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Vulnerability of SCADA within Wal-Mart

Introduction

SCADA is known as supervisory control and data acquisition and is denoted as industrial control system within any organization (Bailey& Wright, 2003). This system is composed of such computer systems, which are allocated to monitor and control the industrial infrastructure as well as facility-based process (Clarke, Reynders,& Wright, 2004). SCADA, if implemented appropriately, can offer immense advantages to organization in terms of saving time and money, however, there are certain vulnerabilities of this system, which are discussed in this paper in the context of SCADA implemented within Wal-Mart. Buy assignment online from professional writers.

SCADA in the Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is a retail corporation, running number of chains such as discount stores and warehouse stores around the world (Spotts, 2005). Considering such large operational activity at chains, the corporation regards the implementation and use of network architecture through which it connects the entire operational activity of different divisions including stores, distribution, inventories, and headquarters (Lowson, 2002). It has been investigated that the SCADA system implemented within the structural process of Wal-Mart is mainly intended to automate the operational process of the organization. In this context, the Wal-Mart appears implementing and using wireless technology, which helps it to create wireless SCADA architecture (McCullough, 2001). The wireless SCADA architecture implemented within the organization offers extending the fieldbus to the internet connection. Thus, the organization manages its Master Station as different network and location. However, the SCADA used within Mal-Mart is not different from the one normally used within other organizations, as this system is connected without devices like RTU, PLC, IED and other fieldbus and internet connection through wireless connection. The organization has been focusing on the extension of the SCADA due to expanded operational activity. For this purpose, it seeks to implement SCADA website where there could be user access (Shaw, 2003). Buy dissertation online UK from experts.

Vulnerabilities of SCADA in the Wal-Mart

Despite offering immense advantages and facilities for the organization in terms of improving the service and production quality in the organization, SCADA has been found with certain limitations and vulnerabilities that put organizations like Wal-Mart on the threat regarding making the best use of the system. As identified above, the Wal-Mart is an ever growing and expanding organization, and with the passage of time, it requires changing its architectural system, with the wireless SCADA architecture, it is difficult to expand the system to a larger connection. In this context, the greater vulnerability of SCADA is associated with the loss of communication, which presently exists even in wireless SCADA (Wiles, Claypoole, Henry, Drake,& Lowther, 2008).  Considering Wal-Mart using this wireless network architecture, the system may face interruption due to breakage of communication between wireless devices, which may easily be intercepted and changed if they are not encrypted. In such situation, it is most likely for outsiders to access the control of the wireless network and control devices (Shaw, 2003). Buy coursework help to get high grades.

Another vulnerability of wireless SCADA within Wal-Mart is that such network is not stable if compared with the wired network (Ślęzak, 2009). Concerning this vulnerability, it might become difficult for Wal-Mart to expand its SCADA wireless network, because the expansion of such network will further increase the vulnerability of the network. However, network experts of the organization if somehow manage to deal with expansion through creating the connection with the field devices, this expansion can be rather costly for the organization.

Apart from the difficulties adhered to such network system; operating this system may require having highly skilled individual with ability to analyze and program the system efficiently. It is because of the complications involved within the SCADA system, which may demand the Wal-Mart Corporation to hire experts or train the employee while increasing the costing of the company (JAMES, 2009). These complications are mainly related to the structure of the system that is highly rated complicated more than the sensor to panel type. Such high intensity of complication within the Wal-Mart makes the system vulnerable in respect of its efficiency, as lack of operating skills amongst the employees of Wal-Mart can lead to loss of control over the system. Looking for best essay writers? This is your stop.

Conclusion

SCADA has been identified as useful and beneficial network system within the Wal-Mart, where the system is implemented to supervise and control all activity through accessing the data at the center point location. Although, this system has been very promising in the organization in relation to providing easy access and control to important data of the company, yet the limitation and vulnerability of SCADA network architecture has been found threatening the organization in terms of losing the communication and control over the system. Other vulnerabilities are associated with the complications and expansion of the system network, as complicated structure of the system makes it difficult for the Wal-Mart to deal with the system without experts. Buy thesis online from best thesis writers.

Reference

Bailey, D.,& Wright, E. (2003). Practical SCADA for industry. Newnes
Clarke, G. R., Reynders, D.,& Wright, E. (2004). Practical modern SCADA protocols: DNP3, 60870.5 and related systems. Newnes
Lowson, R. H. (2002). Strategic operations management: the new competitive advantage. Routledge
McCullough, A. (2001). Designing a wireless network. Syngress
Shaw, R. (2003). Wireless networking made easy: everything you need to know to build your own PANs, LANs, and WANs. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn
Ślęzak, D. (2009). Security Technology. Springer
Spotts, G. (2005). Wal-mart: the high cost of low price. The Disinformation Company
Wiles, J., Claypoole, T., Henry, P. A., Drake, P.,& Lowther, S. (2008). Techno Security's Guide to Securing SCADA: A Comprehensive Handbook On Protecting The Critical Infrastructure. Syngress.

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