BS106 Business IT.txt
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. What would you like to do?
What are Porter's Five Forces?
- Buyer power
- Supplier power
- Threat of substitutes
- Threat of new entrants
- Rivalry among existing competitors
What is IT?
How computers, software, databases, AV, and comms devices enable users to access, store, transmit and manipulate data/information
How do you transfer a file from home to UNDA?
- Flash drive
- Email to self
- Black board
- Student folder
- Web server
What is a computer? What is its function?
Digital electronic device operating under the control of stored instructions. It is designed to take in data, process them and produce useful information as an output.
What is an information system?
Any combination of IT and activity people that supports business operations, management and decision making.
What is Moore's law?
The number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years.
What are the 6 types of hardware and their functions in a computer?
Central Processing Unit (CPU) - Carries out instructions offs a computer programme by performing basic logical, arithmetical and input/output operations required.
- Primary storage - Stores data for brief periods of time.
- Secondary storage - More permanent storage. Non-volatile. External to CPU. Requires storage medium and retrieval device. Backing up required.
- Input technologies
- Output technologies
- Communications technologies
What is software? Name 2 categories.
Sequences of written instructions for computers.
- System software, eg. Windows 7
- Application software, eg. MS W
What are the 6 categories of hardware?
- 1. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- 2. Primary Storage
- 3. Secondary Storage
- 4. Input Technologies
- 5. Output Technologies
- 6. Communication Technologies
What is the function of (1.) the CPU?
The CPU is the hardware within a computer that carries out the instructions, which are provided by a computer program, by performing the basic arithmetical, logical and input/output operations required.
What are the most important differences between (2.) Primary Storage and (3.) Secondary Storage?
- Primary Storage:
- - Stores data for brief periods of time
- - Close to CPU, such as ROM and RAM
- - Quickly retrievable - Relatively insignificant from business perspective
- Secondary Storage:- More permanent storage which is particularly useful for businesses
- - Non-volatile
- - External to the CPU
- - Slower to retrieve - Requires storage medium and data retrieval device
- - Various options, including off-site storage
Which data should be stored?
- - Some data are very important:
- Sales data
- Customer data
- Where are the data? They may be stored somewhere hidden
- Some data may be stored under a legal requirement
Which storage media should be used?
- Magnetic tape / discs
- Flash drives / SD cards
- CDs / DVDs / Blu-Rays
- Internet server
Data Communications - Chapter 6 / Week 8
- Information systems connected via network;
- Data needs to be transmitted between them, using communications systems;
- Different types of network;
How can communications systems vary?
- Size: LANs, WANs & the Internet
- Shape: Ring, Bus & Star
- Usage: Intranets, Extranets
- Services: Security & Privacy
ValueAddedNetworks & VitrualPrivateNetworks
What areas are covered by the different networks?
LANs, Local Area Networks, connect computers that reside in a single geographic location, managed by the company operating the LAN.
WANs, Wide Area Networks, connect an organisation at different geographic sites, via a commercial carrier's networks.
The Internet is a global network connecting many LANs and WANs.
What is a protocol?
In computing, a protocol is a set of rules or procedures for transmitting data between devices, which must be mutually agreed upon; how each side will send and receive the data. Protocols are established by international organisations.
What is the function of the IEEE 802.3 Protocol?
- It specifies hardware characteristics such as which wires carry which signals.
- It is used by most LANs.
- It also describes how messages are to be packaged and processed for transmission.
Name some features of a LAN.
- Confined to small area - a building or group thereof
- Hardware is located on the property controlled by the network operator
- Relatively fast (100mbps+)
- Secure and reliable
- Users share local resource such as servers and printers
- Devices connected via a 'switch', a special-purpose computer that receives and transmits messages on the LAN
Name some features of a WAN.
- Located far apart, spanning a city, country or the world
- Connected by various telecom links including optic fibre, coaxial cable or satellite, etc
- Usually owned by several organisations and able to be leased
- It is more difficult to keep them secure because there are many people from different places operating with it
- Users can share files, but not other resources such as printers
How does a LAN connect to the internet?
