Cyber Security in Business Organizations – How Target Blew It

Founded in February 1902, Target Corporation has remained one of the best performing online retailers in the United States. The company provides everyday necessities at affordable prices to customers. The products offered by Target include grocery, dairy items, and perishables. A large percentage of Target’s customers come from the United States and Canada. This explains why Target has its stores located in these two regions. The company’s best performing brands include Kid Made Modern, Simply Shabby, O’Brein, and Cherokee. Target Corporation is one of those companies that have been faced with data security issues in the recent past.

Fundamental Challenges That Organizations Face In General In Regard To Protecting Organizational Assets And Information

Organizations in the contemporary world are faced with numerous challenges related to protection of organizational assets and information. The main challenge that organizations face in regard to protection of their assets and information is lack of hardware and software that are required to protect valuable resources (Bhadauria et al., 2011). Although an organization may have enough capital to use in safeguarding its data, inappropriate choice of software and hardware may ruin its reputation and even result into loss of very crucial assets, both tangible and intangible. Apart from hardware and software selection, an organization must also ensure that it appropriately defines employee’s roles and responsibilities through well laid down rules and policies (Doherty and Fulford, 2005). By laying down proper management control measures, organizations can effectively protect their assets and information.

Another challenge facing organizations regarding protection of assets and information is improper implementation of technology that is largely used to store data. The technological advancements in the contemporary world have compelled organizations to upgrade their systems and to be able to provide excellent services to customers. For instance, companies have integrated e-commerce into their systems specifically for buying and selling of products and services. Companies that exclusively use e-commerce to sell goods and services find it very difficult to adopt those systems in a manner that will enable them to increase efficiency and productivity, and to achieve competitive advantage. Improper implementation of e-business systems is therefore one of the reasons why modern companies lose data as well as their important assets. Modern organizations must continuously monitor their systems to ensure that they are safe from external attacks (Panko, 2010).

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Red Flag That Target Overlooked Or Ignored Before The Retail Attack

In the given case, the data security of Target Corporation was breached by cybercriminals, leading to loss of financial and personal information of several millions of customers. The retail attacked at Target could have been avoided if only Target could have effectively taken appropriate actions towards various red flags that were observed before the attack. The first red flag occurred in 2013 when a malware was installed in the company’s payment system to steal credit cards used in its 1797 stores across the United States. Target did not take any action to help improve its data security system (Weiss and Miller, 2015). Another red flag that occurred when an escape route for Target’s data was planned in the company’s stores located in the United States. Fortunately, these activities were spotted before they could cause harm, but Target did not take appropriate actions to help avoid similar attacks in future. The two red flags mentioned above required immediate action by Target, a move that could have avoided the observed damage to the company’s reputation (Weiss and Miller, 2015).

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Main Actions That Target Took After The Breach Occurred The Efficiency Of Such Actions.

After the security breach occurred, Target has seen the importance of taking actions that can help it win back customer trust and record high sales as before. First Target has recruited a competent Chief Information Security Officer who will help identify and prevent risks associated with information security and technology. The Chief Information Security Officer will ensure that the company’s customers and guests are safe from information security threats. Second, Target has officially joined the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center to help it enhance its information security system. The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center is a non-profit organization that assists companies to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber attacks and any forms of fraudulent activities. Third, Target has invested close to 5 million United States Dollars in cyber security coalition. This coalition helps the company to increase awareness about cybersecurity. Fourth, Target has taken significant actions to help strengthen cyber security across all its networks. The company achieves this by offering frequent updates on security and technology enhancements (Lowestein, 2014).

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Fifth, Target has spent approximately 61 million United States Dollars since February 2014 as a response to the security breach. In order to gain customer trust that it has already lost, Target Chief Executive Officer has announced that customers will not be required to pay anything for the fraudulent activities that have resulted from the security breach. Target suffered significant financial losses following the security breach. For instance, in 2013, the company’s profit fell to 46 percent from more than 50 percent in the previous year. The actions that the Target has taken since the security breach occurred are highly efficient in the sense that, they will enable the company to avoid significant financial losses resulting from security breach in future (Lowestein, 2014).

Main Reasons Why The Attack On Target Occurred

The attack on target occurred due to a number of reasons. Prior to executing more sever email attacks, cyber criminals often begin with simple and basic attacks that enable them to scrutinize a company’s system effectively. It is after the cyber criminals are conversant with how a company’s system operates when they will execute massive attacks. In Target’s case, it can be concluded that the company indirectly contributed to the attack that occurred on its system. Target has left a large amount of its internal information in the hands of vendors though its websites. These websites do not require login details and everyone who gets to the website can get access to this information. This means that the company’s data is easily accessible to members of the public. For this reason, the hackers found it very easy to steal consumers’ financial and personal data (Weiss and Miller, 2015).

Personally, I feel that the attack occurred due to poor infrastructure as well as due to the inability of management to act accordingly. First, the company has not put in place the right hardware and software that can enable it to protect customers’ data. This is evidenced in the manner the company has left its internal data unprotected and to be accessed easily by the public. Second, the attack occurred because the company’s management failed to react accordingly to the red flags that it had experienced before. Had the company’s management take appropriate action on time, the security breach could have been avoided. The significant financial loss that Target has experienced as a result of security breach explain why the company should invest heavily in initiatives and programs that will enable it to offer the greatest customer purchase security (Dlamini, Eloff and Eloff, 2009).

