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CHAPTER 12 Managing SystemsSupport andSecurityChapter 12 describes systems support and security tasks that continue throughout the useful life of the system. In addition to user support, this chapter discusses maintenance, security, backup and disaster recovery, performance measurement, and system obsolescence. Explain the systems support and security phase Describe user support activities, including user training and service desks Define the four types of maintenance Explain various techniques for managing systems maintenance and support Describe techniques for measuring, managing, and planning system performance Explain risk management concepts Assess system security at six levels: physical security, network security, application security, file security, user security, and procedural security Describe backup and disaster recovery List factors indicating that a system has reached the end of its useful life Assess future challenges and opportunities for IT professionals Develop a strategic plan for career advancement and strong IT credentialsINTRODUCTIONOBJECTIVESWhen you finish this chapter, you will be able to:Managing systems support and security involves three main concerns: user expectations, system performance, and security requirements.A systems analyst is like an internal consultant who provides guidance, support, and training. Successful systems often need the most support because users want to learn the features, try all the capabilities, and discover how the system can help them perform their tasks. In most organizations, more than half of all IT department effort goes into supporting existing systems.This chapter begins with a discussion of systems support, including user training and service desks. You will study the four main types of maintenance: corrective, adaptive, perfective, and preventive. You also will learn how the IT group uses maintenance teams, configuration management, and maintenance releases, and you will examine system performance issues and maintenance tools. You will analyze the security system at each of the six security levels: physical security, network security, application security, file security, user security, and procedural security. You will also learn about data backup and recovery issues. Finally, you will learn how to recognize system obsolescence, and about some of the challenges and opportunities you are likely to face as an IT professional.PREVIEW CASE: Mountain View College BookstoreBackground: Wendy Lee, manager of college services at Mountain View College, wants a new information system that will improve efficiency and customer service at the three college bookstores.In this part of the case, Tina Allen (systems analyst) and David Conroe (student intern) are talking about operation, support, and security issues for the new system. Participants: Tina and David Location: Tina’s office, Friday afternoon, March 28, 2014 Project status: Tina and David successfully implemented the bookstore information system. Now they will discuss strategies for supporting, maintaining, and securing the new system. Discussion topics: Support activities, training, maintenance, techniques for managing systems operation, enhancing system performance and security, and detecting system obsolescence Tina: Well, we finally made it The system is up and running and the users seem satisfied. Now we focus on supporting the system and ensuring that it delivers its full potential, and is properly secured and protected. David: How do we do that? Tina: First, we need to set up specific procedures for handling system support and maintenance. We’ll set up a service desk that will offer user training, answer technical questions, and enhance user productivity. David: Sounds good. I’ll set up a training package for new users who missed the initial training sessions. Tina: That’s fine. You also should learn about the four types of maintenance. Users typically ask for help that requires corrective maintenance to fix problems or adaptive maintenance to add new features. As IT staff, we will be responsible for perfective maintenance, which makes the system more efficient, and preventive maintenance to avoid problems. David: Anything else for us to do? Tina: Yes, we’ll need a system for managing maintenance requests from users. Also, we’ll need to handle configuration management, maintenance releases, and version control. These tools will help us keep the system current and reduce unnecessary maintenance costs. David: What about keeping tabs on system performance issues? Tina: That’s important, along with capacity planning to be sure the system can handle future growth. David: What about system security? Tina: Good question. We’ll look at physical security, network security, application security, file security, user security, and procedural security. We’ll also look at backup and disaster recovery issues. David: Sounds like we’ll be busy for quite a while. Tina: Well, that depends on the system itself and user expectations. Every system has a useful life, including this one. We’ll try to get a good return on our investment, but we’ll also watch for signs of obsolescence. Here are some tasks we can work on: FIGURE 12-1 Typical systems support and security task list.© Cengage Learning 2014OVERVIEWThe systems support and security phase begins when a system becomes operational and continues until the system reaches the end of its useful life. Throughout the development process, the objective has been to create an information system that is efficient, easy to use, and affordable. After delivering the system, the IT team focuses on support and maintenance tasks.The first part of this chapter covers four main topics. You will learn how to provide user support, maintain the system, manage the maintenance process, and handle system performance issues.USER SUPPORTCompanies provide user support in many forms, including user training and a service desk to provide technical support and assistance.User TrainingIn Chapter 11, you learned about initial training that is performed when a new system is introduced. Additionally, new employees must be trained on the company’s information systems. For example, a firm that produces electronic assemblies must train its new employees, as shown in Figure 12-2.If significant changes take place in the existing system or if a new version is released, the IT department might develop a user training package. Depending on the nature of the changes, the package could include online support via e-mail, a special Web site, a revision to the user guide, a training manual supplement, or formal training sessions. Training users about system changes is similar to initial training. The main objective is to show users how the system can help them perform their jobs.Service DesksAs systems and data structures become more complex, users need constant support and guidance. To make data more accessible and to empower users, many IT departments create service desks. A service desk, also called a help desk or information center (IC), is a centralized resource staffed by IT professionals who provide users with the support they need to do their jobs. A service desk has three main objectives: (1) Show people how to use system resources more effectively, (2) provide answers to technical or operational questions, and (3) make users more productive by teaching them how to meet their own information needs. A service desk is the first place users turn when they need information or assistance.A service desk does not replace traditional IT maintenance and support activities. Instead, service desks enhance productivity and improve utilization of a company’s information resources.FIGURE 12-2 Whether a company is training manufacturing technicians, data entry personnel, or customer service representatives, employees need high-quality instruction to perform their jobs efficiently.© iStockPhoto/fatihhocaService desk representatives need strong interpersonal and technical skills plus a solid understanding of the business because they interact with users in many departments. A service desk should document carefully all inquiries, support tasks, and activity levels. The information can identify trends and common problems and can help build a technical support knowledge base.A service desk can boost its productivity by using remote control software, which allows IT staff to take over a user’s workstation and provide support and troubleshooting. Popular examples of remote control software include GoToMyPC by Citrix, LogMeln Pro by LogMeln, and PC Now by WebEx, among many others.FIGURE 12-3 A service desk, also called a help desk or an information center, provides support to system users, so that users hopefully will not have the experience shown in the Dilbert© example on page 503.© Shutterstock/Konstantin ChaginDuring a typical day, the service desk staff members shown in Figure 12-3 might have to perform the following tasks: Show a user how to create a data query or report that displays specific business information Resolve network access or password problems Demonstrate an advanced feature of a system or a commercial package Help a user recover damaged data Offer tips for better operation Explain an undocumented software feature Show a user how to use Web conferencing Explain how to access the company’s intranet or the Internet Assist a user in developing a simple database to track time spent on various projects Answer questions about software licensing and upgrades Provide information about system specifications and the cost of new hardware or software Recommend a system solution that integrates data from different locations to solve a business problem Provide hardware support by installing or reconfiguring devices such as scanners, printers, network cards, wireless devices, optical drives, backup devices, and multimedia systems Show users how to maintain data consistency and integrity among a desktop computer, a notebook computer, and a handheld computer or smartphone Trouble shoot software issues via remote control utilitiesIn addition to functioning as a valuable link between IT staff and users, the service desk is a central contact point for all IT maintenance activities. The service desk is where users report system problems, ask for maintenance, or submit new systems requests. A service desk can utilize many types of automated support, just as outside vendors do, including e-mail responses, on-demand fax capability, an online knowledge base, frequently asked questions (FAQs), discussion groups, bulletin boards, and automated voice mail. Many vendors now provide a live chat feature for online visitors.Outsourcing IssuesAs you learned in Chapter 7, many firms outsource various aspects of application development. This trend also includes outsourcing IT support and service desks. As with most business decisions, outsourcing has pros and cons. Typically, the main reason for outsourcing is cost reduction. Offshore call centers can trim expenses and free up valuable human resources for product development.However, firms have learned that if tech support quality goes down, customers are likely to notice and might shop elsewhere. Critical factors might include phone wait times, support staff performance, and online support tools. The real question is whether a company can achieve the desired savings without endangering its reputation and customer base. Risks can be limited, but only if a firm takes an active role in managing and monitoring support quality and consistency.MAINTENANCE TASKSThe systems support and security phase is an important component of TCO (total cost of ownership) because ongoing maintenance expenses can determine the economic life of a system.TOOLKIT TIMEThe Financial Analysis tools in Part C of the Systems Analyst’s Toolkit can help you analyze and manage maintenance costs, and determine when a system is reaching the end of its useful life. To learn more about these tools, turn to Part C of the four-part Toolkit that follows Chapter 12Figure 12-4 shows a typical pattern of operational and maintenance expenses during the useful life of a system. Operational costs include items such as supplies, equipment rental, and software leases. Notice that the lower area shown in Figure 12-4 represents fixed operational expenses, while the upper area represents maintenance expenses.Maintenance expenses vary significantly during the system’s operational life and include spending to support maintenance activities. Maintenance activities include changing programs, procedures, or documentation to ensure correct system performance; adapting the system to changing requirements; and making the system operate more efficiently. Those needs are met by corrective, adaptive, perfective, and preventive maintenance.FIGURE 12-4 The total cost of operating an information system includes operational and maintenance costs. Operational costs (green) are relatively constant, while maintenance costs (purple) vary over time.© Cengage Learning 2014Although some overlap exists, four types of maintenance tasks can be identified, as shown by the examples in Figure 12-5. Corrective maintenance is performed to fix errors, adaptive maintenance adds new capability and enhancements, perfective maintenance improves efficiency, and preventive maintenance reduces the possibility of future system failure. Some analysts use the term maintenance to describe only corrective maintenance that fixes problems. It is helpful, however, to view the maintenance concept more broadly and identify the different types of tasks.FIGURE 12-5 Corrective maintenance fixes errors and problems. Adaptive maintenance provides enhancements to a system. Perfective maintenance improves a system’s efficiency, reliability, or maintainability. Preventive maintenance avoids future problems.© Cengage Learning 2014Maintenance expenses usually are high when a system is implemented because problems must be detected, investigated, and resolved by corrective maintenance. Once the system becomes stable, costs usually remain low and involve minor adaptive maintenance. Eventually, both adaptive and perfective maintenance activities increase in a dynamic business environment.Near the end of a system’s useful life, adaptive and corrective maintenance expenses increase rapidly, but perfective maintenance typically decreases when it becomes clear that the company plans to replace the system. Figure 12-6 on the next page shows the typical patterns for each of the four classifications of maintenance activities over a system’s life span.Corrective MaintenanceCorrective maintenance diagnoses and corrects errors in an operational system. To avoid introducing new problems, all maintenance work requires careful analysis before making changes. The best maintenance approach is a scaled-down version of the SDLC itself, where investigation, analysis, design, and testing are performed before implementing any solution. Recall that in Chapter 11you learned about the difference between a test environment and an operational environment. Any maintenance work that could affect the system must be performed first in the test environment, and then migrated to the operational system.FIGURE 12-6 Information systems maintenance depends on the type of maintenance and the age of the system.© Cengage Learning 2014IT support staff respond to errors in various ways, depending on the nature and severity of the problem. Most organizations have standard procedures for minor errors, such as an incorrect report title or an improper format for a data element. In a typical procedure, a user submits a systems request that is evaluated, prioritized, and scheduled by the system administrator or the systems review committee. If the request is approved, the maintenance team designs, tests, documents, and implements a solution.As you learned in Chapter 2, many organizations use a standard online form for systems requests. In smaller firms, the process might be an informal e-mail message. For more serious situations, such as incorrect report totals or inconsistent data, a user submits a systems request with supporting evidence. Those requests receive a high priority and a maintenance team begins work on the problem immediately.The worst-case situation is a system failure. If an emergency occurs, the maintenance team bypasses the initial steps and tries to correct the problem immediately. This often requires a patch, which is a specially written software module that provides temporary repairs so operations can resume. Meanwhile, a written systems request is prepared by a user or a member of the IT department and added to the maintenance log. When the system is operational again, the maintenance team determines the cause, analyzes the problem, and designs a permanent solution. The IT response team updates the test data files, thoroughly tests the system, and prepares full documentation. Regardless of how the priorities are set, a standard ranking method can be helpful. For example, Figure 12-7 shows a three-level framework for IT support potential impact.FIGURE 12-7 This three-level ranking framework for IT support considers potential impact and response urgency.