Aircraft Solutions Essay
Aircraft Solutions (AS) is a recognized leader in the design and fabrication of component products and services for companies in the electronics, commercial, defense, and aerospace industry. The mission of AS is to provide customer success through machined products and related services, and to meet cost, quality, and schedule requirements. Company Overview The main company strategy of Aircraft Solutions is to provide low cost design and computer-aided modeling packages to customers to reduce their development operating cost.
One thing AS is especially proud of is that it will help the customer through all phases of new product deployment. It will help starting from the early prototypes through final large-volume production and assembly. Eventually the goal of Aircraft Solutions is to make long-term relationships with its customers and to keep on doing business with them in the long run. AS uses a few different business processes within the company. The first is Business Process Management (BPM). BPM is focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients.
It promotes business effectiveness and efficiency while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology (Chang, 2006). Then the Design Engineering department is responsible for reviewing the electronic models, interacting with the customer and making necessary modifications with customer approval, then placing them in an Engineering Release (ER) directory for programming. Lastly, all final programs must be thoroughly verified for accuracy before releasing to the Proof For Production (PFP) directory for manufacturing to make the production first article. Two Security Weaknesses Hardware Vulnerability
Upon assessing the weaknesses of Aircraft Solutions it looks they have a major weakness when it comes to their hardware. The headquarters of AS is located in San Diego, California. Their Commercial Division is 40 miles east in Chula Vista. Their Defense Division is location in Orange County, California. One thing that all of these locations have in common is that they are all in very close proximity of each other. The problem with these locations being so close together is that all of the servers for Aircraft Solutions are located in the state of California, and California lies on the San Andreas Fault line.
In California there is a high risk of earthquakes occurring as they have happened before so many times in the past. Along the Earth’s plate boundaries, such as the San Andreas Fault, segments exist where no large earthquakes have occurred for long intervals of time. Scientists name these segments seismic gaps and, in general, have been successful in forecasting the time when some of the seismic gaps will produce large earthquakes. Studies show that California is at a high risk for another big earthquake.
Geologic studies show that over the past 1,400 to 1,500 years large earthquakes have occurred at about 150-year intervals on the southern San Andreas Fault. As the last large earthquakes in California occurred in 1857, 1906, and 1952, it is considered highly likely that a large earthquake is due any time now (Shulz and Wallace, 2007). If a large earthquake should occur in California again, the consequences to mission critical business processes would be extremely bad. Since all of the servers are located in the same state there is no backup server(s) in another state should they go down in the event of this natural disaster.
This means that the company will basically be “useless” as they will not be able to process, manufacture, or ship out any products to their customers since their servers and network will be down, and everything relies on the network being up and running. AS’s competitive edge will be affected in a very negative way should this threat occur. If an earthquake happens they won’t be able to produce any products. The company will be at a standstill and their customers will be unhappy and even angry. They will lose many of their customers because of this.
Software Vulnerability Aircraft Solutions also has a weakness when it comes to their software. The current security controls for AS include independent anti-virus software on every workstation and server. The possible threat or risk against this security control is that since the workstations and servers have independent anti-virus software they are very hard to manage. There is a great chance that not every machine on the network will have the latest anti-virus definitions; leaving parts of the network exposed and/or vulnerable to ttacks. Since each and every workstation, including the servers, is independent when it comes to anti-virus software the likelihood that a threat will occur is pretty high. This means that someone will have to make sure that each workstation and server has the latest anti-virus definitions and that the software is up and running properly. If just one PC has outdated software, then it basically compromises the whole network as it could potentially infect important documents and files with a virus, Trojan, worm and/or spyware.
If one document is infected it could lead to several others being infected as well and even infect the server since it houses the backups for important files. If the system were to get infected with a virus it could have a bad impact on the mission critical business processes because it could lead to issues with important customer data and slow down/stop production for customer products. This will in turn affect the company’s competitive edge as it will take some time to get all systems fully operational again due to the delays and get production back to normal.
