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This reading identifies the importance of understanding the marketing research process and the techniques used to make better marketing decisions.  New data sources and the growing popularity of business analytics have increased the importance of marketing analytics.  The following three sections of the reading are presented and explained, and examples and illustrations of each are provided:

  1. An overview of the research process and research techniques
  2. Research methods for collecting primary and secondary data, as well as conjoint analysis and perceptual mapping techniques.
  3. Building a research program

Effective marketing managers understand when and how to obtain information about customers, competitors, the industries in which they compete, and other factors that affect their marketing decisions.  This reading provides some of the most relevant tools for accomplishing this objective, whether for strategic or tactical decisions.

Consumer Behavior and the Buying Process

The overarching goal of this core reading is to understand the psychology that influences and impacts the way in which consumers buy goods and services.  In the process, it is intended to do the following:

  1. Introduce different lenses for understanding how consumers differ in their buying behavior.
  2. Provide an appreciation for how buying behavior can vary across products and situations.
  3. Identify the consumer’s decision-making process, and how the psychology of buying differs at different phases of that process.
  4. Identify the consumer’s decision-making unit, and how the members of that unit can influence the buying process.
  5. Discuss several of the most prominent forces shaping modern consumer behavior.

Segmentation and Targeting

The purpose of this reading is to help develop an understanding of segmentation and targeting as fundamental concepts in marketing.  You will learn the primary variables used in both consumer and business market segmentation; how segmentation is done; and why and how organizations choose to target particular segments.  The material in this reading draws on seminal academic research, but emphasizes real-world examples.

Following your review, prepare responses to the following discussion questions:

  1. What is the value of marketing intelligence?
  2. How many companies do you think conduct marketing research studies before launching a new product?  Why?
  3. What recent developments in the marketing landscape have affected consumer behavior and the buying process?  Explain.
  4. How is communicating with customers via social media similar to and different from conducting marketing research studies?  What are the implications for marketing?
  5. In the crowded market for candy, cookies, and other sweet treats, Estee Foods (www. Esteefoods.com) successfully carved out a niche by offering a wide range of sugar-free products.  Estee targeted diabetics as well as other consumers who needed or wanted to restrict their intake of sugar and other ingredients, like carbohydrates.  Discuss Estee’s target selection based on the three criteria from Section 2.3 in the reading:  segment characteristics, competition, and company fit.

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Mr. J is a 72-year-old retired rabbi with a diagnosis of mild dementia. He was admitted for treatment of a fractured right hip after falling in his home. He has received pain medication and is drowsy, but he answers simple questions appropriately.

A week after Mr. J was admitted to the hospital, his daughter, who lives eight hours away, came to visit. She found him restrained in bed. While Mr. J was slightly sleepy, he recognized his daughter and was able to ask her to remove the restraints so he could be helped to the bathroom. His daughter went to get a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to remove the restraints and help her father to the bathroom. When the CNA was in the process of helping Mr. J sit up in bed, his daughter noticed a red, depressed area over Mr. J’s lower spine, similar to a severe sunburn. She reported the incident to the CNA who replied, “Oh, that is not anything to worry about. It will go away as soon as he gets up.” The CNA helped Mr. J to the bathroom and then returned him to bed where she had him lie on his back so she could reapply the restraints.

The diet order for Mr. J was “regular, kosher, chopped meat.” The day after his daughter arrived, Mr. J was alone in his room when his meal tray was delivered. The nurse entered the room 30 minutes later and observed that Mr. J had eaten approximately 75% of the meal. The meal served was labeled, “regular, chopped meat.” The tray contained the remains of a chopped pork cutlet.

The nurse notified the supervisor, who said, “Just keep it quiet. It will be okay.” The nursing supervisor then notified the kitchen supervisor of the error. The kitchen supervisor told the staff on duty what had happened.

When the patient’s daughter visited later that night, she was not told of the incident.

The next night, the daughter was present at suppertime when the tray was delivered by a dietary worker. The worker said to the patient’s daughter, “I’m so sorry about the pork cutlet last night.” The daughter asked what had happened and was told that there had been “a mix up in the order.” The daughter then asked the nurse about the incident. The nurse, while confirming the incident, told the daughter, “Half a pork cutlet never killed anyone.”

The daughter then called the physician, who called the hospital administrator. The physician, who is also Jewish, told the administrator that he has had several complaints over the past six months from his hospitalized Jewish patients who felt that their dietary requests were not taken seriously by the hospital employees.