© Cengage Learning 2014The process of managing system support is described in more detail starting on page 512, including an overview of maintenance tasks and a procedural flowchart, which is shown in Figure 12-10 on page 515.Adaptive MaintenanceAdaptive maintenance adds enhancements to an operational system and makes the system easier to use. An enhancementis a new feature or capability. The need for adaptive maintenance usually arises from business environment changes such as new products or services, new manufacturing technology, or support for a new Web-based operation.The procedure for minor adaptive maintenance is similar to routine corrective maintenance. A user submits a systems request that is evaluated and prioritized by the systems review committee. A maintenance team then analyzes, designs, tests, and implements the enhancement. Although the procedures for the two types of maintenance are alike, adaptive maintenance requires more IT department resources than minor corrective maintenance.A major adaptive maintenance project is like a small-scale SDLC project because the development procedure is similar. Adaptive maintenance can be more difficult than new systems development because the enhancements must work within the constraints of an existing system.Perfective MaintenancePerfective maintenance involves changing an operational system to make it more efficient, reliable, or maintainable. Requests for corrective and adaptive maintenance normally come from users, while the IT department usually initiates perfective maintenance.During system operation, changes in user activity or data patterns can cause a decline in efficiency, and perfective maintenance might be needed to restore performance. When users are concerned about performance, you should determine if a perfective maintenance project could improve response time and system efficiency.Perfective maintenance also can improve system reliability. For example, input problems might cause a program to terminate abnormally. By modifying the data entry process, you can highlight errors and notify the users that they must enter proper data. When a system is easier to maintain, support is less costly and less risky. In many cases, you can simplify a complex program to improve maintainability.In many organizations, perfective maintenance is not performed frequently enough. Companies with limited resources often consider new systems development, adaptive maintenance, and corrective maintenance more important than perfective maintenance. Managers and users constantly request new projects, so few resources are available for perfective maintenance work. As a practical matter, perfective maintenance can be performed as part of another project. For example, if a new function must be added to a program, you can include perfective maintenance in the adaptive maintenance project.Perfective maintenance usually is cost effective during the middle of the system’s operational life. Early in systems operation, perfective maintenance usually is not needed. Later, perfective maintenance might be necessary, but have a high cost. Perfective maintenance is less important if the company plans to discontinue the system.When performing perfective maintenance, analysts often use a technique called software reengineering. Software reengineering uses analytical techniques to identify potential quality and performance improvements in an information system. In that sense, software reengineering is similar to business process reengineering, which seeks to simplify operations, reduce costs, and improve quality — as you learned in Chapter 1.Programs that need a large number of maintenance changes usually are good candidates for reengineering. The more a program changes, the more likely it is to become inefficient and difficult to maintain. Detailed records of maintenance work can identify systems with a history of frequent corrective, adaptive, or perfective maintenance.FIGURE 12-8 Regardless of the type of system, high-quality maintenance must be performed by trained professionals.DoD photo by Airman Charlie Whetstine, U.S. NavyPreventive MaintenanceTo avoid problems, preventive maintenance requires analysis of areas where trouble is likely to occur. Like perfective maintenance, the IT department normally initiates preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance often results in increased user satisfaction, decreased downtime, and reduced TCO. Preventive maintenance competes for IT resources along with other projects, and sometimes does not receive the high priority that it deserves.Regardless of the type of maintenance, computer systems must be supported by trained professionals, just as the aircraft shown in Figure 12-8 must be serviced by skilled technicians. In both cases, the quality of the maintenance will directly affect the organization’s success.CASE IN POINT 12.1: OUTBACK OUTSOURCING, INC.You are a systems analyst at Outback Outsourcing, a firm that handles payroll processing for many large companies. Outback Outsourcing uses a combination of payroll package programs and in-house developed software to deliver custom-made payroll solutions for its clients. Lately, users have flooded you with requests for more new features and Web-based capability to meet customer expectations. Your boss, the IT manager, comes to you with a question. She wants to know when to stop trying to enhance the old software and develop a totally new version better suited to the new marketplace. How would you answer her?MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENTSystem maintenance requires effective management, quality assurance, and cost control. To achieve these goals, companies use various strategies, such as a maintenance team, a maintenance management program, a configuration management process, and a maintenance release procedure. In addition, firms use version control and baselines to track system releases and analyze the system’s life cycle. These concepts are described in the following sections.The Maintenance TeamA maintenance team includes a system administrator and one or more systems analysts and programmers. The system administrator should have solid technical expertise, and experience in troubleshooting and configuring operating systems and hardware. Successful analysts need a strong IT background, solid analytical abilities, good communication skills, and an overall understanding of business operations.SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORA system administrator manages computer and network systems. À system administrator must work well under pressure, have good organizational and communication skills, and be able to understand and resolve complex issues in a limited time frame. In most organizations, a system administrator has primary responsibility for the operation, configuration, and security of one or more systems. The system administrator is responsible for routine maintenance, and usually is authorized to take preventive action to avoid an immediate emergency, such as a server crash, network outage, security incident, or hardware failure.Systems administration is a vital function, and various professional associations, such as SAGE, which is shown in Figure 12-9, offer a wide variety of technical information and support for system administrators. Notice that SAGE members subscribe to a code of ethics that includes professionalism, integrity, privacy, and social responsibility, among other topics.SYSTEMS ANALYSTSSystems analysts assigned to a maintenance team are like skilled detectives who investigate and rapidly locate the source of a problem by using analysis and synthesis skills. Analysis means examining the whole in order to learn about the individual elements, while synthesisinvolves studying the parts to understand the overall system. In addition to strong technical skills, an analyst must have a solid grasp of business operations and functions. Analysts also need effective interpersonal and communications skills, and they must be creative, energetic, and eager for new knowledge.FIGURE 12-9 SAGE seeks to establish standards of professional excellence, improve the technical skills of its members, and promote a comprehensive code of ethics.© 2012 The USENIX AssociationPROGRAMMERSIn a small organization, a programmer might be expected to handle a wide variety of tasks, but in larger firms, programming work tends to be more specialized. For example, typical job titles include an applications programmer, who works on new systems development and maintenance; a systems programmer, who concentrates on operating system software and utilities; and a database programmer, who focuses on creating and supporting large-scale database systems. Many IT departments also use a job title of programmer/analystto designate positions that require a combination of systems analysis and programming skills.ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUESIT managers often divide systems analysts and programmers into two groups: One group performs new system development, and the other group handles maintenance. Some organizations use a more flexible approach and assign IT staff members to various projects as they occur. By integrating development and support work, the people developing the system assume responsibility for maintaining it. Because the team is familiar with the project, additional training or expense is unnecessary, and members are likely to have a sense of ownership from the onset.Unfortunately, many analysts feel that maintenance is less interesting and creative than developing new systems. In addition, an analyst might find it challenging to trouble-shoot and support someone else’s work that might have been poorly documented and organized.Some organizations that have separate maintenance and new systems groups rotate people from one assignment to the other. When analysts learn different skills, the organization is more versatile and people can shift to meet changing business needs. For instance, systems analysts working on maintenance projects learn why it is important to design easily maintainable systems. Similarly, analysts working on new systems get a better appreciation of the development process and the design compromises necessary to meet business objectives.One disadvantage of rotation is that it increases overhead because time is lost when people move from one job to another. When systems analysts constantly shift between maintenance and new development, they have less opportunity to become highly skilled at any one job.Newly hired and recently promoted IT staff members often are assigned to maintenance projects because their managers believe that the opportunity to study existing systems and documentation is a valuable experience. In addition, the mini-SDLC used in many adaptive maintenance projects is good training for the full-scale systems development life cycle. For a new systems analyst, however, maintenance work might be more difficult than systems development, and it might make sense to assign a new person to a development team where experienced analysts are available to provide training and guidance.CASE IN POINT 12.2: BRIGHTSIDE INSURANCE, INC.As IT manager at Brightside Insurance Company, you organized your IT staff into two separate groups — one team for maintenance projects and the other team for new systems work. That arrangement worked well in your last position at another company. Brightside, however, previously made systems assignments with no particular pattern.At first, the systems analysts in your group did not comment about the team approach. Now, several of your best analysts have indicated that they enjoyed the mix of work and would not want to be assigned to a maintenance team. Before a problem develops, you have decided to rethink your organizational strategy. Should you go back to the way things were done previously at Brightside? Why or why not? Do other options exist? What are they?Maintenance RequestsTypically, maintenance requests involve a series of steps, as shown in Figure 12-10. After a user submits a request, a system administrator determines whether immediate action is needed and whether the request is under a prescribed cost limit. In nonemergency requests that exceed the cost limit, a systems review committee assesses the request and either approves it, with a priority, or rejects it. The system administrator notifies affected users of the outcome.Users submit most requests for corrective and adaptive maintenance when the system is not performing properly, or if they want new features. IT staff members usually initiate requests for perfective and preventive maintenance. To keep a complete maintenance log, all work must be covered by a specific request that users submit in writing or by e-mail.FIGURE 12-10 Although the procedure varies from company to company, the chart shows a typical process for handling maintenance requests.© Cengage Learning 2012INITIAL DETERMINATIONWhen a user submits a maintenance request, the system administrator makes an initial determination. If the request is justifiable and involves a severe problem that requires immediate attention, the system administrator takes action at once. In justifiable, but noncritical, situations, the administrator determines whether the request can be performed within a preauthorized cost level. If so, he or she assigns the maintenance tasks and monitors the work.THE SYSTEMS REVIEW COMMITTEEWhen a request exceeds a predetermined cost level or involves a major configuration change, the systems review committee either approves it and assigns a priority, or rejects it.TASK COMPLETIONThe system administrator usually is responsible for assigning maintenance tasks to individuals or to a maintenance team. Depending on the situation and the company’s policy, the system administrator might consider rotating assignments among the IT staff or limiting maintenance tasks to certain individuals or teams, as explained in the previous section.USER NOTIFICATIONUsers who initiate maintenance requests expect a prompt response, especially if the situation directly affects their work. Even when corrective action cannot occur immediately, users appreciate feedback from the system administrator and should be kept informed of any decisions or actions that could affect them.Establishing PrioritiesIn many companies, the systems review committee separates maintenance and new development requests when setting priorities. In other organizations, all requests are considered together, and the most important project gets top priority, whether it is maintenance or new development.Some IT managers believe that evaluating all projects together leads to the best possible decisions because maintenance and new development require similar IT department resources. In IT departments where maintenance and new development are not integrated, it might be better to evaluate requests separately. Another advantage of a separate approach is that maintenance is more likely to receive a proportional share of IT department resources.The most important objective is to have a procedure that balances new development and necessary maintenance work to provide the best support for business requirements and priorities.Configuration ManagementConfiguration management (CM), sometimes referred to as change control (CC), is a process for controlling changes in system requirements during software development. Configuration management also is an important tool for managing system changes and costs after a system becomes operational. Most companies establish a specific process that describes how system changes must be requested and documented.As enterprise-wide information systems grow more complex, configuration management becomes critical. Industry standards have emerged, and many vendors offer configuration management software and techniques, as shown in Figure 12-11.CM is especially important if a system has multiple versions that run in different hardware and software environments. Configuration management also helps to organize and handle documentation. An operational system has extensive documentation that covers development, modification, and maintenance for all versions of the installed system. Most documentation material, including the initial systems request, project management data, end-of-phase reports, data dictionary, and the IT operations and user manuals, is stored in the IT department.Keeping track of all documentation and ensuring that updates are distributed properly are important aspects of configuration management.FIGURE 12-11 CM Crossroads provides a source of information and resources for configuration management professionals.