Via a DSL, Digital Subscriber Line. Digital data is transferred through copper wires, allowing the ISP to provide more bandwidth for transmitting more data - hence broadband.
DSL can be separated so that phone and internet can be used simultaneously.
ADSL is used by most homes & businesses because they receive more data than they send, so that the connection is 'asymmetric'.
What has been the impact of wireless technologies on networks?
- Mobile computing, real-time and wireless connections between mobile devices & the Internet, is commonplace and has lea to e-commerce.
- Electronic transactions are conducted in wireless environments.
Name some uses of wireless technology.
- Mobile Phone Networks
- Wireless LANs & WANs
- Wireless Internet access
- Radio / TV Signals
- Remote Control Systems
What is the wireless protocol 802.11?
- 802.11 a,b,g,&n define the radio frequency which affects the bandwidth and range available for wireless networks.
- 802.11g is standard, offering a network of 30m radius.
What are the wireless privacy protocols?
- WEP, Wired Equivalent Privacy, is part of the 802.11 standard and provides encryption of data & security for networks.
- It is insecure, however, when compared to the WPA, Wi-Fi Protected Access, protocol.
What area the types of wireless computer networks?
- Short-Range wireless networks, such as Bluetooth, usually have a range of < 30m.
- Medium-Range wireless networks, WLANs, allow access to LAN via a WAP, Wireless Access Point, based on the IEEE 802.11 standard.
- Long-Range wireless networks, WWANs, are mainly based on mobile phone networks such as Optus and Vodafone and provide voice, data and internet communication.
Databases - Chapter 3 / Week 9
- Data needs to be organise - data hierarchy
- High quality information
- Types of data & data management approaches
- Issues with traditional file system
- Compare filing with database management
- Different types of databases models
- Various components of databases systems
- Data-driven websites & client/server databases
- Databases in relation to business analytics
What is meant by 'data'? How can it be stored?
A collection of unprocessed items in the form of text, numbers, images, audio, video or other formats, which need to be collected, processed and organised in order to be considered useful information.
Data can be stored in various ways, including paper, text files, excel sheets & database tables.
What difficulties arise in managing data?
- Data are continually generated
- They come from multivarious sources
- They need to be stored, internally or externally, for large periods of time
- Security, Quality and Integrity of the stored data must be maintained
- They must be constantly and easily accessible
Identify some internal and some external sources of data.
- Internal sources concern people, products, services and processes:
- - Invoices, purchase orders, receipts...
- - Sales estimates, opinions about competitors, business procedures...
- - Employee information, awards packages...
- External sources are accessible over networks & the internet:
- - Commercial databases
- - Government reports and databases
- - Newsletters, RSS feeds, podcasts...
What is the traditional file approach?
- Many files contain similar, but separate, content
- Similar files may be created by software applications
- Files may be found in different areas of business
What are the problems associated with the traditional file approach?
- Redundancy - same information duplicated in several places
- Isolation - difficulty in transferring / accessing data to / from different applications
- Inconsistency - various copies of the same file may disagree
- Security - who has access to the files?who has backed them up?
- Integrity - values / data may not be accurate
- Dependence - information may be suited to its storage medium rather than its nature
How does a database provide a solution to the problems associated with the traditional file approach?
- Easier to maintain quality of stored information
- Improves security & access restriction
- Assists in recovery of information - one backup
- Allows access to information via other applications
What are the advantages of a database?
- One version of data
- More information can be generated from one data set
- Redundancy minimised
- Programs and data independent
- Opportunity to use more sophisticated security measures
- Less storage space required
- Easier to locate specific records, add and delete records and sort records
- Complex queries and reports can be performed
What is a relational database? What are its key features?
- A collection of related data in tables form which data can be accessed in different ways
- Once relationships are created, tables relate to each other
- - Entity: person, place, thing or event to describe (rows in Access)
- - Attributes: characteristics or qualities of a particular entity (columns in Access)
- - Primary key: a unique identifier
- - Secondary (foreign) keys: fields with some identifying information, but not enough to be unique
What is a Database Management System? Name some examples.