The hospital is a 65-bed rural hospital in a town of few Jewish residents. The town’s few Jewish members usually receive care from a Jewish hospital 20 miles away in a larger city.

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REQUIREMENTS

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Your submission must be your original work. No more than a combined total of 30% of the submission and no more than a 10% match to any one individual source can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from sources, even if cited correctly. An originality report is provided when you submit your task that can be used as a guide.

You must use the rubric to direct the creation of your submission because it provides detailed criteria that will be used to evaluate your work. Each requirement below may be evaluated by more than one rubric aspect. The rubric aspect titles may contain hyperlinks to relevant portions of the course.

Analyze the scenario (suggested length of 2–3 pages) by doing the following:

A. Discuss how the application of nursing-quality indicators could assist the nurses in this case in identifying issues that may interfere with patient care.

B. Analyze how hospital data of specific nursing-quality indicators (such as incidence of pressure ulcers and prevalence of restraints) could advance quality patient care throughout the hospital.

C. Analyze the specific system resources, referrals, or colleagues that you, as the nursing shift supervisor, could use to resolve an ethical issue in this scenario.

D. Acknowledge sources, using in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

E. Demonstrate professional communication in the content and presentation of your submission.

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Customer Centricity

Without customers, businesses could not succeed.  The term “customer centric” has, therefore, become synonymous with proactive business strategy worldwide.  Primarily due to advances in technology, we are experiencing a fundamental shift in marketing – from a previous focus on companies to a spotlight on consumers.  This gives customers a much stronger voice in both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) markets.

This core reading discusses how customer centricity fits into an organization in three ways: 

  1. as part of a knowledge management system (understanding the customer);
  2. as part of developing strategic competence as a learning organization (building a customer-centric culture); and
  3. as a foundation for corporate strategy development and execution (serving the customer).

Customer Value

This reading highlights the importance of understanding the various ways in which customers derive value from products and services.  The following four ways are identified and explained, with examples and illustrations of each provided throughout the reading: 

  1. Economic value
  2. Functional value
  3. Experiential value
  4. Social value

Customers define value in different ways depending on the type of product or service they purchase and their needs and motivations at various times throughout their lives.  Marketers need to create and maintain, and in many cases improve, the quality of their products and services to continue to surpass the value provided by new and existing competitors.  This focus on value is accomplished most successfully by continually assessing the needs and expectations of target markets as well as being on the forefront of new innovations launched in the marketplace.

Following your review, prepare responses to the following discussion questions:

  1. According to research, what are some of the key customer-centric characteristics of successful companies?
  2. What are some of the ways that technology has shifted power from companies to consumers?
  3. In discussing Net Promoter Score (NPS), why does Reicheld suggest doing surveys frequently rather than annually or just a few times a year?
  4. What are the basic building blocks and decisions involved in creating customer value aimed toward the development of profitable long-term relationships with customers?
  5. A focus on customer service and the customer experience can provide a competitive advantage, however many organizations have not taken advantage of this opportunity.  How can the marketing tool, the service-profit chain, be used to analyze where firms are missing the mark?

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Framework for Marketing Strategy Formulation

This reading provides a basic framework for thinking through the key decisions in the marketing process.  While every business situation is unique, you will learn best-practice approaches that can be adapted across products, organizations, and markets. 

This reading can be divided into three segments:

  • Marketing strategy formation (Sections 2.1 and 2.2);
  • Aspiration decisions (Section 2.3); and
  • Action decisions (Section 2.4). 

Following your review, prepare a response to the following discussion question:

  • What are five best practices in marketing strategy formulation that you take away from this reading?

POST 1

  1. Understanding customers first

It becomes essential to identify who the customers are and comprehend the customer needs for establishing a solid marketing strategy. As discussed using a successful example of Pebble Technology, whose CEO identified its customers by putting himself into the shoes of users. In this example, the primary customer needs such as a watch device that would augments its value and use by integrating with a smartphone were identified from a user’s perspective. Further, detecting additional customer needs such as compatibility with specific smartphone brand bolstered the product’s value. Thus, knowing the who the customers are and what their requirements look like forms the basis of establishing a good marketing strategy.