© 1998–2011 CMC Media, Inc.Maintenance ReleasesKeeping track of maintenance changes and updates can be difficult, especially for a complex system. When a maintenance release methodology is used, all noncritical changes are held until they can be implemented at the same time. Each change is documented and installed as a new version of the system called a maintenance release.For an in-house developed system, the time between releases usually depends on the level of maintenance activity. A new release to correct a critical error, however, might be implemented immediately rather than saved for the next scheduled release.When a release method is used, a numbering pattern distinguishes the different releases. In a typical system, the initial version of the system is 1.0, and the release that includes the first set of maintenance changes is version 1.1. A change, for example, from version 1.4 to 1.5 indicates relatively minor enhancements, while whole number changes, such as from version 1.0 to 2.0 or from version 3.4 to 4.0, indicate a significant upgrade.The release methodology offers several advantages, especially if two teams perform maintenance work on the same system. When a release methodology is used, all changes are tested together before a new system version is released. This approach results in fewer versions, less expense, and less interruption for users. Using a release methodology also reduces the documentation burden because all changes are coordinated and become effective simultaneously.A release methodology also has some potential disadvantages. Users expect a rapid response to their problems and requests, but with a release methodology, new features or upgrades are available less often. Even when changes would improve system efficiency or user productivity, the potential savings must wait until the next release, which might increase operational costs.Commercial software suppliers also provide maintenance releases, often called service packs, as shown in Figure 12-12 on the next page. As Microsoft explains, a service pack contains all the fixes and enhancements that have been made available since the last program version or service pack.Version ControlVersion control is the process of tracking system releases, or versions. When a new version of a system is installed, the prior release is archived, or stored. If a new version causes a system to fail, a company can reinstall the prior version to restore operations. In addition to tracking system versions, the IT staff is responsible for configuring systems that have several modules at various release stages. For example, an accounting system might have a one-year-old accounts receivable module that must interface with a brand-new payroll module.FIGURE 12-12 A Microsoft service pack provides access to up-to-date drivers, tools, security patches, and customer-requested product changes.Screenshots used with permission from Microsoft.Most firms use commercial applications to handle version control for complex systems, such as ERP. Serena Software’s PVCS Version Manager, which is shown in Figure 12-13, is a popular example. Serena, a longtime provider of version control solutions, states that PVCS Version Manager can help meet compliance, documentation, and traceability requirements in regulated industries. Serena also mentions that the product uses a “snapshot” technique to capture development effort at any given point in time.BaselinesA baselineis a formal reference point that measures system characteristics at a specific time. Systems analysts use baselines as yardsticks to document features and performance during the systems development process. The three types of baselines are functional, allocated, and product.The functional baseline is the configuration of the system documented at the beginning of the project. It consists of all the necessary system requirements and design constraints.The allocated baseline documents the system at the end of the design phase and identifies any changes since the functional baseline. The allocated baseline includes testing and verification of all system requirements and features.The product baseline describes the system at the beginning of system operation. The product baseline incorporates any changes made since the allocated baseline and includes the results of performance and acceptance tests for the operational system.FIGURE 12-13 The more complex the system, the more important the task of version control. Commercial software packages, such as this example from Serena Software, can help companies maintain controls and reduce costs.© 2012 Serena Software Inc.SYSTEM PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENTYears ago, when most firms used a central computer for processing data, it was relatively simple to manage a system and measure its efficiency. Today, companies use complex networks and client/server systems to support business needs. A user at a client workstation often interacts with an information system that depends on other clients, servers, networks, and data located throughout the company. Rather than a single computer, it is the integration of all those components that determines the system’s capability and performance. In many situations, IT managers use automated software and CASE tools to manage complex systems.To ensure satisfactory support for business operations, the IT department must manage system faults and interruptions, measure system performance and workload, and anticipate future needs. The following sections discuss these topics.Fault ManagementNo matter how well it is designed, every system will experience some problems, such as hardware failures, software errors, user mistakes, and power outages. A system administrator must detect and resolve operational problems as quickly as possible. That task, often called fault management, includes monitoring the system for signs of trouble, logging all system failures, diagnosing the problem, and applying corrective action.The more complex the system, the more difficult it can be to analyze symptoms and isolate a cause. In addition to addressing the immediate problem, it is important to evaluate performance patterns and trends. Windows 8 and Windows 7 include a built-in fault management feature called Resource Monitor, which is shown in Figure 12-14 on the next page. Resource Monitor can evaluate CPU, memory, disk, and network activity in real time, and save the data in a log file. In addition to automated notification, fault management software can identify underlying causes, speed up response time, and reduce service outages.Although system administrators must deal with system faults and interruptions as they arise, the best strategy is to prevent problems by monitoring system performance and workload.FIGURE 12-14 Windows Resource Monitor displays CPU, memory, disk, and network activity in real time.Screenshot used with permission from MicrosoftPerformance and Workload MeasurementIn e-business, slow performance can be as devastating as no performance at all. Network delays and application bottlenecks affect customer satisfaction, user productivity, and business results. In fact, many IT managers believe that network delays do more damage than actual stoppages because they occur more frequently and are difficult to predict, detect, and prevent. Customers expect reliable, fast response 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To support that level of service, companies use performance management software, which is available from many vendors, including Cisco, Sun, and HP, among others.To measure system performance, many firms use benchmark testing, which uses a set of standard tests to evaluate system performance and capacity. In addition to benchmark testing, performance measurements, called metrics, can monitor the number of transactions processed in a given time period, the number of records accessed, and the volume of online data. Network performance metrics include response time, bandwidth, throughput, and turnaround time, among others.RESPONSE TIMEResponse time is the overall time between a request for system activity and the delivery of the response. In the typical online environment, response time is measured from the instant the user presses the ENTER key or clicks a mouse button until the requested screen display appears or printed output is ready. Response time is affected by the system design, capabilities, and processing methods. If the request involves network or Internet access, response time is affected by data communication factors.Online users expect an immediate response, and they are frustrated by any apparent lag or delay. Of all performance measurements, response time is the one that users notice and complain about most.BANDWIDTH AND THROUGHPUTBandwidth and throughput are closely related terms, and many analysts use them interchangeably. Bandwidthdescribes the amount of data that the system can transfer in a fixed time period. Bandwidth requirements are expressed in bits per second. Depending on the system, you might measure bandwidth in Kbps (kilobits per second), Mbps (megabits per second), or Gbps (gigabits per second). Analyzing bandwidth is similar to forecasting the hourly number of vehicles that will use a highway in order to determine the number of lanes required.Throughputmeasures actual system performance under specific circumstances and is affected by network loads and hardware efficiency. Throughput, like bandwidth, is expressed as a data transfer rate, such as Kbps, Mbps, or Gbps. Just as traffic jams delay highway traffic, throughput limitations can slow system performance and response time. That is especially true with graphics-intensive systems and Web-based systems that are subject to Internet-related conditions.In addition to the performance metrics explained in the previous section, system administrators measure many other performance characteristics. Although no standard set of metrics exists, several typical examples are: Arrivals — The number of items that appear on a device during a given observation time. Busy — The time that a given resource is unavailable. Completions — The number of arrivals that are processed during a given observation period. Queue length — The number of requests pending for a service. Service time — The time it takes to process a given task once it reaches the front of the queue. Think time — The time it takes an application user to issue another request. Utilization — How much of a given resource was required to complete a task. Wait time — The time that requests must wait for a resource to become available.The Computer Measurement Group (CMG®) maintains a site, shown in Figure 12-15, that provides support and assistance for IT professionals concerned with performance evaluation and capacity planning.TURNAROUND TIMETurnaround time applies to centralized batch processing operations, such as customer billing or credit card statement processing. Turnaround time measures the time between submitting a request for information and the fulfillment of the request. Turnaround time also can be used to measure the quality of IT support or services by measuring the time from a user request for help to the resolution of the problem.The IT department often measures response time, bandwidth, throughput, and turnaround time to evaluate system performance both before and after changes to the system or business information requirements. Performance data also is used for cost-benefit analyses of proposed maintenance and to evaluate systems that are nearing the end of their economically useful lives.Finally, management uses current performance and workload data as input for the capacity planning process.FIGURE 12-15 The Computer Measurement Group is a nonprofit organization that primarily is concerned with performance evaluation and capacity management.© Computer Measurement Group, Inc.Capacity PlanningCapacity planning is a process that monitors current activity and performance levels, anticipates future activity, and forecasts the resources needed to provide desired levels of service.As the first step in capacity planning, you develop a current model based on the system’s present workload and performance specifications. Then you project demand and user requirements over a one- to three-year time period and analyze the model to see what is needed to maintain satisfactory performance and meet requirements. To assist you in the process, you can use a technique called what-if analysis.What-if analysis allows you to vary one or more elements in a model in order to measure the effect on other elements. For example, you might use what-if analysis to answer questions such as: How will response time be affected if we add more PC workstations to the network? Will our client/server system be able to handle the growth in sales from the new Web site? What will be the effect on server throughput if we add more memory?Powerful spreadsheet tools also can assist you in performing what-if analysis. For example, Microsoft Excel contains a feature called Goal Seek that determines what changes are necessary in one value to produce a specific result for another value. In the example shown in Figure 12-16, a capacity planning worksheet indicates that the system can handle 3,840 Web-based orders per day, at 22.5 seconds each. The user wants to know the effect on processing time if the number of transactions increases to 9,000. As the Goal Seek solution in the bottom figure shows, order processing will have to be perfwormed in 9.6 seconds to achieve that goal.FIGURE 12-16 In this Goal Seek example, the user wants to know the effect on processing time if the number of daily transactions increases from 3,840 to 9,000.© Cengage Learning 2014When you plan capacity, you need detailed information about the number of transactions; the daily, weekly, or monthly transaction patterns; the number of queries; and the number, type, and size of all generated reports. If the system involves a LAN, you need to estimate network traffic levels to determine whether or not the existing hardware and software can handle the load. If the system uses a client/server design, you need to examine performance and connectivity specifications for each platform.Most important, you need an accurate forecast of future business activities. If new business functions or requirements are predicted, you should develop contingency plans based on input from users and management. The main objective is to ensure that the system meets all future demands and provides effective support for business operations. Some firms handle their own capacity planning, while others purchase software and services from companies such as TeamQuest, shown in Figure 12-17.TOOLKIT TIMEThe CASE tools in Part B of the Systems Analyst’s Toolkit can help you document business functions and processes, develop graphical models, and provide an overall framework for information system development. To learn more about these tools, turn to Part B of the four-part Toolkit that follows Chapter 12.System Maintenance ToolsYou can use automated tools that provide valuable assistance during the operation and support phase. Many CASE tools include system evaluation and maintenance features, including the following examples: Performance monitor that provides data on program execution times Program analyzer that scans source code, provides data element cross-reference information, and helps evaluate the impact of a program change Interactive debugging analyzer that locates the source of a programming error Reengineering tools Automated documentation Network activity monitor Workload forecasting toolIn addition to CASE tools, you also can use spreadsheet and presentation software to calculate trends, perform what-if analyses, and create attractive charts and graphs to display the results. Information technology planning is an essential part of the business planning process, and you probably will deliver presentations to management. You can review Part A of the Systems Analyst’s Toolkit for more information on using spreadsheet and presentation software to help you communicate effectively.FIGURE 12-17 TeamQuest is an example of a firm that offers capacity planning software and services.© 2012 TeamQuest CorporationSYSTEM SECURITY OVERVIEWSecurity is a vital part of every information system. Securityprotects the system, and keeps it safe, free from danger, and reliable. In a global environment that includes many types of threats and attacks, security is more important than ever. This section includes a discussion of system security concepts, risk management, and common attacks against the system.FIGURE 12-18 System security must provide information confidentiality, integrity, and availability.© Cengage Learning 2014System Security ConceptsThe CIA triangle in Figure 12-18 shows the three main elements of system security: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Confidentiality protects information from unauthorized disclosure and safeguards privacy. Integrityprevents unauthorized users from creating, modifying, or deleting information. Availabilityensures that authorized users have timely and reliable access to necessary information. The first step in managing IT security is to develop a security policy based on these three elements. Although it is beyond the scope of this chapter, the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) shown in Figure 12-19 is a portal to a broad array of built-in security tools and techniques.FIGURE 12-19 The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) includes built-in security tools, such as password and lock-out policies, audit policies, user rights, and security configurations, among others.Screenshot used with permission from Microsoft.Risk ManagementIn the real world, absolutesecurity is not a realistic goal. Instead, managers must balance the value of the assets being protected, potential risks to the organization, and security costs. For example, it might not be worth installing an expensive video camera monitoring system to protect an empty warehouse. To achieve the best results, most firms use a risk management approach that involves constant attention to three interactive tasks: risk identification, risk assessment, and risk control, as shown in Figure 12-20.Risk identification analyzes the organization’s assets, threats, and vulnerabilities. Risk assessment measures risk likelihood and impact. Risk control develops safeguards that reduce risks and their impact.RISK IDENTIFICATIONThe first step in risk identification is to list and classify business assets. An assetmight include company hardware, software, data, networks, people, or procedures. For each asset, a risk manager rates the impact of an attack and analyzes possible threats. A threatis an internal or external entity that could endanger an asset. For example, threat categories might include natural disasters, software attacks, or theft, as shown in Figure 12-21.Next, the risk manager identifies vulnerabilities and how they might be exploited. A vulnerabilityis a security weakness or soft spot, and an exploitis an attack that takes advantage of a vulnerability. To identify vulnerabilities, a risk manager might ask questions like these: Could backers break through the proxy server? Could employees retrieve sensitive files without proper authorization? Could people enter the computer room and sabotage our servers? Each vulnerability is rated and assigned a value. The output of risk identification is a list of assets, vulnerabilities, and ratings.FIGURE 12-20 Risk management requires continuous risk identification, assessment, and control.