when considering the applications capability to deliver collaboration within the company, and to customers and vendors.

Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan is a structured plan put into place to reduce the amount of loss a business endures in the event of a disaster. An important step to the success of a recovery plan is not only to create it but maintain the business activities on a daily basis. The first steps of a DRP are, forming a business impact analysis. Any viral attack on Amazon can impact their business seriously. A business will have dealings with customers daily from placing orders for products, services, and payments. In order to ensure customer information, a mitigation system for the website is needed in case of intrusion threats, spoofing, tampering, or a slowdown in website loading. In the event of a disaster, Amazon guarantees customers their data will be available after a major disaster. By conducting the Conduct Risk Assessment, Amazon can ensure this with data backup systems, a review of data security, and identifying vulnerabilities. Amazon does give their customers space to protect his or her information along with back-up. Amazon Web Service (AWS) this is where the most up-to-date information can be seen along with space that is needed and at what cost. Forming the DRP strategy will give business the steps to take when a disaster occurs. At the physical location, if a natural disaster happens, groups will be educated on knowing the correct procedures in shutting down all electronics, backup up data, and moving to a secure location. The groups will then proceed to the proper exits making sure to first check off all the correct “To Do” steps before locking up. Employees will need to be educated on the importance in performing critical activities during an emergency with a timeline for the completion of each activity. The more employees’ participate in the recovery plan increases the chance of success and improvement for the disaster recovery plan. The better prepared an employee decreases the amount of errors (Layton, 2007). In formulating the DRP for Amazon, the vendor, backup, and alternative locations are essential in protecting data. Roles and responsibilities are to be given, and a run through should be done on a monthly basis with the correct plan in place with all the security, and safety procedures.

Amazons utilizes an Oracle 9i platform that provides an up to date system that secures their data and databases. Their data is communicated through satellite communication that is protecting customers with encryption that transfers a customer’s personal information into codes and symbols. System development life cycle is a system definition phase to create a process that would be beneficial to a business unless it is a failure. However, using and existing collaboration tool like Microsoft Office 365 and can be intertwined with existing programs to ensure success when implementing new technology on the website. The Disaster Recovery Plan is essential in reducing the impact in the event of a loss. Employees need to be trained and explain the importance of keeping track of a business’s activity.  Information on backup procedures, alternative systems, and facilities is essential in the protection and continual operation of Amazon’s system.

References

“Amazon Web Services.” (n.d). AWB. Retrieved from http://aws.amazon.com/

Kroenke, D. M. (2012). MIS Essentials (2nd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Layton, J. (2007). How Amazon Works Online. How Stuff Works. Retrieved from http://money.howstuffworks.com/amazon1.htm

Microsoft Office Division New Bites, Microsoft Office 365 is Here (2011). Retrieved from http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_mod_news_bites_blog/archive/2011/06/28microsoft-office-365-is-here.aspx

Olivarez-Giles, N. (2011, September). Technology – Amazon.com testing new website design. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://latimes.com/technology/2011/09/amazoncom-testing-new-website-design.html

“Step by Step Guide.” (n.d). MSU. Retrieved from http://www.drp.msu.edu/documentation/stepbystepguide.htm

 

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