  1. Competitive analysis

Second best practice involves understanding – acquiring customers through assimilating the current and likely future competitors. Going back to the example of Pebble Tech where the company founded youngsters who never wore watches to be their challenge. As a step-by-step process identifying the current and potential competitors forms the first step in this before assessing the offerings of the competing companies to devise a functional plan. Moreover, knowledge of how other companies are addressing the market needs comes into pictures for benchmarking purposes. Last of all in this, knowing the evolution of a products over a course of time aids in understanding the pace at which the industry progresses.

  1. Aspiration decision

This involves segmenting and targeting customer needs. As an illustration, Zip car proved to be a splendid initiative in this process of segmentation and targeting. The business model focused on universities for an affordable mode of rental cars and worked out well.

  1. Offer a robust, versatile, and a multifunctional product to customers

Considering Nest – thermostat manufacturer as an example, the constructive approach discussed in the article, right from customer service for install, programmable thermostat based on time of the day, smartphone control, energy savings, auto feedback loop such as change filter, monthly energy report, and good product reviews forms the core of customer attraction.

  1. Good promotion methodologies

All that is needed is a viable means to promote a product. Here the case of Samsung can be considered for clarity in how it transformed from a low-cost manufacturer.

POST 2

Company Analysis: Activities like selling, trade publicity, and supplier management all come under the marketing function. They sound like a low-level task, however; they are the fundamentals of the marketer’s job. Sometimes, even the managerial level staffs have difficulty completing these tasks. These are the tasks that the company ignores most of the time, thinking that some low-level staff will take care of it. The higher level only pays attention to these when the crisis arises. Putting these fundamental functions into the company’s priority list is one of the best practices in marketing strategy formulation. Every company should get a provision for managing one or two marketing functions.

Collaborative Analysis: Marketing management is proven to be very problematic for some companies. On the other hand, other companies’ expertise often makes it a simple job. A strong sense of distinctiveness is often practiced by the best companies. Managers in such companies work with a clear vision. They have no disagreement and no confusion on what is their

Customer Analysis: Another best practice in forming a marketing strategy is to taking care of customers’ concerns, including the trade or suppliers. “Customer concern is an ingrained part of the culture and is always prominent in the theme of the best implementers” (Bonoma, 2014). Analyzing the distributors and customers should be the main objective of an organization.

Competitive analysis: It involves evaluating others’ contributions. It means being aware of which market the competitors are addressing, and how are they evolving. By analyzing the competition one can have a fundamental understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. There are several ways for a marketer to gain information regarding competitors, which include analyzing competitors’ statements about themselves. Also, customers could be another source of information about competitors by expressing their perceptions of competitors’ offerings. Marketers can also observe competitor’s marketing actions, including the product it has on the market.

Context Analysis: Since the Marketing context is always changing, A good marketing strategy should not take anything for granted. It has been clear that how much disruption the Internet has brought to existing business practices. “Similarly, politics, regulation, law, and social norms are not fixed features of the marketing landscape; rather, they are dynamic factors to consider and monitor for signs of disruption” (Dolan, 2014).

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After reading chapter 15, describe how federated identity management will impact the processes behind identifying end users.  The initial post must be completed by Thursday at 11:59 eastern.  You are also required to post a response to a minimum of two other student in the class by the end of the week.  You must use at least one scholarly resource.  Every discussion posting must be properly APA formatted.

Your responses to other students must be more than a simple “Good job” or “I agree with your post”. They must also not just be “Let me add to your post…” Instead, your responses to each other should do three things:

1. Acknowledge the other student’s post with some form of recognition about what they posted
2. Relate their posting to something you have learned or are familiar with
3. Add to the conversation by asking additional questions about their post, or discussing their topic further

POST 1

According to Rosencrance, L,2018. Federated Identity Management (FIM) is a digital management system that allows enterprises and big corporations with several different technologies used by the stakeholders such as corporate-owned IoT devices and BYOD devices as well as different applications related to business or personal use are logged in by using the same login credentials across different domains of the organization. It is a seamless process to make access easy for the registered users to access any domain without providing administrative user information. In such an establishment, the corporation must rely on a third-party Federated Identity Management service provider. Confidentiality and trust can be established between the service provider and the user by establishing Security assertation Markup language (SAML) or a similar XML establishment with the same standards.

The Federated Identity Management works this way; initially, users will register to the home network and further authenticate their identity through the home security domain. Once the user is authenticated via the home domain, it additionally logs into the identity federation remote application.

The current Federated Identity Management systems that exist in the market today are OpenID, OAuth2.0, Shibboleth. These software’s are developed using OASIS SAMIL (Security assertation Markup language).