© Cengage Learning 2014RISK ASSESSMENTIn IT security terms, a riskis the impact of an attack multiplied by the likelihood of a vulnerability being exploited. For example, an impact value of 2 and a vulnerability rating of 10 would produce a risk of 20. On the other hand, an impact value of 5 and a vulnerability rating of 5 would produce a risk of 25. When risks are calculated and prioritized, critical risks will head the list. Although ratings can be subjective, the overall process provides a consistent approach and framework.FIGURE 12-21 System threats can be grouped into several broad categories. Note the examples provided for each category.© Cengage Learning 2014RISK CONTROLAfter risks are identified and assessed, they must be controlled. Control measures might include the following examples: We could place a firewall on the proxy server; We could assign permissions to sensitive files; We could install biometric devices to guard the computer room. Typically, management chooses one of four risk control strategies: avoidance, mitigation, transference, or acceptance. Avoidanceeliminates the risk by adding protective safeguards. For example, to prevent unauthorized access to LAN computers, a secure firewall might be installed. Mitigationreduces the impact of a risk by careful planning and preparation. For example, a company can prepare a disaster recovery plan in case a natural disaster occurs. Transferenceshifts the risk to another asset or party, such as an insurance company. Acceptancemeans that nothing is done. Companies usually accept a risk only when the protection clearly is not worth the expense.The risk management process is iterative — risks constantly are identified, assessed, and controlled. To be effective, risk managers need a combination of business knowledge, IT skills, and experience with security tools and techniques.Attacker Profiles and AttacksAn attackis a hostile act that targets the system, or the company itself. Thus, an attack might be launched by a disgruntled employee, or a hacker who is 10,000 miles away. Attackers break into a system to cause damage, steal information, or gain recognition, among other reasons. Attackers can be grouped into categories, as shown in Figure 12-22, while Figure 12-23 describes some common types of attacks.The following sections discuss how companies combat security threats and challenges by using a multilevel strategy.FIGURE 12-22 IT security professionals have coined labels for various types of attackers.© Cengage Learning 2014SECURITY LEVELSTo provide system security, you must consider six separate but interrelated levels: physical security, network security, application security, file security, user security, and procedural security. Like the chain shown in Figure 12-24 on page 528, system security is only as strong as the weakest link. The following sections describe these security levels, and the issues that must be addressed. Top management often makes the final strategic and budget decisions regarding security, but systems analysts should understand the overall picture in order to make informed recommendations.FIGURE 12-23 Attacks can take many forms, as this table shows. IT security managers must be able to detect these attacks and respond with suitable countermeasures.© Cengage Learning 2014Physical SecurityThe first level of system security concerns the physical environment, including IT resources and people throughout the company. Special attention must be paid to critical equipment located in operations centers, where servers, network hardware, and related equipment operate. Large companies usually have a dedicated room built specifically for IT operations. Smaller firms might use an office or storage area. Regardless of its size and shape, an operations center requires special protection from unwanted intrusion. In addition to centrally located equipment, all computers on the network must be secure because each server or workstation can be a potential access point. Physical access to a computer represents an entry point into the system and must be controlled and protected.FIGURE 12-24 Each security link has a specific focus, and the overall chain is only as strong as the weakest link.© Cengage Learning 2014OPERATIONS CENTER SECURITYPerimeter security is essential in any room or area where computer equipment is operated or maintained. Physical access must be controlled tightly, and each entrance must be equipped with a suitable security device. All access doors should have internal hinges and electromagnetic locks that are equipped with a battery backup system to provide standby power in the event of a power outage. When the battery power is exhausted, the doors should fail in a closed position, but it should be possible for someone locked inside the room to open the door with an emergency release.To enhance security, many companies are installing biometric scanning systems, which map an individual’s facial features, fingerprints, handprint, or eye characteristics, as shown in Figure 12-25. These high-tech authentication systems replace magnetic identification badges, which can be lost, stolen, or altered.Video cameras and motion sensors can be used to monitor computer room security and provide documentation of all physical activity in the area. A motion sensor uses infrared technology to detect movement, and can be configured to provide audible or silent alarms, and to send e-mail messages when one is triggered. Other types of sensors can monitor temperature and humidity in the computer room. Motion sensor alarms can be activated at times when there is no expected activity in the computer room, and authorized technicians should have codes to enable or disable the alarms.SERVERS AND DESKTOP COMPUTERSIf possible, server and desktop computer cases should be equipped with locks. This simple, but important, precaution might prevent an intruder from modifying the hardware configuration of a server, damaging the equipment, or removing a disk drive. Server racks should be locked to avoid the unauthorized placement and retrieval of keystroke loggers. A keystroke logger is a device that can be inserted between a keyboard and a computer. Typically, the device resembles an ordinary cable plug, so it does not call attention to itself. The device can record everything that is typed into the keyboard, including passwords, while the system continues to function normally. Keystroke loggers can be used legitimately to monitor, back up, and restore a system, but if placed by an intruder, a keystroke logger represents a serious security threat.FIGURE 12-25 Companies use biometric scanning to analyze the features of the eye’s iris, which has more than 200 points that can be measured and used for comparison.© Andy Piatt/ShutterstockIn addition to hardware devices, keystroke logging software also exists. A keystroke logging program can be disguised as legitimate software and downloaded from the Internet or a company network. The program remains invisible to the user as it records keystrokes and uploads the information to whoever installed the program. Such malicious software can be removed by antivirus and antispyware software, discussed later in the Application Security section.Tamper-evident cases should be used where possible. A tamper-evident case is designed to show any attempt to open or unlock the case. In the event that a computer case has been opened, an indicator LED remains lit until it is cleared with a password. Tamper-evident cases do not prevent intrusion, but a security breach is more likely to be noticed. Many servers now are offered with tamper-evident cases as part of their standard configuration.Monitor screen savers that hide the screen and require special passwords to clear should be used on any server or workstation that is left unattended. Locking the screen after a period of inactivity is another safeguard. Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 allow an administrator to include this feature in security policies. Also, you can use a BIOS-level password, also called a boot-level password or a power-on password, that must be entered before the computer can be started. A boot-level password can prevent an unauthorized person from booting a computer by using a CD-ROM or USB device.Finally, companies must consider electric power issues. In mission-critical systems, large-scale backup power sources are essential to continue business operations. In other cases, computer systems and network devices should be plugged into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that includes battery backup with suitable capacity. The UPS should be able to handle short-term operations in order to permit an orderly backup and system shutdown.PORTABLE COMPUTERSWhen assessing physical security issues, be sure to consider additional security provisions for notebook, laptop, and tablet computers. Because of their small size and high value, these computers are tempting targets for thieves and industrial spies. Although the following suggestions are intended as a checklist for notebook computer security, many of them also apply to desktop workstations. Select an operating system, such as Windows 8, that allows secure logons, BIOS-level passwords, and strong firewall protection. You can also select hardware that allows you to require BIOS-level passwords. Also, log on and work with a user account that has limited privileges rather than an administrator account, and mask the administrator account by giving it a different name that would be hard for a casual intruder to guess. Mark or engrave the computer’s case with the company name and address, or attach a tamper-proof asset ID tag. Many hardware vendors allow corporate customers to add an asset ID tag in the BIOS. For example, after powering up, you might see the message: Property of SCR Associates — Company Use Only. These measures might not discourage a professional thief, but might deter a casual thief, or at least make your computer relatively less desirable because it would be more difficult to use or resell. Security experts also recommend that you use a generic carrying case, such as an attaché case, rather than a custom carrying case that calls attention to itself and its contents. Also be sure to complete and submit all manufacturer registration cards. Consider devices that have a built-in fingerprint reader, such as the laptop fingerprint scanner shown in Figure 12-26 on the next page.FIGURE 12-26 Some notebook computers feature a fingerprint reader, which is a small metallic sensor located near the keyboard or display.© MadTatyana/Shutterstock Many notebook computers have a Universal Security Slot (USS) that can be fastened to a cable lock or laptop alarm. Again, while these precautions might not deter professional thieves, they might discourage and deter casual thieves. Back up all vital data before using the notebook computer outside the office. Also, instead of using your computer’s hard drive, save and transport highly sensitive data on removable media, such as a flash memory device. Use tracking software that directs your laptop periodically to contact a security tracking center. If your notebook is stolen, the call-in identifies the computer and its physical location. Armed with this information, the security tracking center can alert law enforcement agencies and communications providers. As shown in Figure 12-27, Absolute Software sells a product called LoJack for Laptops, which offers call-in service, as well as a remote data erase capability. Some versions of the product even provide a payment if the firm does not recover your stolen laptop. While traveling, try to be alert to potential high-risk situations, where a thief, or thieves, might attempt to distract your attention and snatch your computer. These situations often occur in crowded, noisy places like airport baggage claim areas, rental car counters, and security checkpoints. Also, when traveling by car, store your computer in a trunk or lockable compartment where it will not be visible. Establish stringent password protection policies that require minimum length and complexity, and set a limit on how many times an invalid password can be entered before the system locks itself down. In some situations, you might want to establish file encryption policies to protect extremely sensitive files.CASE IN POINT 12.3: OUTER BANKS COUNTYOuter Banks County is a 200-square-mile area in coastal North Carolina, and you are the IT manager. The county has about a hundred office employees who perform clerical tasks in various departments. A recent budget crisis has resulted in a wage and hiring freeze, and morale has declined. The county manager has asked you to install some type of keystroke logger to monitor employees and determine whether they are fully productive. After your conversation, you wonder whether there might be some potential privacy and security issues involved.For example, does an employer have a duty to notify its employees that it is monitoring them? Should the employer notify them even if not required to do so? From a human resources viewpoint, what would be the best way to approach this issue? Also, does a potential security issue exist? If an unauthorized person gained possession of the keystroke log, he or she might be able to uncover passwords and other sensitive data.What are your conclusions? Are these issues important, and how would you respond to the county manager’s recommendation? Before you answer, you should go on the Internet and learn more about keystroke loggers generally, and specific products that currently are available.Network SecurityA networkis defined as two or more devices that are connected for the purpose of sending, receiving, and sharing data, which is called network traffic. In order to connect to a network, a computer must have a network interface, which is a combination of hardware and software that allows the computer to interact with the network. To provide security for network traffic, data can be encrypted, which refers to a process of encoding the data so it cannot be accessed without authorization.FIGURE 12-27 Many students use LoJack on their notebook computers. The product offers automated call-in identification and remote data erase capability.©2012 Absolute Software CorporationENCRYPTING NETWORK TRAFFICNetwork traffic can be intercepted and possibly altered, redirected, or recorded. For example, if an unencrypted, or plain text, password or credit card number is transmitted over a network connection, it can be stolen. When the traffic is encrypted, it still is visible, but its content and purpose are masked.Figure 12-28 shows an example of encrypted traffic compared to plain text traffic. In the upper screen, the user has logged on using a password of sad10e. Notice that anyone who gains access to this data easily could learn the user’s password. In the lower screen, the user has logged on to a secure site, such as an online bank account, and used a password, but the encryption process has made it impossible to decipher the keystrokes.Two commonly used encryption techniques are private key encryption and public key encryption. Private key encryption is symmetric because a single key is used to encrypt and decrypt information. While this method is simple and fast, it poses a fundamental problem. To use symmetric encryption, both the sender and receiver must possess the same key beforehand, or it must be sent along with the message, which increases the risk of interception and disclosure.In contrast, public key encryption (PKE) is asymmetric, because each user has a pair of keys: a public key and a private key. Public keys are used to encrypt messages. Users can share their public keys freely, while keeping their private keys tightly guarded. Any message encrypted with a user’s public key can only be decrypted with that user’s private key. This method is commonly used in secure online shopping systems.FIGURE 12-28 The upper screen shows an example of unencrypted text, which contains a visible password. In the lower screen, the encrypted text cannot be read.