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Today's competitive global business environment, understanding and managing enterprise wide information is crucial for making timely decisions and responding to changing business conditions.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

1. Introduction Today's competitive global business environment, understanding and managing enterprise wide information is crucial for making timely decisions and responding to changing business conditions. Many companies are realizing a business advantage by leveraging one of their key assets - business data. There is a tremendous amount of data generated by day-to-day business operational applications. In addition there is valuable data available from external sources such as market research organizations, independent surveys and quality testing labs. Studies indicate that the amount of data in a given organization doubles every five years. Data Warehousing has emerged as an increasingly popular and powerful concept of applying information technology to turn this huge islands of data into meaningful information for better business decisions. 1.1. Data Warehousing A data warehouse is a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant, non-volatile collection of data in support of management decisions. * Subject-oriented means that all relevant data about a subject is gathered and stored as a single set in a useful format; * Integrated refers to data being stored in a globally accepted fashion with consistent naming conventions, measurements, encoding structures, and physical attributes, even when the underlying operational systems store the data differently; * Non-volatile means the data warehouse is read-only: data is loaded into the data warehouse and accessed there; * Time-variant data represents long-term data--from five to ten years as opposed to the 30 to 60 days time periods of operational data. Data warehousing is a concept. It is a set of hardware and software components that can be used to better analyze the massive amounts of data that companies are accumulating to make better business decisions. Data Warehousing is not just data in the data warehouse, but also the architecture and tools to collect, query, analyze and present information. 1.2. Concepts 1.2.1. Operational / informational data: Operational data is the data you use to run your business. This data is what is typically stored, retrieved, and updated by your Online Transactional Processing (OLTP)

Middle

Hackers fall quite specifically into these categories, in order of increasing threat: * Security experts * Script kiddies * Unemployed adults * Ideological hackers * Criminal hackers * Corporate spies * Disgruntled employees 2.3. Vectors that Hackers exploit There are only four ways for a hacker to access network, by: * connecting over the internet * using a computer on your network directly * dialling in via a Remote Access Server (RAS) * connecting via a non-secure wireless network There are no other possible vectors and this small number of possible vectors defines the boundaries of the security problem quite well. 2.4. Hacking techniques Hacking attacks progress in a series of stages, using various tools and techniques. A hacking session consists of the following stages: * Target selection o DNS lookup o Network address scanning o Port scanning o Service scanning * Information gathering o SNMP data gathering o Architecture probes o Directory service lookups o Sniffing * Attack o Denial of service o Floods o Forged e-mails o Automated password guessing o Trojan horses o Buffer overruns o Source Routing o Session Hijacking o Man-in-the-middle attacks The hacker will attempt to find out more about your network through each successive attack, so the stages above actually feedback into the process as more information is gathered from failed attacks. 3. Computer Security 3.1. What is Computer Security? A computer security system protects buildings, terminals, printers, CPUs, cable, and other hardware, and software in an organization. A computer security system includes hardware, software, procedures, and personnel that collectively protect a computer system and keep intruders and hackers at bay. Computer security is broken down into three important aspects: 1) A secret system must not allow information to be disclosed to any one who is not authorized to access it. In highly secure government agencies, secrecy ensures that only the users that are supposed to have access be given that access.

Conclusion

* Data encryption - data encryption transforms original information called plain text or clear text into transformed information, called cipher text or cipher, which usually has the appearance of random, non-readable data. The transformed information is called the cryptogram. The rules selected for encryption, known as the encryption algorithm, determine how simple or how complex the transformation process should be. (Hossein Bidgoli(1999), Handbook of Management Information Systems, Academic Press) 3.3.3. Firewalls * Packet-level firewalls - Analyze incoming and outgoing packets at the network and transport layers and filter them based on the source and destination IP addresses * Proxy firewalls - Establish the connection with the remote host, hiding and protecting individual computers on the network behind the firewall by acting on their behalf and making all packet-forwarding decisions. * Stateful inspection firewalls - Work at the network layer, tracking each connection traversing the firewall to make sure it is valid. By examining not just the header information but also the contents of a packet up through the application layer, the firewall can make filtering decisions based on context that has been established by prior packets. (Marty Jost and Michael Cobb(2002),IIS Security, The McGraw-Hill Companies.) 4. Conclusion Data Warehousing provides the means to change raw data into information for making effective business decisions--the emphasis on information, not data. The data warehouse is the hub for decision support data. A good data warehouse will... provide the RIGHT data... to the RIGHT people... at the RIGHT time: RIGHT NOW! While data warehouse organizes data for business analysis, Internet has emerged as the standard for information sharing. So the future of data warehousing lies in their accessibility from the Internet. Successful implementation of a data warehouse requires a high-performance, scaleable combination of hardware and software which can integrate easily with existing systems, so customers can use data warehouses to improve their decision-making--and their competitive advantage. Therefore, in order for effective use of data warehousing, good security measures are to be implemented to protect the systems to protect data against various kinds of threats. 5.

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