Helping Student Manage Challenges they Face With Online Studies

The aspect of time is one critical factor in our day-to-day life that we can never assume at any point. This makes time management an inevitable component that we all need to embrace at the best of our capability. There is a number of tasks to be accomplished in our daily life, ranging from household chores, work, personal fitness, leadership roles, church responsibilities and studies. This process analysis essay gives a comprehensive approach towards helping students in managing the challenges they face when undertaking their online studies. The essay further presents astep-by-step platform on which hope is restored for the students to believe that they can manage their time effectively in order to accomplish everything they want.

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The process of balancing studies, family, work among other responsibilities is never an easy one but calls for self-determination and discipline. The greatest challenge one faces is the urge to pass exams while still working on shift, and still goes home to the family that needs his/her input in organizing everything around the home. When such a time reaches, everything seems complicated. It is understood that the overload becomes very overwhelming and would make someone feel like giving up, but that should not be the case, we should always remind ourselves that we must do something in order to create a balance between the various aspects of our lives that mean everything to us.

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Despite all the challenges that come with the pursuit of the various responsibilities, family will always remain at the top of priority for most of us. However, one needs to make smart and tough choices which will help him/she achieve some kind of stability with his/her work, online studies, family among other responsibilities. A good aspect of the online studies is that one gets to study from home while taking care of the family at the same time. Therefore, a person should be in the best position to create a balance of the online studies, work and family with ease.

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The very first step that an individual should put in place in balancing the family duties, work and studies is to acquire a daily planner. The gadget is most appropriate as its portable and therefore one can carry it along everywhere he wants. The day planner helps in organizing the activities an individual plans to undertake for the day. The individual jots down each day’s activities alongside what he should achieve at the end of the day. He puts a tick against the activities and the chores completed. The daily schedule should be strictly timed. When the day planner is used effectively, it helps one to manage time appropriately apart from the individual being in a position to do things that he/she couldn’t initially do. The process of creating a balance on online studies, family and work boils down to proper time management. We will be amazed with the much we can do with the little time available.

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On the other hand, not all the important aspects of our lives can be managed with the use of a day planner, for example family. This creates a demarcation on the areas in which the day planner can be most suitable and where its application is purely inappropriate. Therefore, an individual needs to thinks of a way out in the places the day planner will not be of importance.

Use of a diary is another appropriate way of managing ones time, apart from the day planner. The diary can be a good material to put down the most valuable goals and priorities. The diary gives one a directive to give attention to the most important goals and priorities that he/she feels matter most on a particular day.This makes one to ensure that he does not put too much attention on a particular responsibility and forget the others.

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Additionally, in order for an individual to manage his time wisely he must develop a tight time-frame. This would mean to make specific time for studies. One should note down the days of the week and then focus on what he wants to get done that particular week. The next concern would be to go through the listed days of the week and then put down what he wants to getdone on every specific day of the week.It’s very critical to be organized since this makes one to stay on top of his plans.Being focused is an essential integral of balancing work, family, studies and other tasks.

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Another efficient method of creating a balance between family, work, studies and other responsibilities is through sharing of family responsibilities. One should ensure that he assigns the available responsibilities to every member of the family in order to avoid juggling everything on his head only. A supportive family would always be ready to help each other in accomplishing their dreams by assisting in doing the household chores and other responsibilities. When one has got no household chores and other family responsibilities to worry about he gets ample time to manage his study schedule, and work.

Moreover, one should stick to a study plan in order to balance his studies with other life responsibilities. One would need to miss out a lot things, especially the ones that seem to be less important. This would call for making sacrifices like skipping outing in order to do most valuable things of the day.It is acknowledged that life is really challenging and a bunch of school work would make it more scary. Therefore, achieving success in academics alongside other responsibilities bestowed upon an individual would call for a relentless effort in sticking to a study plan. Every week may present a totally different course of activities, therefore one needs to be very dynamic and open minded to incorporate a change of activities and achieve the optimal outcome of every task undertaken.

Operating on a flexible schedule is also an important way of managing the online studies, family and work. Though, a good part of the schedule would be inflexible but a room for adjustment is a perfect way of ensuring an effective time management depending on the contingencies that may arise in the course of doing the tasks.For instance, one should build a routine that he can stick to, but also he is able to adjust it when other important things come up.

Lastly, stress management is another crucial aspect in the management of time and creating room for the successful accomplishment of tasks. The process of undertaking studies, engaging in family responsibilities and work involves some elements of stress. One should therefore try to prevent stress, hence learn how to relieve it as well. Transiting from one task to the other calls on a person to take a break. When one gives himself some time to recollect when he needs it most, he can reproach the tasks with a clear mind.

In conclusion, the process analysis of time management with respect to achieving the best outcome out of the underlying responsibilities, a day planner, stress management, sticking to a study plan, being organized and delegation of responsibilities are at the core of attaining such a critical of work, family, studies and other responsibilities.