© Cengage Learning 2014A recent Wikipedia article at an interesting analogy. The article suggests that PKE is similar to a locked mailbox with a mail slot that is accessible to the public. The mailbox’s location (street address) represents the public key. Anyone knowing the street address can drop a message through the slot. However, only a person with a key can open the box and read the message.WIRELESS NETWORKSAs you learned in Chapter 10, wireless network security is a vital concern because wireless transmission is much more vulnerable than traffic on a wired network. However, if wireless traffic is encrypted, any data that is intercepted by an unintended recipient will be useless to the intruder.The earliest form of wireless security, called Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), required each wireless client to use a special, preshared key. Although this method was used by many home and small office networks, it provided relatively weak protection.WEP was replaced by Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which offered major security improvements based on protocols created by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The most recent wireless security enhancement, called WPA2, further strengthens the level of wireless protection. WPA2 is an extension of WPA based on a full implementation of the IEEE 802.11i standard. According to the WiFi Alliance, the WPA2 standard became mandatory for all new devices seeking Wi-Fi certification after 2006. WPA2 is compatible with WPA, so companies easily can migrate to the new security standard.PRIVATE NETWORKSIt is not always practical to secure all network traffic. Unfortunately, encrypting traffic increases the burden on a network, and can decrease network performance significantly. In situations where network speed is essential, such as a Web server linked to a database server, many firms use a private network to connect the computers. A private network is a dedicated connection, similar to a leased telephone line. Each computer on the private network must have a dedicated interface to the network, and no interface on the network should connect to any point outside the network. In this configuration, unencrypted traffic safely can be transmitted because it is not visible, and cannot be intercepted from outside the network.VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORKSPrivate networks work well with a limited number of computers, but if a company wants to establish secure connections for a larger group, it can create a virtual private network (VPN). A virtual private network (VPN) uses a public network, such as the Internet or a company intranet, to connect remote users securely. Instead of using a dedicated connection, a VPN allows remote clients to use a special key exchange that must be authenticated by the VPN. Once authentication is complete, a secure network connection, called a tunnel, is established between the client and the access point of the local intranet. All traffic is encrypted through the VPN tunnel, which provides an additional level of encryption and security. As more companies allow employees to work from home, a VPN can provide acceptable levels of security and reliability.PORTS AND SERVICESA port, which is identified by a number, is used to route incoming traffic to the correct application on a computer. In TCP/IP networks, such as the Internet, all traffic received by a computer contains a destination port. Because the destination port determines where the traffic will be routed, the computer sorts the traffic by port number, which is included in the transmitted data. An analogy might be a large apartment building with multiple mailboxes. Each mailbox has the same street address, but a different box number. Port security is critically important because an attacker could use an open port to gain access to the system.A serviceis an application that monitors, or listens on, a particular port. For example, a typical e-mail application listens on port 25. Any traffic received by that port is routed to the e-mail application. Services play an important role in computer security, and they can be affected by port scans and denial-of-service attacks. Port scans. Port scans attempt to detect the services running on a computer by trying to connect to various ports and recording the ports on which a connection was accepted. For example, the result of an open port 25 would indicate that a mail server is running. Port scans can be used to draw an accurate map of a network, and pinpoint possible weaknesses. Denial of service. A denial of service (DoS) attack occurs when an attacking computer makes repeated requests to a service or services running on certain ports. Because the target computer has to respond to each request, it can become bogged down and fail to respond to legitimate requests. A much more devastating attack based on this method is called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This attack involves multiple attacking computers that can synchronize DOS attacks and immobilize a server, as shown in Figure 12-29. The seriousness of a DOS attack is evident in the National Cyber Alert System tip shown in Figure 12-30 on the next page.FIREWALLSA firewallis the main line of defense between a local network, or intranet, and the Internet. A firewall must have at least one network interface with the Internet, and at least one network interface with a local network or intranet. Firewall software examines all network traffic sent to and from each network interface. Preset rules establish certain conditions that determine whether the firewall will allow the traffic to pass. When a matching rule is found, the firewall automatically accepts, rejects, or drops the traffic. When a firewall rejects traffic, it sends a reply indicating that the traffic is not permissible. When a firewall drops traffic, no reply is sent. Firewalls can be configured to detect and respond to denial-of-service attacks, port scans, and other suspicious activity.FIGURE 12-29 In a denial of service attack an attacker sends numerous authentication requests with false return addresses. The server tries unsuccessfully to send authentication approval, and eventually is disabled by the flood of requests.© Cengage Learning 2014Figure 12-31 on the next page shows a basic set of firewall rules for a company that has a Web server and a mail server In this example, the firewall would accept public Web server traffic only on ports 80 and 443, and public mail server traffic only on port 25. The firewall would allow private LAN traffic to any destination and port.FIGURE 12-30 The United State Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is a key player in the battle against cybersecurity threats. Note the agency’s difficult mission: to protect the nation while also protecting the constitutional rights of Americans.Courtesy of US-CERTFIGURE 12-31 Examples of rules that determine whether the firewall will allow traffic to pass.© Cengage Learning 2014NETWORK INTRUSION DETECTIONSuppose an intruder attempts to gain access to the system. Obviously, an intrusion alarm should be sounded when certain activity or known attack patterns are detected. A network intrusion detection system (NIDS) is like a burglar alarm that goes off when it detects a configuration violation. The NIDS also can alert the administrator when it detects suspicious network traffic patterns. A NIDS requires fine-tuning to detect the difference between legitimate network traffic and an attack. It is also important that a NIDS be placed on a switch or other network device that can monitor all network traffic. Although a NIDS requires some administrative overhead, it can be very helpful in documenting the efforts of attackers and analyzing network performanceApplication SecurityIn addition to securing the computer room and shielding network traffic, it is necessary to protect all server-based applications. To do so, you must analyze the application’s functions, identify possible security concerns, and carefully study all available documentation. Application security requires an understanding of services, hardening, application permissions, input validation techniques, software patches and updates, and software logs.SERVICESIn the network security section, you learned that a service is an application that monitors, or listens, on a particular port. You can determine which services are running by using a port scan utility. If a particular application is not needed, it should be disabled. This will improve system security, performance, and reliability. An unnecessary or improperly configured service could create a vulnerability called a security hole. For example, if a loosely configured FTP (File Transfer Protocol) service is available to a hacker, he or she might be able to upload destructive code to the server.HARDENINGThe hardeningprocess makes a system more secure by removing unnecessary accounts, services, and features. Hardening is necessary because the default configuration of some software packages might create a vulnerability. For example, initial software settings might include relatively weak account permissions or file sharing controls. Hardening can be done manually or by using a configuration template, which speeds up the process in a large organization.Hardening also includes additional protection such as antivirus and antispyware software. These programs can detect and remove malware, which is hostile software designed to infiltrate, damage, or deny service to a computer system. Malware includes worms, Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, and Spyware, among others.APPLICATION PERMISSIONSTypically, an application is configured to be run only by users who have specific rights. For example, an administrator account, or superuser account, allows essentially unrestricted access. Other users might be allowed to enter data, but not to modify or delete existing data. To prevent unauthorized or destructive changes, the application should be configured so that nonprivileged users can access the program, but cannot make changes to built-in functions or configurations. User rights, also called permissions, are discussed in more detail in the file security section.INPUTVALI DATIONAs you learned in Chapter 8, when designing the user interface, input validation can safeguard data integrity and security. For example, if an application requires a number from 1 to 10, what happens if an alphabetic character or the number 31 is entered? If the application is designed properly, it will respond with an appropriate error message. Chapter 8 also explained data entry and validation checks, which are important techniques that can improve data integrity and quality. Failure to validate input data can result in output errors, increased maintenance expense, and erratic system behavior.PATCHES AND UPDATESIn an operational system, security holes or vulnerabilities might be discovered at any time. Patches can be used to repair these holes, reduce vulnerability, and update the system. Like any other new software, patches must be tested carefully. Before applying a patch, an effort should be made to determine the risks of not applying the patch, and the possibility that the patch might affect other areas of the system.Many firms purchase software packages called third-party software. Patches released by third-party software vendors usually are safe, but any patch must be reviewed carefully before it is applied. Because researching and applying patches is time consuming and expensive, many software vendors offer an automatic update service that enables an application to contact the vendor’s server and check for a needed patch or update. Depending on the configuration, available patches can be downloaded and installed without human intervention, or might require approval by IT managers. Although it is convenient, automatic updating carries substantial risks, and should be used only if changes can readily be undone if unexpected results or problems develop.SOFTWARE LOGSOperating systems and applications typically maintain a log that documents all events, including dates, times, and other specific information. Logs can be important in understanding past attacks and preventing future intrusions. For example, a pattern of login errors might reveal the details of an intrusion attempt. A log also can include system error messages, login histories, file manipulation, and other information that could help track down unauthorized use. Software logs should be monitored constantly to determine if misuse or wrongdoing has occurred. As explained in the network security section, a network intrusion detection system (NIDS) can alert a system administrator whenever suspicious events occur. Windows Event Viewer, shown in Figure 12-32, is an example of a built-in software log.File SecurityComputer configuration settings, users’ personal information, and other sensitive data are stored in files. The safety and protection of these files is a vital element in any computer security program, and a systems analyst needs to consider the importance of encryption, or encoding files to make them unreadable by unauthorized users, and permissions, which can be assigned to individual users or to user groups.FIGURE 12-32 Windows Event Viewer can log application usage, security settings, and system changes.Screenshot used with permission from Microsoft.ENCRYPTIONAs you learned in the section on network security, encryptionscrambles the contents of a file or document to protect it from unauthorized access. All corporate data must be protected, but encryption is especially important for sensitive material such as personnel or financial records. You can encrypt data easily using the Professional editions of Windows 8 and Windows 7. In addition, Windows 8 offers a feature called BitLocker, which provides additional encryption options. To learn more about these terms, visit and search for the term efs.PERMISSIONSFile security is based on establishing a set of permissions, which describe the rights a user has to a particular file or directory on a server. The most common permissions are read, write, and execute. Typical examples of permissions include the following: Read a file — The user can read the contents of the file. Write a file — The user can change the contents of the file. Execute a file — The user can run the file, if it is a program. Read a directory — The user can list the contents of the directory. Write a directory — The user can add and remove files in the directory.When assigning file permissions, a system administrator should ensure that each user has only the minimum permissions necessary to perform his or her work — not more. In some firms, the system administrator has broad discretion in assigning these levels; in other companies, an appropriate level of management approval is required for any permissions above a standard user level. In any case, a well-documented and enforced permissions policy is necessary to promote file security and reduce system vulnerability.USER GROUPSIndividual users who need to collaborate and share files often request a higher level of permissions that would enable any of them to change file content. A better approach, from a system administrator’s viewpoint, might be to create a user group, add specific users, and assign file permissions to the group, rather than to the individuals. Many firms use this approach because it allows a user’s rights to be determined by his or her work responsibilities, rather than by job title or rank. If a person is transferred, he or she leaves certain groups and joins others that reflect current job duties.User SecurityUser security involves the identification of system users and consideration of user-related security issues. Regardless of other security precautions and features, security ultimately depends on system users and their habits, practices, and willingness to support security goals. Unfortunately, many system break-ins begin with a user account that is compromised in some way. Typically, an intruder accesses the system using the compromised account, and may attempt a privilege escalation attack, which is an unauthorized attempt to increase permission levels.User security requires identity management, comprehensive password protection, defenses against social engineering, an effective means of overcoming user resistance, and consideration of new technologies. These topics are discussed in the following sections.IDENTITY MANAGEMENTIdentity management refers to controls and procedures necessary to identify legitimate users and system components. An identity management strategy must balance technology, security, privacy, cost, and user productivity. Identity management is an evolving technology that is being pursued intensively by corporations, IT associations, and governments.The Burton Group, a leading IT security consultant, has described identity management as a “set of electronic records that represent … people, machines, devices, applications, and services.” This definition suggests that not just users, but also each component in a system, must have a verifiable identity that is based on unique characteristics. For example, user authentication might be based on a combination of a password, a Social Security number, an employee number, a job title, and a physical location.Because of the devastating consequences of intrusion, IT managers are giving top priority to identity management strategies and solutions.PASSWORD PROTECTIONAs the section on physical security points out, a secure system must have a password policy that requires minimum length, complexity, and a limit on invalid login attempts. Although passwords are a key element in any security program, users often choose passwords that are easy to recall, and they sometimes resent having to remember complex passwords. Even so, IT managers should insist on passwords that have a minimum length, require a combination of case-sensitive letters and numbers, and must be changed periodically. Unfortunately, any password can be compromised if a user writes it down and stores it in an easily accessible location such as a desk, a bulletin board, or under the keyboard.Several years ago, a hacker made headlines by gaining access to the e-mail account of a political candidate. The intruder signed on as the candidate, requested a new password, guessed the answers to the security questions, and was able to enter the account. These actions were totally illegal, and constituted a serious felony under federal law.SOCIAL ENGINEERINGEven if users are protecting and securing their passwords, an intruder might attempt to gain unauthorized access to a system using a tactic called social engineering. In a social engineering attack, an intruder uses social interaction to gain access to a computer system. For example, the intruder might pretend to be a new employee, an outside technician, or a journalist. Through a series of questions, the intruder tries to obtain the information that he or she needs to compromise the system. A common ploy is for the attacker to contact several people in the same organization, and use some information from one source to gain credibility and entry to another source.An intruder also might contact a service desk and say: “Hi. This is Anna Dressler from accounting. I seem to have forgotten my password. Could you give me a new one?” Although this request might be legitimate, it