A DBMS is a software solution that provides users with access to the data in a database.
- MS Access is a small business DBMS
- Other businesses use Microsoft SQL or MySQL, an open source DBMS
- Larger organisations use Oracle, which may contain billions+ of records.
What is the Hierarchy of Data?
- Bit: a binary digit of 0 or 1
- Byte: eight bits together representing a single character (number, letter or symbol)
- Field: group of logically related characters (such as first name or phone number)
- Record: group of logically related fields (such as student details or catalogue item information )
- File: group of logically related records (such as all students in a course or driver's licences in a state
- Database: group of logically related files
Protecting Information Resources - Chapter 5 / Week 6
- Threats to privacy & use of IT/IS in criminal activities
- Security issues and preventative measures
What is information security?
- The processes and methodologies which are designed to protect print and electronic forms of confidential, private and sensitive information or data from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, modification or destruction.
- Includes threats that affect IT and IS, such as hardware, software, networks and procedures
- Intentional and unintentional acts
Name some examples of an unintentional IT threat.
- Not malicious, but still caused by humans or the direct environment:
- - Damage to fibre-optic cables by drilling holes
- - Natural disasters such as floods
- - Technical failures
- - Management failure - lacks in experience or sufficient policy coverage
What are the types of intentional security threat?
- Intentional security threats come in 3 types - - Malware: Viruses, Trojan Horses or Worms
- - Denial of Service: compromise networks & disrupt services
- - Social Engineering: tricking people into compromising their technology
What is Malware? How does it function?
- Computer programs written intentionally to alter the way computers / smartphones operate
- Depending on the design, they spread via networks and replicate themselves - which can also be pernicious, wasting resources such as bandwidth
- Often exploit flaws in operating systems
- Destructive programmes masquerading as benign applications
- Must be installed to be activated
- Can be download by simply clicking links or visiting contaminated websites
- Can allow a hacker to gain access to your computer
- 50% of spam apparently sent by contaminated computers
- Used to incorporate PCs into a 'botnet', a network of computers performing a common task (such as spamming)
- Also used to:
- - install additional malware / adware
- - modify / delete computer files
- - log keystrokes, eg. for bank details
What is a denial of service attack?
- Use of a botnet computer to flood a server with page requests
- Prevents legitimate usage of the website
- Was used by 'Anonymous' group in protest
What is social engineering? What are 2 subdivisions of it and how do they work?
Social engineering is the act of gaining access to building, systems or data by exploiting human psychology instead of by force / hacking. These 'engineers' trick people into reveal personal info.
Phishing is the trying to trick someone into ceding valuable information (such as bank account details) in order to gain something else.
Spoofing is creating a fake persona to encourage a person to do something unusual. E-mail address & facebook accounts, for example, can be spoofed to seem like the property of a real person.
What are some other security-related issues?
- Many types of OS can mean more exploits
- Cloud computing means less security
- Social networks can be used to obtain divers personal information
- Updating of software required to deny threats
- Vulnerable websites contaminated for malware or spam
- Mobile devices often not updated - no space?
- Employees require effective security training and screening
- Dependence on internet growing
What measures can a business take to avoid these security threats?
- Use physical controls such as locked premises & fire extinguishers
- Use technical controls such as passwords, biometrics & authentication
- Detect threats to minimise them using, for example, firewalls, antivirus software, filters and backup procedures
How can a business minimise threats generally?
- Update application software
- Take care opening attachments and links
- Pay attention to Google warnings, etc.
- Be careful what is downloaded and installed - some organisations prevent staff from installing software
- Separate home from work computers
- Separate website hosting from e-mail services
What can a business do to minimise the threat from malicious attacks?
- Only use credit cards on secure and trusted sites
- Use strong passwords, changing them regularly
- Set phone to 'undiscoverable' and turn off bluetooth
- Take care when e-mails ask you to click a link
- Type in http addresses instead
- Don't reply to spam or 'too good to be true' e-mails
- Stay informed: Subscribe to software alert e-letters or forums
What would you like to do?
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