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CHAPTER

12
Harold and Edna Nordquist are the owners of WindChill, a solid and profitable manufacturer of custom cold weather clothing. Their small regional company designs and manufactures limited quantities of very specialized clothing for use in extreme climates. All of their clothing is custom-tailored and is used by the majority of scientists who work in hostile, extremely cold settings. The custom clothing is also beginning to be worn by outdoorsmen and some special units of the military. WindChill also runs extensive field tests at their northern Minnesota facility. Their cold weather testing lab is affiliated with a local branch of the university system and is increasingly being used for government funded, cold climate survival research. The testing facility and academic affiliation has helped build the renown of the WindChill product line. With the increased notoriety and success, WindChills founders decided to add a catalog and e-commerce branch to their business. They contacted a local computer consultant and had a Web site designed, and put into operation. The site included a canned e-commerce application, and WindChill was quickly swamped with orders. The founders company was suddenly growing more rapidly than they ever imagined. They added staff, and with them, a large and unfamiliar network infrastructure. Windows 2000 servers were added, along with workstations for the additional staff required to meet the increased product demand. Accounting and sales staff were added as well. These network and computer additions were provided through a local consultant, who had little experience with rapidly growing companies and Internet sales. WindChills remote location was excellent for designing, testing, and making cold weather gear. However, it was not a prime location for finding and employing experienced network design and security experts. Shortly after establishing their Internet presence, security problems emerged. A DSL connection was added for Internet connectivity and the e-commerce site was hosted from a local dedicated server. The Web server was incorporated into the companys LAN. The Internet connection was in place for less than a month when the company was hit with a devastating virus that shut down operations for almost two days. Customer order files and credit card information were destroyed. The backup system failed and customers had to be called and told their orders were lost and that their credit card information may have been compromised. This incident helped the founders realize they were no longer a Mom and Pop operation. They decided they needed professional help to put together a network that included a functional security system. They asked a professor that taught computer classes at a local college for help. The professor did a cursory analysis and informed Harold and Edna that they needed more than virus protection. He informed them that their whole system was very poorly designed and vulnerable. For example, their virus system did not have

BUSINESS CASE: GROWING PAINS IN NORTHERN MINNESOTA

Chapter Twelve/Business Case: Growing Pains in Northern Minnesota

an automated virus signature update feature. Their software-based firewall was improperly configured and susceptible to compromise. Their backup procedures were flawed and there was no password protection program in place for company users. In addition, there was no comprehensive disaster recovery or business continuity plan. The professor offered his services and told the founders that although they were not a large company, they were profitable, and there was no reason for them not to have a solid and reliable network and Internet sales operation.

BUSINESS CASE STUDY QUESTIONS


Based on the topics discussed in Chapter 12, answer the following questions.

Activities
1. Gather facts from this case and put them in order in the top-down model. Discuss whether there was a transmission of facts between layers? List instances where the layer requirements were clearly passed up and down according to the model. List any questions you have about the case. Is there information missing which is needed to do a complete top-down analysis?

2.

Business
1. 2. 3. 4. What was the business problem that motivated the owners of WindChill to seek help? What was the business impact of adding e-commerce? How did the change affect the productivity of the company? Were business processes related to security in place prior to the expansion?

Application
1. 2. 3. What application failed and resulted in the loss of customer satisfaction and business? Was the firewall appropriate for the scale of the business prior to expansion? Was systems analysis and design used to establish WindChills new network?

Chapter Twelve/Business Case: Growing Pains in Northern Minnesota

Data
1. 2. 3. 4. Was data secure prior to the Internet expansion? Where was backup data stored and how? What new data types were in use following expansion? Was client/server architecture used before WindChill started e-commerce? Was it after?

Network
1. 2. 3. 4. Was technical network expertise available in the geographic region where WindChill was located? How did the network structure change following the addition of the online business? Where was the e-commerce application located? Was the e-commerce software customized or customizable? Was the e-commerce application part of an overall network scheme?

Technology
1. 2. 3. 4. What technological changes were made by WindChill in attempting to improve system performance? Did WindChill really have the expertise to manage an e-commerce application? Should WindChill have put a hardware-based firewall in place? Should the fact that WindChill is located in a remote geographic region limit the quality and sophistication of its physical network?