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Impact of ransomware on revenue cycle

Executive summary

This report discusses about the threats evident from the ransomware attacks on the organizational system. The chosen organization for this report is Motherboards and More Pty Ltd. The report also discusses about the risks and the measures to reference the ransomware attacks.

Introduction:

This report discusses about the threats evident from the ransomware attacks on the organizational system. The report includes an analysis of the company’s revenue generations and recommends the controls needed to address them. The following analysis also includes a discussion about ransomware attacks and its measures.

Discussion:

Motherboards and More Pty Ltd is a medium size, exclusive, Australian business organization. They are responsible for the production of motherboards, graphics card and computer chips. In addition, they are a key provider to computer developers and repairers.

Motherboards and More Pty Ltd is present in business for 8 years and includes an incorporated ERP framework for their operational demands.

1. Overview of revenue cycle:

The company receives order from their customers. These are usually done by email or telephone. These orders are placed in their website. These orders are then processed and sent to the dock, which is used to collect shipments coming and going for deliveries. However, the increase in sales made were the cause of many errors which resulted in customers getting wrong shipments. In addition delayed shipment was also another result.

2. Identification of the weaknesses:

The report includes an analysis of the company’s revenue generations and recommends the controls needed to address them.

A. Weaknesses:

The presence of weakness in Motherboards and More Pty Ltd is evident due to the emergence of various control related problems.

The credit purchase of products is the first weakness, which is the main cause for slow profit acquisition.

The next weakness is the dock usage for addressing shipments coming and going for

deliveries (Zurich, 2017).

Another weakness is the company’s absence of a database for the maintenance of

products records.

In addition the last weakness evident from the revenue cycle is the presence of discount option which is making all the customers opt for this plan.

B. Impacts of these weaknesses:

The first weakness is the purchase on credit which accounts for the use of products in a 30-day trial. This is a reason for the hindrance in sales operation for the first month from the delivery. As the profit acquisition is done from the company’s sales, credit purchases can lead to less acquisition rates for profit. In addition, the main risks in this process is the credit purchases by clients who do not possess a good report.

The use of the dock for the operations of shipments is another weakness. The main operations include placing the products serially for easy transport. Furthermore, the large products lining to the increased sales can lead to wrong product shipment to the customers.

Another weakness is the database’s absence as all companies need to maintain records of products (Zurich, 2017). The manual recording of the products that are returned might have major operational problems if the number of returned products exceeds to a very high level.

Lastly, the accepted discount rates accounting to 2% causes less sales, which is seen from the revenue cycle as the whole lot of customers are opting for this mode in returns.

C. Controls:

This portion includes the controls to be applied for addressing the risks involved in the revenue cycle.

Firstly, the company needs to give less credit because of reduced rate for sales. Furthermore, the customers associated with good credit scores, should get credit for maintaining the current market rank (Chen & Tsou, 2012). The company can address such issues by partnering with a financial service company to assess the customer scores.

Secondly, the company must address the tracking needs for the shipments. This can be done by adopting commercial software which will be responsible for tracking the shipments.

This will remove any flaws in the system. For example, the On Time 360 ("Courier Software & Delivery Dispatch - OnTime 360", 2017) is one such commercial software.

In addition, Motherboards and More Pty Ltd Company have to facilitate the recordings the products present in the warehouse. This can be done by using a database. The problems persistent due to traditional recordings will be removed by the application of the database in the system. The company also needs to consider the hiring of additional staffs for maintaining the database.

Lastly, the discount plan of 2% is to be removed as most of the customers are opting for this plan (Teixeira et al., 2012). The company needs to create alternatives like offering alternate offers. This will not only bring in new offers for sales but will also increase the profit.

Internal control weaknesses

Impact

Mitigation

Purchase made on credits

Hindrance in sales operation

Review of credit scores

Shipment from the same dock

Losing count in case of high

sales activity

Tracking of delivery services by using software solution

Absence of database

Discrepancies in manual work

Application of a database

High discount policy

Customers opting for this method

Needs to apply alternate

solutions

3. Overview of the ransomware attack:

The most significant cyber attack which made its impact in the whole world is the ransomware attack. The encryption of the user files in the infected computers was the main harm done by them. In addition, the attack led to the display of payment related messages which demanded a sum of 300$. Moreover, the amount that had to be deposited was to be made using the bitcoin address which kept on increasing after every two hours ("'Biggest ransomware outbreak in history' hits nearly 100 countries", 2017). The message also incorporated threat messages in case of not paying like doubling of the amount after three days. The most affected systems were the healthcare systems, which had their business affected as they were unable to access records.

4. Controls to address the ransomware attacks:

The ransomware attack was the biggest cyber attack until date which had its impact on 99 countries. This requires the Motherboards and More Pty Ltd to address concerns regarding the control of such attacks. This is to be done to ensure continuity of business services (Sittig & Singh, 2016).

The Motherboards and More Pty Ltd needs to ensure the obligations of security enhancements by the applying antivirus programs in the system. These programs are very efficient and effective in removing malwares. For example, Kaspersky and Quick Heal are the most commonly used programs.

The next step is the awareness of security among the common people. This involves spreading of awareness of employees against malware or attempts for phishing attacks. The clicks on certain malicious links sent on the email systems of the employers are also to be reduced as this is another cause for breaches.

Lastly, the application of operating system patches is another mitigation process that helps to disable ransomware threats. The occurrence of the attack was mainly due to the absence of operating system (OS) patches which was the root cause for the system to be made vulnerable (Sittig & Singh, 2016). These attacks are made to take advantages of the vulnerability detected in the system and OS patches can help to remove the existence of such attacks.

Conclusion:

Thus, it is concluded from the analysis made on the report that the company

Motherboards and More Pty Ltd needs to analyze and discuss the recommendations discussed. This will enable the company to apply the results of the analysis in their operations to ensure business process operations. The report includes the addressing of ransomware attacks which is discussed in the report that the company needs to reference for maintaining the security levels.

References:

'Biggest ransomware outbreak in history' hits nearly 100 countries. (2017). ABC News. Retrieved 14 September 2017, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-13/biggestransomware-outbreak-in-history-hits-nearly-100-nations/8523102

Brewer, R. (2016). Ransomware attacks: detection, prevention and cure. Network

Security, 2016(9), 5-9.

Chen, J. S., & Tsou, H. T. (2012). Performance effects of IT capability, service process innovation, and the mediating role of customer service. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 29(1), 71-94.

Courier Software & Delivery Dispatch - OnTime 360. (2017). Ontime360.com. Retrieved 14

September 2017, from https://www.ontime360.com/

Pathak, D. P., & Nanded, Y. M. (2016). A dangerous trend of cybercrime: ransomware growing challenge. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Engineering & Technology (IJARCET) Volume, 5.

Sittig, D. F., & Singh, H. (2016). A socio-technical approach to preventing, mitigating, and recovering from ransomware attacks. Applied clinical informatics, 7(2), 624.

Teixeira, J., Patrício, L., Nunes, N. J., Nóbrega, L., Fisk, R. P., & Constantine, L. (2012). Customer experience modeling: from customer experience to service design. Journal of

Service Management, 23(3), 362-376.

Zurich, L. B. (2017). Service Operations and Management.

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