also might be an attacker trying to access the system. A password never should be given based solely on this telephone call. The user should be required to provide further information to validate his or her identity, such as a Social Security number, employee ID, telephone extension, and company e-mail address.One highly publicized form of social engineering is called pretexting, which is a method of obtaining personal information under false pretenses. Pretexting, which is described in the Federal Trade Commission statement shown in Figure 12-33, is a very real threat. The best way to combat social engineering attacks is with employee education, more training, and a high level of awareness during day-to-day operations.USER RESISTANCEMany users, including some senior managers, dislike tight security measures because they can be inconvenient and time consuming. Systems analysts should remind users that the company owes the best possible security to its customers, who have entrusted personal information to the firm; to its employees, who also have personal information stored in company files; and to its shareholders, who expect the company to have a suitable, effective, and comprehensive security program that will safeguard company assets and resources. When users understand this overall commitment to security and feel that they are part of it, they are more likely to choose better passwords, be more alert to security issues, and contribute to the overall success of the company’s security program.FIGURE 12-33 As the Federal Trade Commission points out, pretexting involves obtaining your personal information under false pretenses.Courtesy of the Federal Trade CommissionNEW TECHNOLOGIESIn addition to traditional measures and biometric devices, technology can enhance security and prevent unauthorized access. For example, the security token shown in Figure 12-34 is a physical device that authenticates a legitimate user. Some firms provide employees with security tokens that generate a numeric validation code, which the employee enters in addition to his or her normal password.Unfortunately, new technology sometimes creates new risks. For example, a powerful search application can scan all the files, documents, e-mails, chats, and stored Web pages on a user’s computer. Although this might provide a convenient way for users to locate and retrieve their data, it also can make it easier for an intruder to obtain private information, especially in a multiuser environment, because the program can recall and display almost anything stored on the computer. Also, if an intruder uses the term password in a search, the program might be able to find password reminders that are stored anywhere on the computer. To increase privacy for multiuser computers, each user should have a separate account, with individual usernames and passwords.Business and personal users also should use caution when they consider cloud-based storage and services. In this environment, where the technology changes rapidly, the best bet is to work with well-established vendors, who can provide significant cloud security experience and safeguards.FIGURE 12-34 Security tokens, which come in various forms, can provide an additional level of security.© Shutterstock/Lim Yong HianProcedural SecurityProcedural security, also called operational security, is concerned with managerial policies and controls that ensure secure operations. In fact, many IT professionals believe that security depends more on managerial issues than technology. Management must work to establish a corporate culture that stresses the importance of security to the firm and its people. Procedural security defines how particular tasks are to be performed, from large-scale data backups to everyday tasks such as storing e-mails or forms. Other procedures might spell out how to update firewall software or how security personnel should treat suspected attackers.All employees should understand that they have a personal responsibility for security. For example, an employee handbook might require that users log out of their system accounts, clear their desks, and secure all documents before leaving for the day. These policies reduce the risk of dumpster diving attacks, in which an intruder raids desks or trash bins for valuable information. In addition, paper shredders should be used to destroy sensitive documents.Procedural security also includes safeguarding certain procedures that would be valuable to an attacker. The most common approach is a need-to-know concept, where access is limited to employees who need the information to perform security-related tasks. Many firms also apply a set of classification levels for access to company documents. For example, highly sensitive technical documents might be available only to the IT support team, while user-related materials would be available to most company employees. If classification levels are used, they should be identified clearly and enforced consistently.CASE IN POINT 12.4: CHAIN LINK CONSULTING, INC.Chain Link Consulting is an IT consulting firm that specializes in system security issues. The company’s president has asked you to help her put together a presentation to a group of potential clients at a trade show meeting next month. First, she wants you to review system security issues, considering all six security levels. Then she wants you to come up with a list of ways that Chain Link could test a client’s security practices, in order to get a real-world assessment of vulnerability.To make matters more interesting, she told you it was OK to be creative in your recommendations, but not to propose any action that would be illegal or unethical. For example, it would be OK to pose as a job applicant with false references to see if they were being checked, but it would not be appropriate to pick a lock and enter the computer room.Your report is due tomorrow. What will you suggest?Procedural security must be supported by upper management and fully explained to all employees. The organization must provide training to explain the procedures and issue reminders from time to time that will make security issues a priority.BACKUP AND RECOVERYEvery system must provide for data backup and recovery. Backuprefers to copying data at prescribed intervals, or continuously. Recoveryinvolves restoring the data and restarting the system after an interruption. An overall backup and recovery plan that prepares for a potential disaster is called a disaster recovery plan.The tragic events of September 11, 2001, and increased concern about global terrorism have led many companies to upgrade their backup and disaster recovery plans. Heightened focus on disaster recovery has spawned a whole new industry, which includes new tools and strategies. Many IT professionals feel that terrorism concerns have raised security awareness throughout the corporate world. Although they are separate topics, backup and disaster recovery issues usually are intertwined. The following sections cover these topics in more detail.Backup PoliciesThe cornerstone of business data protection is a backup policy, which contains detailed instructions and procedures. An effective backup policy can help a firm continue business operations and survive a catastrophe. The backup policy should specify backup media, backup types, and retention periods.BACKUP MEDIABackup media can include tape, hard drives, optical storage, and online storage. Physical backups must be carefully identified and stored in a secure location. Offsitingrefers to the practice of storing backup media away from the main business location, in order to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic disaster such as a flood, fire, or earthquake. Even if the operating system includes a backup utility, many system administrators prefer to use specialized third-party software that offers more options and better controls for large-scale operations.In addition to on-site data storage, cloud-based storage is growing rapidly. Many companies use online backup and retrieval services offered by vendors such as Rocky Mountain Software and IBM. For a small- or medium-sized firm, this option can be cost effective and reliable.BACKUP TYPESBackups can be full, differential, incremental, or continuous. A full backup is a complete backup of every file on the system. Frequent full backups are time consuming and redundant if most files are unchanged since the last full backup. Instead of performing a full backup, another option is to perform a differential backup, which is faster because it backs up only the files that are new or changed since the last full backup. To restore the data to its original state, you restore the last full backup, and then restore the last differential backup. Many IT managers believe that a combination of full and differential backups is the best option because it uses the least amount of storage space and is simple.The fastest method, called an incremental backup, only includes recent files that never have been backed up by any method. This approach, however, requires multiple steps to restore the data — one for each incremental backup.Most large systems use continuous backup, which is a real-time streaming method that records all system activity as it occurs. This method requires expensive hardware, software, and substantial network capacity. However, system restoration is rapid and effective because data is being captured in real time, as it occurs. Continuous backup often uses a RAID (redundant array of independent disks) system that mirrors the data. RAID systems are called fault tolerant because a failure of any one disk does not disable the system. Compared to one large drive, a RAID design offers better performance, greater capacity, and improved reliability. When installed on a server, a RAID array of multiple drives appears to the computer as a single logical drive. Figure 12-35 on the next page shows a comparison of various backup methods.RETENTION PERIODSBackups are stored for a specific retention period after which they are either destroyed or the backup media is reused. Retention periods can be a specific number of months or years, depending on legal requirements and company policy. Stored media must be secured, protected, and inventoried periodically.FIGURE 12-35 Comparison of full, differential, incremental, and continuous backup methods.© Cengage Learning 2014Business Continuity IssuesGlobal concern about terrorism has raised awareness levels and increased top management support for a business continuity strategy in the event of an emergency. A disaster recovery plan describes actions to be taken, specifies key individuals and rescue authorities to be notified, and spells out the role of employees in evacuation, mitigation, and recovery efforts. The disaster recovery plan should be accompanied by a test plan, which can simulate various levels of emergencies and record the responses, which can be analyzed and improved as necessary.After personnel are safe, damage to company assets should be mitigated. The plan might require shutting down systems to prevent further data loss, or moving physical assets to a secure location. Afterward, the plan should focus on resuming business operations, including the salvaging or replacement of equipment and the recovery of backup data. The main objective of a disaster recovery plan is to restore business operations to pre-disaster levels.Disaster recovery plans are often part of a larger business continuity plan (BCP), which goes beyond a recovery plan, and defines how critical business functions can continue in the event of a major disruption. Some BCPs specify the use of a hot site. A hot site is an alternate IT location, anywhere in the world, that can support critical systems in the event of a power outage, system crash, or physical catastrophe. A hot site requires data replication, which means that any transaction on the primary system must be mirrored on the hot site. If the primary system becomes unavailable, the hot site will have the latest data and can function seamlessly, with no downtime.Although hot sites are attractive backup solutions, they are very expensive. However, a hot site provides the best insurance against major business interruptions. In addition to hot sites, business insurance can be important in a worst-case scenario. Although expensive, business insurance can offset the financial impact of system failure and business interruption.SYSTEM OBSOLESCENCEAt some point, every system becomes obsolete. For example, you might not remember punched cards, but they represented the cutting edge of data management back in the 1960s. Data was stored by punching holes at various positions, and was retrieved by machines that could sense the presence or absence of a punched hole. Most full-size cards stored only 80 characters, or bytes, so more than 12,000 cards would be needed to store a megabyte. Punched cards were even used as checks and utility bills. Today, this technology is obsolete.Constantly changing technology means that every system has a limited economic life span. Analysts and managers can anticipate system obsolescence in several ways and it never should come as a complete surprise.A system becomes obsolete when it no longer supports user needs, or when the platform becomes outmoded. The most common reason for discontinuing a system is that it has reached the end of its economically useful life, as indicated by the following signs: The system’s maintenance history indicates that adaptive and corrective maintenance are increasing steadily. Operational costs or execution times are increasing rapidly, and routine perfective maintenance does not reverse or slow the trend. A software package is available that provides the same or additional services faster, better, and less expensively than the current system. New technology offers a way to perform the same or additional functions more efficiently. Maintenance changes or additions are difficult and expensive to perform. Users request significant new features to support business requirements.Systems operation and support continue until a replacement system is installed. Toward the end of a system’s operational life, users are unlikely to submit new requests for adaptive maintenance because they are looking forward to the new release. Similarly, the IT staff usually does not perform much perfective or preventive maintenance because the system will not be around long enough to justify the cost. A system in its final stages requires corrective maintenance only to keep the system operational.User satisfaction typically determines the life span of a system. The critical success factor for any system is whether or not it helps users achieve their operational and business goals. As an IT staff member, you should expect to receive input from users and managers throughout the systems development process. You should investigate and document all negative feedback because it can be the first signal of system obsolescence.At some point in a system’s operational life, maintenance costs start to increase, users begin to ask for more features and capability, new systems requests are submitted, and the SDLC begins again.FUTURE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIESThe only thing that is certain about the future is continuous change. Change itself is neither good nor bad — the real issue is how people and companies deal with the challenges and opportunities that are bound to occur.No one would start a complex journey without a map and a plan. To navigate the future of information technology, companies require strategic plans, which were discussed in Chapter 2. An individual also needs a plan to reach to a specific goal or destination. This section discusses trends and predictions that will affect all IT professionals. To prepare for the challenges ahead, individuals will need to plan and develop their knowledge, skills, and credentials.Trends and PredictionsNavigating an IT career can be compared to sailing a small boat in difficult seas. Even if you are a very good captain, you will be subjected to forces and circumstances that are beyond your control. What you can do is to understand these forces and try to prepare for them. Figure 12-36 describes some winds of change that include globalization, technology integration, cloud computing, and the workplace of the future.In addition to the trends described in Figure 12-36, most firms will face economic, social, and political uncertainty. Many IT experts believe that in this environment, the top priorities will be the safety and security of corporate operations, environmental issues, and bottom-line TCO. Gartner Inc. is a leading consulting firm that is well-known for its predictions. Here are some examples of what Gartner sees on its radar for the next few years: The financial impact of cybercrime will grow at a compound rate of 10 percent per year. Mobile application development using smartphones and tablets will outnumber PC-based software by a four-to-one ratio. The prices for most cloud services will include a global energy surcharge. One of every two e-mail users will rely primarily on a browser, tablet or mobile client, instead of a desktop client. Half of all companies will make proof of independent security testing a precondition for using any type of cloud service. Twenty percent of Asia-sourced hardware consumed in the U.S. will shift to the Americas.Gartner also predicted that large enterprises will require suppliers to certify their green credentials and sourcing policies. One issue might relate to the explosion of data storage and server farms, such as the one shown in Figure 12-37 on page 546. For example, in a 2011 press release, Google stated that it continuously uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, but the company also said that it makes the planet greener because people save energy by performing tasks online. Google also predicted that by 2013, more than 30 percent of its energy needs would be met with renewable sources.Strategic Planning for IT ProfessionalsAn IT professional should think of himself or herself as a business corporation that has certain assets, potential liabilities, and specific goals. Individuals, like companies, must have a strategic plan. The starting point is to formulate an answer to the following career planning question: What do I want to be doing three, five, or ten years from now?FIGURE 12-36 Major trends and their impact on IT generally and on future systems analysts.