The function of OpenID applications is to log in one time and access different applications that are tagged to the OpenID. Top shelf cloud providers power the OpenID. Leading organizations such as Google and Microsoft are planning to replace their current authentications systems with Federated Identity Management. (Rosencrance, L,2018)

According to Johann. Some of the given advantages of Federated Identity Management are it improves the privacy of the registered users and enables the organizations to comply with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) regulations. It eliminates the tedious process of registering several times over and over for new applications, network domains, and devices. (Johann. (2018, June 18)

POST 2

Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made between multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same identification data to obtain access to the networks of all the enterprises in the group. The use of such a system is sometimes called identity federation.

Identity federation links a user’s identity across multiple security domains, each supporting its own identity management system. When two domains are federated, the user can authenticate to one domain and then access resources in the other domain without having to perform a separate login process.

Identity federation offers economic advantages, as well as convenience, to enterprises and their network subscribers. For example, multiple corporations can share a single application, resulting in cost-savings and consolidation of resources.

How federated identity management works

Under a federated identity management scheme, credentials are stored with the user’s identity provider — usually the user’s home organization. Then, when logging into a service such as a software-as-a-service app, that user does not need to provide credentials to the service provider: The service provider trusts the identity provider to validate the user’s credentials. Consequently, the user only has to provide credentials directly to the identity provider, which is generally the user’s home domain.

Under identity federation, the user authenticates once through the home domain; when that user initiates sessions in other security domains, those domains trust the user’s home domain in order to authenticate the user (Chadwick, D. W. 2009).

Additionally, with identity federation, administrators can avoid some of the issues that go along with balancing multi-domain access, such as developing a specific system to make it easy to access the resources of an external organization.

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This week we focus on the concept of false discovery in data.  After reviewing the article by Naouma (2019), answer the following questions:

  1. What is a false discovery rate?
  2. Can a false discovery rate be completely avoided?  Explain.
  3. What was the outcome of the results of the use case?

Reply to at least two classmates’ responses by the date indicated in the Course Calendar.

Article for review:

  1. Naouma, P. (2019). A comparison of random-field-theory and false-discovery-rate inference results in the analysis of registered one-dimensional biomechanical datasets. PeerJ (San Francisco, CA), 7, e8189–e8189.

post from Anil:

Question 1:

False discovery rate:

The expected balance from type I mistakes is called the false discovery rate (FDR). A type I mistake occurs when the null hypothesis is wrongly rejected, resulting in a false positive. The family-wise error rate is firmly identified with the FDR (FWER). The FWER is the shot reaching somewhere around one erroneous resolution (i.e., one Type I Error). To put it another way, it’s the probability of making any Type I mistake whatsoever. (False Discovery Rate).

The FWER is constrained by the Bonferroni change, which makes preparations for making at least one or multiple false positives. However, this adjustment may be overly rigorous in other fields, resulting in missing findings (Mailman School of Public Health, n.d.). Rather than guarding against making any bogus positive ends, the FDR strategy is an option in contrast to the Bonferroni revision and controls for a low part of fake positives. Thus, factual force is as often as possible upgraded, and type I mistakes are diminished. (Naouma, 2019).

Question 2:

Can a false discovery rate be completely avoided ?

Using a multiple hypothesis correction process like the Bonferroni correction can help reduce the likelihood of any false discovery across all tests, known as the family-wise error rate (FWER). Unfortunately, a well-known disadvantage of the Bonferroni correction and many other FWER control procedures is that they reduce statistical power or the ability to discover genuinely significant phenomena. Furthermore, in interactive data exploration, we must deal with the additional problem that the hypotheses are frequently unknown in advance, making static procedures like the Bonferroni correction ineffective.

Question 3:

Whats the Outcome of the use case:

Data mining’s predictive capability has revolutionized the way company plans are designed. You may now foresee the future by understanding the present. These are a portion of the current business’ information mining use cases and models:

Marketing:

Data mining is being utilized to filter through ever-bigger data sets and further develop market division. It is feasible to foresee buyer conduct by dissecting the relationship between measures, for example, clientage to configuration custom-fitted dedication promoting. In advertising, information mining demonstrates which buyers will probably withdraw from assistance, what intrigues them dependent on their ventures, and what ought to be remembered for a mailing rundown to build reaction rates. Banks use information mining to comprehend market hazards better. It is normal to examine exchanges, card exchanges, buying patterns, and customer financial information in FICO scores and intelligent enemy of misrepresentation frameworks. Data mining also enables banks to understand our online tastes and behaviors better to improve the return on their marketing initiatives, analyze sales channel effectiveness, and manage regulatory compliance duties.