These delays could lead to unhappy customers, and the unhappy customers might think twice about using Aircraft Solutions in the future. Recommended Solutions All of the servers of Aircraft Solutions are located in the state of California. Due to the fact that there is a high risk of an earthquake occurring and damaging equipment; especially the servers, the consequences could be catastrophic. For this reason above all, it is recommended that for the hardware vulnerability AS have backup servers offsite in case a natural disaster like this occurs.
The offsite servers could serve as a failover or a failsafe if/when the regular servers in California fail. The location of the offsite servers will be located in the state of North Dakota. It is a state which is relatively safe from natural disasters. North Dakota is also only one of the eight rare states where there has been no seismic activity or earthquakes for the past 30 years (USGS, 2012). The benefits of having a backup server offsite far outweigh the costs used to have and maintain it. If there was to be an earthquake and the servers in California got estroyed, the company is virtually out of business as all the important business critical software and client information is stored on those servers. There’s no way that the company can function as a business. Therefore, it is imperative to have offsite servers. Below are some of the costs associated with having and maintaining the offsite servers (Webopedia, 2012): * 5 IBM servers which includes support from vendor – $25,000 * Server setup and configuration – $4,000 * Offsite datacenter cost per month – $500 It will be somewhat expensive to implement this recommendation, but in the end it will very much be worth it.
For the initial cost of less than $30,000 it will be a very wise investment to protect AS which is worth much more. Some of the other advantages of having the backup servers offsite are that the center offers extremely high-bandwidth Internet connections, redundant power and cooling systems, back-up generators and 24-hour security (Dupree, 2012). This solution can really be implemented any time as the servers are being setup offsite. There will be little to no network downtime for the addition of the backup servers.
It can be implemented during a weekend with testing between the servers in CA and ND being done during the evenings and/or on weekends. Aircraft Solution’s current security control for anti-virus software includes independent anti-virus software on every workstation and server. Because this software is independent on every workstation and server, it is extremely difficult and time consuming to manage and maintain each station. There is also a much higher risk of the PC getting a virus and potentially infecting the whole network because one PC could be overlooked or forgotten to have the virus definitions updated.
Since the antivirus software is currently hard to manage and maintain on each workstation, it is recommended that antivirus software is installed and managed from the server instead of having to manage each workstation individually. From the server we can then push out the antivirus software to any system on the network and maintain it from the server. We can see reports on which systems have been updated to the latest definitions and which systems and have not been updated. We can then manually update the workstation from the server if it has not received the latest definitions.
Being able to manage the antivirus software from the server saves a lot of time and redundancy with our staff having to walk around and waste time checking to see if each workstation was updated or not. It also makes the network overall much more secure and less vulnerable as the updates are being managed by the server. If there was a workstation that did not receive the update for whatever reason we will know right away which station it is and quickly address and resolve the problem versus not even knowing which workstation was updated or not by actually walking to that PC.
The antivirus software that will be used and managed on the server will be Kapersky Total Security. Here are some of the product features of the anti-virus and how they will be the key to AS’s network security success: •Centralized installation, management and updates •Web interface for after-hours or remote use •Scalability •Dashboards display current status of network anti-virus protection •Device Control to manage employee use of removable media •Dedicated security policy for remote users Support for network access control technology (Cisco® NAC and Microsoft® NAP) •Comprehensive reports on network protection status The cost for this software for approximately 500 licenses is $600 (Kapersky Lab, 2012). The software is very easy to use and install and can be implemented during the weekend, which will have little to no effect on our impact to business processes as the office is closed on weekends. The benefit for having much better security on the network is definitely much higher than the small cost it will take to purchase the software with all the licenses.
Summary In conclusion, Aircraft Solutions does not have much vulnerability. We can resolve our hardware vulnerability by adding backup servers in North Dakota and our software vulnerability by managing our anti-virus software centrally from the server. These great plans and solutions will have little to no impact of business processes. Once these recommended solutions are put into effect, AS will be a much more secure company and can continue to operate should a major earthquake devastate our servers in California.