COIT20249 Business Assessment Report
Please refer to the Unit Profile to see how this assessment item relates to the Unit Learning Outcomes.
This assignment is designed to stimulate critical thinking outside of the classroom by requiring students to write a formal academic report. You will need to follow the ARE process described in chapters 2 and 3 of Your Business Degree 2 (prescribed textbook for COIT20249) to analyse the assessment task, research relevant information and evaluate the information you find. This information should be used to write an academic report in which you present your findings or outcomes and make recommendations for future practice Professional writing and writing reports are described in chapters 4 and 5 of Your Business Degree 2. This assessment task will assess your skills in critical thinking, researching information, forming an opinion, academic writing, logical ordering of ideas and your ability to support your arguments with quotes from literature. These objectives will be measured by the ‘closeness of fit’ to meeting the assessment task, assessment requirements and marking criteria
Please note that there is a wealth of material available on the Moodle Unit website that you should use to help you through the process of searching for and gathering relevant information, evaluating that information and writing your report.
General Assessment Criteria
Assessments provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to achieve the required standard. To do this, assessment responses need to be both clear and easy to understand. If not, the University cannot determine that students have demonstrated their knowledge and skills. Assessments will, therefore, be marked accordingly including the potential for 0 (zero) marks where relevant.
The report must focus on the case study scenario given in the Assessment Task section. Any assessment items that do not address the case study scenario may be awarded 0 (zero) marks.
If you use Track Changes when writing your report you must ensure that the submitted document is the final and correct version of the document. That is, if your submitted report contains Track Changes or Comments or any other editing marks it may be awarded 0 (zero) marks. It is your responsibility to submit the final and correct version of your report.
The length of the report must be within the recommended range. If the report exceeds the maximum word count the marker will stop marking after 2750 words.
Moodle auto-submits draft files that are in Moodle at the originally set deadlines. Files that are auto-submitted will not be reverted to draft status except in extenuating circumstances (evidence required). It is your responsibility not to leave draft assessments in Moodle at the due date and time if the files are not ready to be submitted for marking. However, late submissions may attract penalties.
Students are required to write an academic report as per the format outlined in chapter 5 of the textbook. The report must follow the CQU APA referencing style. See the American Psychological Association (APA) abridged guide updated Term 2 2016 available from: https://www.cqu.edu.au/student-life/services-and-facilities/referencing/cquniversity-referencing-guides. Please note that the prescribed textbook uses APA referencing guidelines. See also the Referencing Style subsection below.
The report is to be based on the following case study scenario about network and information security technologies.
Almost all businesses use the Internet these days to offer various services to their customers. Some of these activities require collecting user/customer information including commercial transactions and exchange personal and/or sensitive information. While the internet is a very convenient option for both businesses and for customers, there are also risks associated in using the internet. Some of these risks are related to the potential for unauthorised access of information of customers; ranging from personal details and financial records to their online login details. Recently, there have been numerous incidents where hackers have accessed user information which have then been used for various purposes. There have been instances of ransomware and other malware attacks, and even publishing confidential client details leading to highly difficult situations for customers of some organisations. As a result, information and network security is becoming more and more important for organisations though improved security means additional costs for small organisations which do not command big budgets.
You have recently completed your postgraduate degree in the information systems/technology field of an Australian University. You are now working as the Research and Technology Assistant to the ICT manager of a small software organisation based in Melbourne. Your organisation was established less than 5 years ago. It develops and customises applications specialising in information and network security area. The clients of your organisation are mostly in the major cities of Australia and range from small to medium size organisations. At present, your organisation undertakes projects to develop applications in-house or to customise off-the shelf software in agreement with larger vendors. Your organisation’s current business scope is limited to that of development of applications. It is now exploring options to expand the business in the next five years to other branches within ICT, and to all parts of Australia and even overseas if possible.
One future option is to diversify the business into providing ongoing information and network security services to businesses that have an online presence. That will require managing the online security of those organisations; security of their websites and client databases. However, the Business Development Manager of your organisation has revealed that the potential client organisations for this new line of business could include online gambling organisations as well as small pharmaceutical and hospitality industry organisations.
There are some concerns among your executive management team that not all the potential client organisations may be engaging in socially acceptable ethical businesses. Yet, there is another school of thought within the management that your organisation must be more concerned about the bottom line (economic aspects) rather than the triple-bottom line aspects (social, environment and economic) aspects at this point in your organisation’s business life cycle.
Your ICT Manager has been asked by the CEO of your organisation to investigate the possibility of this expansion. He (your ICT Manager) has requested you to undertake preliminary research and draft a report that he can finalise and submit to the next Executive Management meeting.
Your research and the subsequent report should cover the following tasks:
- Definition/s of information and network security and the most up to date developments in the field. This investigation must consider different types of applications used in various industries and in different parts of the world. As a minimum, assess three information/network security applications currently in the market and their uses. Your report should not just focus on generic technology descriptions only but must identify actual examples of both information and/or network security solutions. Consider any success/failure factors. Research must focus on both Australian and global aspects in different industries.
- Based on the findings from the previous section, propose how you can use these applications to expand your organisation in the next five years. Discuss whether the organisation should focus on customising off-the-shelf applications as you have found, or develop products in-house to provide the ongoing security maintenance services to client organisations.
As a part of this analysis, consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of your solutions and the various risks with respect to the solution/s you propose. The Report must focus on security and technology aspects as a priority, and propose potential solutions to overcome any disadvantages/risks identified in your analysis. Additionally, explore the ethical, social and legal considerations that your organisation should consider as a part of the proposed strategy where some of the clients may not engaged in strictly ethical businesses. Discuss some proposals to address these concerns and make relevant recommendations.
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