© Cengage Learning 2014Working backward from your long-term goals, you can develop intermediate milestones and begin to manage your career just as you would manage an IT project. You can even use the project management tools described in Chapter 3 to construct a Gantt chart or a PERT/CPM chart using months (or years) as time units. Once the plan is developed, you would monitor it regularly to see whether you were still on schedule.Planning a career is not unlike planting a tree that takes several years to reach a certain height. Once you know the desired height and the annual growth rate, you can determine when you must plant the tree. Similarly, if you want to possess a particular educational credential two years from now, and the credential takes two years to earn, then you need to start on it immediately if you want to adhere to your planned track.FIGURE 12-37 The rapid growth of data centers and server farms has increased energy consumption significantly and raised environmental concerns.© Shutterstock/Oleksiy MarkIT Credentials and CertificationIn recent years, technical credentials and certification have become extremely important to IT employers and employees. In a broad sense, credentialsinclude formal degrees, diplomas, or certificates granted by learning institutions to show that a certain level of education has been achieved successfully. The term certificationalso has a special meaning that relates to specific hardware and software skills that can be measured and verified by examination. For example, a person might have a two- or four-year degree in Information Systems and possess a CompTIA A+ certification, which attests to the person’s computer hardware knowledge and skills. Many IT industry leaders offer certification, including Microsoft, Cisco, Novell, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems.Critical Thinking SkillsIn additional to technical skills, IT professionals must have soft skills, such as communications, interpersonal, and perceptive abilities. IT professionals also need critical thinking skills to succeed in the workplace.Our digital society is inundated with massive amounts of data. Data mining, clever algorithms, and technical innovation are important, but the most valuable asset is an employee who can solve problems. The IT community has become interested in critical thinking skills that can help a person find, organize, analyze, and use the information he or she needs on the job. Many employers now seek critical thinkers who can locate data, identify important facts, and apply their knowledge in real-world decisions.Many training courses exist for technical skills, but how do you develop your critical thinking skills? The best answer is to practice by performing tasks that resemble actual workplace tasks. As a future systems analyst, you already have an advantage — you know how to develop models, organize data, and recognize patterns. You can also complete the Critical Thinking Challenge exercises at the end of each chapter. These exercises require critical thinking skills, and can help you learn, practice, and apply skills that you can take to the workplace.IT professionals also should be aware that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) provides assessment and certification of critical thinking skills, as shown in Figure 12-38. The scenario-based iSkills® test measures perception, organization, analysis, problem solving, and decision making. Just as with hardware or software skills, formal certification is valuable in the job marketplace, but the greatest value is in learning the skills and using them to achieve your career goals.FIGURE 12-38 Employers like to hire people who can think logically and effectively. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) measures critical thinking skills using an interactive test with realistic scenarios, and will provide certificates to students who are proficient.© 2012 by Educational Testing ServiceMany instructors find that individual and team-based exercises can strengthen critical thinking skills. Examples include games, puzzles, brainstorming, creative problem-solving, decision tables, working with ethical questions, Boolean logic, Venn diagrams, and using cause-and-effect tools such as Pareto charts, X-Y diagrams, and fishbone diagrams, all of which can be found in this textbook.A QUESTION OF ETHICS© faberfoto_it/iStockphotoJamie just completed a routine security audit on the company’s information systems, and she found several areas of vulnerability. For example, file permissions have not been updated in some time, no comprehensive password policy exists, and network traffic is not fully encrypted. She noted these areas, among others, in a report to Tamika, her supervisor. The report included specific recommendations to fix the problems.Tamika responded by saying that budgets are tight right now, and she could not approve Jamie’s requests to resolve these issues. As an IT professional, Jamie is very uncomfortable with the risk level, but she has been unable to sway Tamika. When Jamie discussed the situation with her friend, Ethan, he said, “Why worry about it? If it’s good enough for Tamika, it should be good enough for you.”What do you think of Ethan’s advice, and why? Is this an ethical question? If Jamie still is uncomfortable, what are her options?CHAPTER SUMMARYSystems support and security cover the period from the implementation of an information system until the system no longer is used. A systems analyst’s primary involvement with an operational system is to manage and solve user support requests.Corrective maintenance includes changes to correct errors. Adaptive maintenance satisfies new systems requirements, and perfective maintenance makes the system more efficient. Adaptive and perfective maintenance changes often are called enhancements. Preventive maintenance is performed to avoid future problems.The typical maintenance process resembles a miniature version of the systems development life cycle. A systems request for maintenance work is submitted and evaluated. If it is accepted, the request is prioritized and scheduled for the IT group. The maintenance team then follows a logical progression of investigation, analysis, design, development, testing, and implementation.Corrective maintenance projects occur when a user or an IT staff member reports a problem. Standard maintenance procedures usually are followed for relatively minor errors, but work often begins immediately when users report significant errors.In contrast to corrective maintenance, adaptive, perfective, and preventive maintenance projects always follow the organization’s standard maintenance procedures. Adaptive maintenance projects occur in response to user requests for improvements to meet changes in the business or operating environments. The IT staff usually initiates perfective maintenance projects to improve performance or maintainability. Automated program restructuring and reengineering are forms of perfective maintenance. In order to avoid future problems, IT staff perform preventive maintenance, which involves analysis of areas where trouble is likely to occur.A maintenance team consists of one or more systems analysts and programmers. Systems analysts need the same talents and abilities for maintenance work as they use when developing a new system. Many IT departments are organized into separate new development and maintenance groups where staff members are rotated from one group to the other.Configuration management is necessary to handle maintenance requests, to manage different versions of the information system, and to distribute documentation changes. Maintenance changes can be implemented as they are completed or a release methodology can be used in which all noncritical maintenance changes are collected and implemented simultaneously. A release methodology usually is cost effective and advantageous for users because they do not have to work with a constantly changing system. Systems analysts use functional, allocated, and product baselines as formal reference points to measure system characteristics at a specific time.System performance measurements include response time, bandwidth, throughput, and turnaround time. Capacity management uses those measurements to forecast what is needed to provide future levels of service and support. Also, CASE tools that include system evaluation and maintenance features can be used during the systems operation, security, and support phase.Security is a vital part of every computer system. System security is dependent upon a comprehensive security policy that defines how organizational assets are to be protected and how attacks are to be responded to.Risk management creates a workable security policy by identifying, analyzing, anticipating, and reducing risks to an acceptable level. Because information systems face a wide array of threats and attacks, six separate but interrelated security levels should be analyzed: physical security, network security, application security, file security, user security, and procedural security. Physical security concerns the physical environment, including critical equipment located in a computer room, as well as safeguards for servers and desktops throughout the company. Network security involves encryption techniques, as well as private networks and other protective measures, especially where wireless transmissions are concerned. Application security requires an understanding of services, hardening, application permissions, input validation techniques, software patches and updates, and software logs. File security involves the use of encryption and permissions, which can be assigned to individual users or to user groups. User security involves identity management techniques, a comprehensive password protection policy, an awareness of social engineering risks, and an effective means of overcoming user resistance. Procedural security involves managerial controls and policies that ensure secure operations.Data backup and recovery issues include backup media, backup schedules, and retention periods, as well as backup designs such as RAID and Web-based backups.All information systems eventually become obsolete. The end of a system’s economic life usually is signaled by rapidly increasing maintenance or operating costs, the availability of new software or hardware, or new requirements that cannot be achieved easily by the existing system. When a certain point is reached, an information system must be replaced, and the entire systems development life cycle begins again.Many IT experts predict intense competition in the future, along with economic, political, and social uncertainty. Facing these challenges, top IT priorities will be the safety and security of corporate operations, environmental concerns, and bottom-line TCO.An IT professional should have a strategic career plan that includes long-term goals and intermediate milestones. An important element of a personal strategic plan is the acquisition of IT credentials and certifications that document specific knowledge and skills. Many IT industry leaders offer certification. In addition to technical ability, other skills, such as critical thinking skills, also are extremely valuable.Key Termsacceptance 526adaptive maintenance 509administrator account 535allocated baseline 518applications programmer 513archived 517asset 524attack 526automatic update service 535availability 524avoidance 526backup 540backup media 541backup policy 541bandwidth 520baseline 518benchmark testing 520biometric scanning systems 528BIOS-level password 529boot-level password 529business continuity plan (BCP) 542capacity planning 521certification 546change control (CC) 516CIA triangle 524confidentiality 524configuration management (CM) 516continuous backup 541corrective maintenance 509credentials 546critical risk 525critical thinking skills 546database programmer 514data replication 542denial of service (DOS) 533differential backup 541disaster recovery plan 540distributed denial of service (DDOS) 533dumpster diving 540Educational Testing Service (ETS) 546encryption 536enhancement 511exploit 525fault management 519fault tolerant 541firewall 533full backup 541functional baseline 518Gbps (gigabits per second) 520hardening 535help desk 506hot site 542identity management 537IEEE 802.11i 532incremental backup 541information center (IC) 506integrity 524Kbps (kilobits per second) 520keystroke logger 528log 536maintenance activities 508maintenance expenses 508maintenance release 517maintenance release methodology 517maintenance team 512malware 535Mbps (megabits per second) 520metrics 520mitigation 526network 531network interface 531network intrusion detection system (NIDS) 534offsiting 541operational costs 508operational security 540patch 510perfective maintenance 509permissions 535plain text 531port 532port scan 533power-on password 529pretexting 538preventive maintenance 531private key encryption 532private network 532privilege escalation attack 537procedural security 540product baseline 518programmer/analyst 514public key encryption (PKE) 531RAID (redundant array of independent disks) 541recovery 540remote control software 507response time 520retention period 541risk 525risk assessment 524risk control 524risk identification 524risk management 524security 524security hole 535security policy 524security token 539service 533service desk 506service packs 517social engineering 538soft skills 546software reengineering 511superuser account 535system administrator 513systems programmer 513tamper-evident cases 529test plan 542third-party software 535threat 525throughput 520transference 526tunnel 532turnaround time 521unencrypted 531uninterruptible power supply (UPS) 529Universal Security Slot (USS) 530user rights 535user training package 506version control 517virtual private network (VPN) 532vulnerability 525what-if analysis 522Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) 532Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) 532WPA2 532Chapter ExercisesQuestions Describe four types of system maintenance and provide two examples of each type. As an IT manager, would you assign newly hired systems analysts to maintenance projects? Why or why not? What is configuration management and why is it important? Define the term what-if analysis. How could you use a spreadsheet in capacity planning? What is a release methodology? Why is version control important? Define the following terms: response time, bandwidth, throughput, and turnaround time. How are the terms related? What are some key issues that you must address when considering data backup and recovery? Explain the concept of risk management, including risk identification, assessment, and control. What are the six security levels? Provide examples of threat categories, attacker profiles, and types of attacks. Provide an example of technical obsolescence, and explain how it can be a threat to an information system.Discussion Topics Assume that your company uses a release methodology for its sales system. The current version is 5.5. Decide whether each of the following changes would justify a version 6.0 release, or be included in a version 5.6 update: (a) Add a new report, (b) add a Web interface, (c) add data validation checks, (d) add an interface to the marketing system, and (e) change the user interface. The four types of IT system maintenance also apply to other industries. Suppose you were in charge of aircraft maintenance for a small airline. What would be a specific example of each type of maintenance? An IT manager assigns programmers and systems analysts to maintenance projects if they have less than two years of experience or if they received an average or lower rating in their last performance evaluation. Do you agree with this practice? What are the most important IT security issues facing companies today? Have these changed in the last five years, and will they continue to change? How should companies prepare themselves for security threats and problems in the future?Projects Using the Internet, locate a software package designed to automate version control. List the key features and describe your findings in a brief memo. Develop a process for managing change requests and design a form to handle a generic change request. The process should include a contingency plan for changes that must be resolved immediately. Visit the IT department at your school or at a local company and find out whether performance measurements are used. Write a brief report describing your findings. Explain how to use the Goal Seek feature in Microsoft Excel, and create a worksheet that demonstrates this feature.Apply Your KnowledgeThis section contains four mini-cases. Each case describes a situation, explains your role, and requires you to apply what you learned in the chapter.1Floor CandyFloor Candy is a small firm that manufactures high-quality rugs and carpets. Using special software, the company can translate a customer sketch into an attractive custom design. Three years ago, the IT staff developed a Web-based order system. The system has performed well, and