E-Commerce:

Online business organizations utilize data mining to offer strategic pitches and up-sells through their sites. Amazon is perhaps the most notable organization operating information mining strategies to draw in more customers to their eCommerce store. For example, supermarkets use collaborative purchase trends to detect product linkages and determine where they should be placed in the aisles and shelves. Data mining can also decide which deals are most popular with customers or boost sales in the checkout line.

Providers of services. Data Mining can be utilized by service providers such as the mobile phone and utility industries to predict why customers quit their organization. They look at billing information, customer support encounters, and complaints to assign a likelihood score to each consumer and offer incentives.

post from Harshit:

  1. What is a false discovery rate?

False discovery data is the ratio of false-positive to total positive results. As per statistics, it is to discover or find out the concept of rate of type 1 errors in null hypothesis testing when performing various comparisons. The proportion of errors committed by false rejecting null hypothesis can be viewed through random variable Q= V/(V+S)- the proportion of the rejected null hypothesis which is rejected in error

  1. Can a false discovery rate be avoided entirely? Explain.

Yes, a false discovery rate can be avoided altogether. All positives can be treated as false. If the number of false positives is set to 5%, the total positives maybe 5%. This rate can also be higher because, most of the time, estimators neglect some sources.

  1. What was the outcome of the results of the use case?

According to the use case, the method is used to study, find out, clarify the system needs. It comprises interactions between users and systems related to particular systems and particular goals. It also consists of a document that explains the step taken by the user. Each use case has three essential aspects. An actor can be a group of people or a single person. The goal is considered an outcome of the objective which is to be achieved. The system which talks about process and methods followed to reach the outcome or end goal. It also includes their requirements and their expected behaviors. 

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This subject needs you select a topic (an evidence-based practice question based on the clinical practice problem) first, then choose one research article and one non-research article related to the topic. Before you start writing, I would like to have the topic and two articles to discuss with my instructor and get her approval. Thank you.

A. Discuss the impact of a clinical practice problem on the patient(s) and the organization it affects.

1. Identify the following PICO components of the clinical practice problem:

  • patient/population/problem (P)
  • intervention (I)
  • comparison (C)
  • outcome (O)
  • 2. Develop an evidence-based practice (EBP) question based on the clinical practice problem discussed in part A and the PICO components identified in part A1.

    B. Select a research-based article that answers your EBP question from part A2 to conduct an evidence appraisal.

    1. Discuss the background or introduction (i.e., the purpose) of the research article.

    2. Describe the research methodology.

    3. Identify the level of evidence using the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice (JHNEBP) model.

    Note: The article you select should not be more than five years old.

    4. Summarize how the researcher analyzed the data in the article.

    5. Summarize the ethical consideration(s) of the research-based article. If none are present, explain why.

    6. Identify the quality rating of the research-based article according to the JHNEBP model.

    7. Analyze the results or conclusions of the research-based article and explain how the article helps answer your EBP question.

    C. Select a non-research article from a peer-reviewed journal that helps to answer your EBP question from part A2 to conduct an evidence appraisal.

    1. Discuss the background or introduction (i.e., the purpose) of the non-research article.

    2. Describe the type of evidence (e.g., case study, quality improvement project, clinical practice guideline).

    3. Identify the level of evidence using the JHNEBP model.

    Note: The article you select should not be more than five years old.

    4. Identify the quality rating of the non-research-based article according to the JHNEBP model.

    5. Discuss how the author’s recommendation(s) in the article helps to answer your EBP question.

    D. Recommend a practice change that addresses your EBP question using both the research and non-research articles you selected for Part B and Part C.

    1. Explain how you would involve three key stakeholders in supporting the practice change recommendation.

    2. Discuss one specific barrier you may encounter when implementing the practice change recommendation.

    3. Identify one strategy that could be used to overcome the barrier discussed in part D2.

    4. Identify one outcome (the O component in PICO) from your EBP question to measure the recommended practice change.

    E. Acknowledge sources, using APA-formatted in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

    F. Demonstrate professional communication in the content and presentation of your submission.

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    Using your HBR Coursepack, review the following core marketing reading(s):

    Brands and Brand Equity AND

    Brand Positioning

    The reading on Brands and Brand Equity aims to combine theory and practice by summarizing and integrating the latest theories and models in branding research and illustrating them with examples from diverse industries, including stories of both success and failure for well-known brands to which we can relate.

    The reading on Brand Positioning examines the importance of brand positioning in marketing.  Effectively positioning an offering in a distinctive way determines a firm’s success or failure.  The best marketing managers understand the importance of brand positioning in creating a sustainable competitive advantage for each of their good or service offerings.   

    Following your review, prepare a response to the following discussion question:

    Why is branding so crucial to an organization’s success?

    This initial post should be completed by Thursday at 11:00 p.m. EST.  After you submit the initial posting, return to the forum and review the findings of your classmates.  Post a meaningful comment or question (150 words minimum) to the postings of two (2) classmates.  Peer postings should be completed by Sunday at 11:00 p.m. EST.

    NOTE: THE DISCUSSION SHOULD BE BASED ON THE CASE STUDIES ATTACHED. EXTERNAL REFERENCES ARE NOT MANDATORY

    POST 1 

    Branding is very important to any business. Its purpose is to help people and organizations recognize and understand your products and organizations. As individuals are becoming more verse with e-commerce, it is important to set yourself apart from your competition. It is much more than a name and logo design. It is everything a company believes in . like the mission statment, their morals and values.Branding shows people a snippet of what the company stands for and if their can trust them. The customer builds this trust on how well the company expresses these ideals. For example, the visual identity of a brand plays a huge role in the conversion rate. People are visual being, they love to see beautiful, vibrant colors. Other aspects would be advertising and communications, using these platforms amplify the company’s voice and branding. When a company can advertise frequently and exposing the brand’s core values this is when you would see a brand explode to new levels of success.

    POST 2

    Thank you. now I need responses for peer postspost from Arush:Branding is one of the important aspects when it comes to defining an organization. It helps create a strong identity and an image in the customer’s eyes. For example, the Nike swoosh, the prancing horse of Ferrari, the colliding bulls for Red Bull, and the ever-famous bitten apple of Apple. Over time, the above examples have created such a powerful brand value for its consumers, making them the top organizations in their respective fields. Why is branding so important? The reading mentions that good branding allows consumers to gain confidence in their purchases and provides a higher satisfaction from a consumer perspective (Rohit & Anat, 2019). From an organization’s point of view, good branding will allow them to increase the effectiveness of the marketing programs, enhance brand loyalty and create a significant competitive advantage. To understand why branding is crucial to an organization’s success, we need to understand the key factors that influence branding.The first factor is brand culture; organizations need to create brand culture through brand stories. To explain brand culture, let’s take the example of Nike; the first area is the firm that shapes the brand through its product. In the case of Nike, they came up with the swoosh and with the phrase “Just do it,” and through their stories, the swoosh symbolized positivity. The second area is popular culture, with top sporting icons like Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Lebron James, and Rafael Nadal being brand ambassadors of Nike; these icons share their stories through their product association. The third area is influencers, where through social media, influencers share their stories or product reviews to grow the culture. The fourth area is the customers, who, through their personal experience, share their stories about the brand.The second factor is brand equity. David Aaker categorizes brand equity into five parts: brand awareness. Due to the proper marketing techniques and brand exposure, consumers are most likely to use a recognized brand rather than an unknown brand, for example, Heinz Ketchup. The second part is the perceived quality; in this case, specific organizations can charge a premium price for their product due to their branding success. Due to the popularity through branding, consumers identify the price increase and perceive quality. The third part is brand association; consumers relate a particular brand to their fond memory of the past. Consumers buying their favorite players’ products is another example of brand association. The fourth part is brand loyalty, where consumers being delighted with a product helps build a strong relationship with the organization. This foundation will help organizations grow substantially. The fifth part is the other brand assets, where organizations have the edge over their competitors due to critical factors like patents and trademarks.Analyzing brand equity can be done by two standard branding models, BrandDymanics Pyramid and the Brand Resonance Pyramid. BrandDymanics Pyramid talks about multiple steps that help build a successful brand, starting with presence (the brand’s identity). The second step is to help build a successful brand is relevance(catering to consumer’s needs). The third step is performance (the product’s promise). The fourth step is the advantage ( edge over competitors). The fifth step is bonding ( building a relationship with the brand). The Brand Resonance Pyramid is talks parameter that successful organizations need to consider; the first step is the identity (can consumers relate the product to the brand). The second step is performance (can the product satisfy the consumer’s needs that they require). The third step is feelings (Is the consumer content about the product). The last step is resonance( brands relationship with the consumer).The third impact is brand value; it is a quantitative measurement of the financial value of a brand. Several firms develop models for calculating brand values for top companies through a comprehensive report. The reading talks about three firms; the first firm is Interbrands methodology, there three aspects are analyzed, the financial performance of the product or service, the brand’s role in the consumer’s purchase decision measured by Role of Brand Index (RBI), and the strength of the brand. The second firm is Brand Z; Brand Z considers two key elements, financial value, and brand contribution. The third firm is Brand Finance; this firm calculates the brand value based on the royalty relief approach. Establishing the royalty rate for a brand is done by calculating brand strength on a scale of zero to hundred, according to attributes such as financial value, brand equity, consumer connection to the brand, market share, and profitability, amongst others. (Rohit & Anat, 2019)The above factors are common measuring traits used by consumers and firms today. If an organization needs to be successful, these three factors cannot be overlooked, hence making branding a crucial aspect of an organization’s success.