most maintenance has involved correcting minor errors. Now the company would like to add more features, including menu-driven design tools, and a more customer-friendly interface.Tasks What types of maintenance has the IT staff performed? What types of maintenance will they perform if new features are added? If new features are added, what methodology should the IT staff use to add the functions and enhancements? What IT security measures should the firm adopt? Prepare a security checklist, and be sure to consider all six security levels. Even though the new system is only three years old, the marketplace changes constantly. In three more years, should Floor Candy consider replacing the new system? What factors and information should guide that decision?2Paperback PressPaperback Press specializes in reprinting classic literature. Three years ago, the company implemented a new system to track inventory and signal when books need to be reprinted. The new system was well received by users, and inventory problems have decreased significantly. Since the inventory system became operational, however, users have requested increased functionality and changes in screen forms and reports. You have been called in as a consultant to help the company make some decisions about system maintenance.Tasks Should Paperback Press have a specific process to manage future changes and enhancements? What should it be? If new features are added, what methodology should the IT staff use to add functions and enhancements? Suppose that you had to assign specific IT staff members to maintain the inventory control system. How would you accomplish the task? Describe your strategy in a brief memo. What should Paperback Press watch for to detect possible obsolescence in the future? Develop a checklist with specific examples that management could use.3Budget TravelBudget Travel provides business travel arrangements through 12 metropolitan offices. A key selling point is the firm’s client management database, which includes preferences such as airline seating choices, favorite rental cars, and hotel options. Budget Travel purchased the client management software as an off-the-shelf vendor package and modified the program to meet the company’s needs. The package has been operational for one year and has performed well. Budget Travel now wants to expand its operation by adding six more locations. Management has asked you to help the company plan what will be needed in IT support for the business expansion.Tasks What capacity planning issues should the company consider? What performance and workload measurement issues should the company consider at this time? Should the company establish a system baseline before the integration of the six new sites? Explain your answer. As an IT consultant, you should learn as much as you can about the client’s business, including the impact of the Internet on the travel agency business. Research this issue online, and decide what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats exist for Budget Travel.4Sherwood AssociatesSherwood Associates is an IT consulting firm that develops new systems and maintains older systems for its clients. Sherwood recently was hired to address security concerns regarding an existing system that was developed by another firm. The client is concerned about the security of customer information. They recently terminated several employees for poor performance, and they are worried that confidential data might have been compromised. Also, after an extensive audit, several laptops seem to be missing.Tasks What IT security measures should the firm adopt? Prepare a security checklist, and be sure to consider all six security levels. What physical security measures can be implemented to safeguard equipment? How would you suggest that mobile devices be secured? How can the firm keep its data secure?Case StudiesEach chapter includes a Chapter Case, a Continuing Case, a Capstone Case, and an Online Case Simulation. You can learn more about the Online Case Simulation in the MIS CourseMate Features section.Chapter Case: Best of the Best! (BoB)Best of the Best! uses the name BoB in its advertising. As the firm’s slogan points out, the quality is the same, no matter how you look at it. BoB imports and sells gourmet coffees, cheeses, and specialty foods from around the world. BoB operates 12 retail stores in large malls, and also sells to online customers.BackgroundAbout a month ago, BoB implemented a new point-of-sale (POS) system at all locations. Using a client/server design, the workstations in the firm’s 12 retail stores are networked to a server at the main office. Sales reps in the stores use the system to record sales transactions, manage customer accounts, and to print various daily, weekly, and monthly reports.When the new sales system was installed, the IT development team conducted extensive training for the sales staff, and set up a support desk. The IT team also prepared a user manual and distributed copies to all sales and office staff.Store managers have reported that sales-people do not like the new system and find it very confusing. When an IT support person visited the stores to investigate the problem, she discovered that the new people were having problems with the interface, and could not understand the user manual. They said that it was unclear, very hard to read, and did not use familiar terms. When she asked for examples of confusing instructions, the sales staff showed her the following examples: Obtaining the authorization of the store manager on Form RBK-23 is required before the system can activate a customer charge account. Care should be exercised to ensure that the BACKSPACE key is not pressed when the key on the numeric keypad with a left-facing arrow is the appropriate choice to accomplish nondestructive backspacing. To prevent report generation interruption, the existence of sufficient paper stock should be verified before any option that requires printing is selected. If not, the option must be reselected. The F2 key should be pressed in the event that a display of valid merchandise codes is required. That same key terminates the display.Tasks What should BoB have done to avoid this situation? Should the sales support staff ask the IT department to rewrite the user manual as a maintenance project, or should they request more training for sales staff? Can you offer any other suggestions? Rewrite the user manual instructions so they are clear and understandable, and use the guidelines in Communications Tools found in Part A of the Systems Analyst’s Toolkit. What steps would you take to test the new version? In the process of rewriting the user manual instructions, you discover that some of the instructions were not changed to reflect system maintenance and upgrade activities. A request form on the firm’s intranet, for example, has replaced Form RBK-23. BoB also has phased out printed reports in favor of online reports, with a menu-driven interface. Rewrite the user manual instructions to reflect the changes.Continuing Case: Personal Trainer, Inc.Personal Trainer, Inc. owns and operates fitness centers in a dozen Midwestern cities. The centers have done well, and the company is planning an international expansion by opening a new “supercenter” in the Toronto area. Personal Trainer’s president, Cassia Umi, hired an IT consultant, Susan Park, to help develop an information system for the new facility. During the project, Susan will work closely with Gray Lewis, who will manage the new operation.BackgroundSystem changeover and data conversion were successful for the new Personal Trainer system. The post-implementation evaluation indicated that users were pleased with the system. The evaluation also confirmed that the system was operating properly. Several users commented, however, that system response seemed slow. Susan Park, the project consultant, wants to meet with you to discuss operation, maintenance, and security issues affecting the new system.Tasks What might be causing the slow response time? Prepare a brief memo explaining system performance and workload measurement, using nontechnical language that Personal Trainer users can understand easily. What could be causing the network slowdowns at Personal Trainer? If a problem does exist, which performance and workload measures would you monitor to pinpoint the problem? At the end of the systems analysis phase, you studied the economic feasibility of the system and estimated the future costs and benefits. Now that the system is operational, should those costs and benefits be monitored? Why or why not? You decide to prepare a security checklist for Personal Trainer. Prepare a list of security issues that the firm should evaluate and monitor. Be sure to organize the items into categories that match the six security levels.Capstone Case: New Century Wellness GroupNew Century Wellness Group offers a holistic approach to healthcare with an emphasis on preventive medicine as well as traditional medical care. In your role as an IT consultant, you will help New Century develop a new information system.BackgroundYou implemented the new system at New Century Wellness Group successfully, and the staff has used the system for nearly four months. Overall, New Century is pleased with the improvements in efficiency, office productivity, and patient satisfaction.Some problems have surfaced, however. The office staff members call you almost daily to request assistance and suggest changes in certain reports and forms. You try to be helpful, but now you are busy with other clients. Actually, your contract with New Century required you to provide support only during the first three months of operation, but you want to encourage them to begin working on Phase Two of the computer upgrade project. Anita Davenport, New Century’s office manager, reported that the system seems to slow down at certain times during the day, making it difficult for the staff to keep up with its workload. Also, you are increasingly are concerned about system security. A recent article in the local newspaper described an incident where a disgruntled former employee was planning to break into a computer system and destroy or alter data.Tasks What might be causing the slow response time? Prepare a brief memo explaining system performance and workload measurement, using nontechnical language that New Century users can understand easily. New Century’s partners asked you to provide ongoing maintenance for the new system. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, you want to provide a brief description of the various types of maintenance. Prepare a brief memo that does this, and include at least two realistic examples of each type of maintenance. Although the system has been operational for a short time, users already have submitted several requests for enhancements and noncritical changes. Should New Century use a maintenance release methodology to handle the requests? Why or why not? What are the main security issues that New Century should address? Prepare a memo that lists the primary concerns and offers a specific recommendation for dealing with each issue.CASE Tool WorkshopSystems analysts use CASE tools to help them plan, build, and maintain information systems. To learn more about CASE tools, turn to Part B of the Toolkit that follows Chapter 12. You can complete these tasks with the Visible Analyst® CASE tool, which is available with this textbook, or a similar tool.BackgroundSuppose that you are evaluating various CASE tools, and you want to learn more about built-in security and performance enhancement issues.Tasks Using the Help feature, determine what security features are available in Visible Analyst®, or another CASE tool. Describe what you found in a brief memo, and include screen shots if possible. Can Visible Analyst®, or another CASE tool, enhance system performance by speeding up access to stored data? If so, how would that be accomplished?MIS CourseMate FeaturesIf you have an MIS CourseMate access code, you can reinforce and extend your learning with premium content created for this textbook. For example, you can launch interactive Video Learning Sessions to help you understand systems development concepts and practice your skills. In addition, you can use MindTap Reader, which is a full, interactive, digital e-book.MIS CourseMate also offers many learning features within each chapter, including an Online Case Simulation, a Critical Thinking Challenge, Video Learning Session Tasks, and a set of Learn It Online activities. To log on to the MIS CourseMate site at, you must create a student account and register this book.Online Case Simulation: SCR AssociatesSession 12: Managing Systems Support and SecurityOverviewThe SCR Associates case study is a Web-based simulation that allows you to practice your skills in a real-world environment. The firm offers IT consulting, solutions, and training. SCR plans to open a new high-tech training center, and needs to develop a Training Information Management System (TIMS) to support the center. You are a newly hired systems analyst reporting to Jesse Baker, systems group manager, and will help her develop the system.The case study takes you to the SCR Web site, where you receive e-mail and voice mail messages from Jesse, obtain information from SCR’s resource libraries, and perform various tasks. Jesse has high standards, but seems very fair. She made it clear that she expects your work to be accurate, thorough, and professional.Before You BeginTo prepare for this work session, you should review the following topics: Service desks Version control, configuration management, and capacity planning System securityHow Do I Use the Online Case Simulation? Read the preview, and review the Chapter 1 background material, if necessary. Visit the MIS CourseMate Web site at, locate the SCR Case Simulation, and click the intranet link. Enter your name and the password sad10e. When the opening screen displays, select this session. Then check your e-mail and voice mail, and start to work on your task list.Preview: Session 12You assisted your supervisor, Jesse Baker, in various implementation tasks, and the TIMS system is up and running. Now she wants you to focus on system operation, support, and security tasks. Specifically, she wants you to work on a service desk, version control, configuration management, capacity planning, and system security issues. She also wants you to create a checklist that will help SCR know when the TIMS system is reaching the end of its useful life.Critical Thinking ChallengeIn addition to technical ability, IT professionals need critical thinking skills. This feature can help you practice perception, organization, analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making skills that will be valuable in the workplace. You can visit to learn more about critical thinking and why it is so important.BackgroundYour team leader wants to develop a standard method for rating and ranking maintenance requests for the new C3system. The idea is to develop some type of grid that could suggest priorities based on the type of maintenance requested and the potential impact on operations. When you review your notes from your systems analysis textbook, you realize that you used a similar approach when you created a risk matrix in Chapter 3, developed an evaluation model in Chapter 7, and selected a changeover method in Chapter 11.The team leader also wants to test IT security levels with a simulated attack, something like a fire drill. The planned exercise would include realistic threats that will allow the team to evaluate responses and security procedures.Practice TasksVisit the MIS CourseMate Web site at Then navigate to the resources for this chapter and locate the Critical Thinking Challenge feature. You will complete two Practice Tasks, using what you learned in the chapter. Then you can check your answers to be sure you’re ready for the Challenge Tasks.Challenge TasksAfter you complete the Practice Tasks, you learn about new developments at Game Technology.Your initial design was good, but the team leader wants you to try another approach. She put these questions to you: “Should corrective maintenance get a higher priority than other types of maintenance? Why or why not? Should cost-benefit issues be considered? If so, how would this be done?” Also, your security plan was good, but did not go far enough. The team leader wants you to include at least five more types of attacks, with examples and suggested responses.To continue, navigate to the Critical Thinking Challenge feature for this chapter, select the Challenge Tasks, and follow the instructions.Video Learning Sessions© craftvision/iStockphotoVideo Learning Sessions can help you understand systems development concepts and practice your skills. In this scenario, you will help design a Video Learning Session for this chapter.Before You BeginReview the chapter and list the main topics. Which ones did you find difficult to understand, and why? Can you think of other ways to explain the topics?Training TasksSuppose the IT training manager wants to encourage team members to watch the Video Learning Sessions. She wants you to submit a proposal for a new session that would explain the key topics in this chapter. Which topics would you choose? What specific skills or concepts would you include in the session? How would you present the material? Describe at least three graphic images that you would include in the video session.Learn It OnlineIn each chapter, you can use this feature to apply your knowledge and practice your skills. The exercises include Chapter Reinforcement Questions, Flash Cards, Practice Tests, and various games, such as Who Wants To Be a Computer Genius?, Wheel of Terms, and the Crossword Puzzle Challenge.