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    Chapter 4. Internal Analysis: Resources, Capabilities, and Core Competencies

    Initial Postings: Read and reflect on the assigned readings for the week. Then post what you thought was the most important concept(s), method(s), term(s), and/or any other thing that you felt was worthy of your understanding in each assigned textbook chapter.Your initial post should be based upon the assigned reading for the week, so the textbook should be a source listed in your reference section and cited within the body of the text. Other sources are not required but feel free to use them if they aid in your discussion.

    Also, provide a graduate-level response to each of the following questions:

    1. The chapter mentions that one type of resource flow is the loss of key personnel who move to another firm. Assume that the human resources department of your firm has started running ads and billboards for open positions near the office of your top competitor. Your firm is also running Google ads on a keyword search for this same competitor. Is there anything unethical about this activity? Would your view change if this key competitor had just announced a major layoff?

    [Your post must be substantive and demonstrate insight gained from the course material. Postings must be in the student’s own words – do not provide quotes!]

    POST 1

    Thanks! now I need peer responses: post from Don:Like every week, it is easy for me to choose a concept that grabbed my attention. This week, the most crucial chapter concept, the AFI Strategy Framework, is what I spend the most time on. I honestly had never paid any in-depth attention to this framework. Not through my undergraduate program, my MBA program, or during my professional career. I had heard about the concept, but that was it. Excellent to learn new frameworks around strategy, even when my job involves strategy consulting daily. I hope that does not make me look as if I am not mastering my job? (Rothaermel, 2012)A twelve-step framework could be called extensive and not always easy to work with as often; simplicity is key. That is why many executives prefer easy four-square matrixes to help them visualize information and make decisions. Therefore, as management consultants, we would never use a matrix like the AFI Strategy Framework to present information. Still, it could definitively be a helpful tool to enable more deep strategic thinking.For this framework to be implementable within our organization, it would need to be simplified in a short, easy-to-understand format that does not require 12 individual steps. Time is money, and we must learn how to walk while running.When we talk about personnel, it is a real war zone out there. Finding qualified employees is already a real achievement. Finding eligible employees interested in working for your organization when you are not a multinational or social impact-oriented organization is a nightmare. The youngest generation is more oriented towards social impact than to financial gains, which has affected organizations around the globe as they suddenly are not capable of attracting young professionals anymore.For that reason, attracting high-profile young professionals and experienced individuals has become a battle. Where it would not have been done in the past to try to attract employees by clearly referencing negatively towards competitors, it seems to be standard these days. Even though I believe you should always highlight the benefits of working for your organization, I understand why you would emphasize the negative aspects of working for your competitors. If you would not do it, who says they would not do so?Assuming that my firm would advertise open positions near my office, I would not have any issues with it. Proximity advertising has been done for decades within the university space. Universities tend to always advertise around competitor universities to attract students, so why would that not be acceptable for other organizations towards employees? The practice of running ads and using keywords associated with competitors is a practice that happens everywhere. (Roetzer, 2011)SEOs are built to generate traffic towards your website based on pre-defined search terms. There are no rules against using words or terms associated with other organizations, so why would you not try to beat your competitors in any legally accepted method? (Selders, 2019)

    POST 2

    post from aswini:As per author (Rothaermel, 2020-01-01) , when discussing industry, firm, and other effects in explaining superior performance, we noted that up to 55 percent of the overall performance differences is explained by firm-specific effects. Looking inside the firm to analyze its resources, capabilities, and core competencies allows us to understand the firm’s strengths and weaknesses.The firm’s response is dynamic. Rather than creating a onetime and thus a static fit, the firm’s internal strengths need to change with its external environment in a dynamic fashion.At each point the goal should be to develop resources, capabilities, and competencies that create a strategic fit with the firm’s environment. The forward motion of those environmental forces must also be considered. The chapter will provide a deeper understanding of thesources of competitive advantage that reside within a firm. To gain a better understanding of why and how firm differences explain competitiveadvantage, we begin this chapter by taking a closer look at core competencies. Next, we introduce the resource-based view of the firm to provide an analytical model that allows us to assess resources, capabilities, and competencies and their potential for creating a sustainablecompetitive advantage.In the existing business world, all firms are concentrating to attract and retain the top performers   within the organization. Firms are following many recruitment methods and testing methods to hand pick the top performers for their firm.Even though there are many practices followed, few firms adopt some immoral practices like poaching to attract the performers from other organization. They try to copy others compensation pay system, incentives or reward system to attract the top performers from other organization.Such activities are regraded to be unethical, and it is immoral to practices such kinds of behavior. Tracking the star employees from other firms through various searches and trying to attract them towards one’s own firms is regarded as unethical activity.The firms view will charge when competitors announce a major layoff. A firm’s view might change in two ways if the firm’s competitor goes for a layoff. The firm might try to travel in their same path and try to conduct open interview to the laid off workers or they might change their view and focus on other competitors, or they might focus on the retain workers in the competitors’ firm. 

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    Auburn University Main Campus

    After reading chapter 13, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of digital signatures.  

    1. Acknowledge the other student’s post with some form of recognition about what they posted
    2. Relate their posting to something you have learned or are familiar with
    3. Add to the conversation by asking additional questions about their post, or discussing their topic further

    post from Naren:

    Digital signatures are arithmetic techniques used to validate the integrity and authenticity of a message. They are the public-key essentials of message authentication and binds an individual to a message or digital document. According to Kaur and Kaur (2012), a digital signature is often inserted into a computing device and can also exist as a file on a storage device. The purpose of a digital signature is to provide evidence of the identity and origin of a document or transaction. As a result, they are used to recognize informed consent. Digital signatures are usually based on public-key cryptography and individuals often create these signatures using private keys to encrypt signature-related data, while the signer decrypts it with their public key.

    Digital signatures offer numerous advantages to businesses and individuals. One of its primary advantages is that it offers more security as compared to other contracts. Since it is based on digital certificates, these signatures provide asymmetric encryption to allow for the verification of the identities of parties. Digital signatures also tend to act as evidence for transactions and other digital agreements. This is because they assist in identifying and authenticating signatories as well as collecting data that may be beneficial as a form of evidence. The recipient of any message can use a digital signature as evidence in showing a third party that the signature was generated by the intended signatory (Kerry & Gallagher, 2013). As a result, the signatory will be unable to revoke the signature at a later date.

    Digital signatures do however have some drawbacks. One of its primary disadvantages is that they are heavily dependent on the technology used to create it. Therefore, as technology evolves, the digital signatures have to change as quickly and may lose their functionality. Another disadvantage of digital signatures is that they are not liked to real-world events and it is difficult to determine how a digital string was generated and the duration of the operation (Maurer, 2003). Furthermore, for one to use a digital signature, one must purchase digital certificates to use the technology. These digital certificates are often expensive and most users may not be able to afford them.

    post from Muhammed

    A digital signature is a scheme of mathematics that is utilized to validate the sender of a document considered to be electronic. It guarantees that the report is truly from the sender and not from another person while simultaneously guaranteeing that the message that arrives at the beneficiary is a similar one sent with no adjustments. Digital signatures are exceptionally proficient in lawfully restricting records since they are hard to mimic and they can e time-stamped. The first advantage is the speed since organizations presently don’t need to sit tight for paper records to be sent by messenger. Agreements are effortlessly composed, finished, and endorsed by totally concerned gatherings in a little measure of time. The second pro is the cost as utilizing postal or dispatch administrations for paper reports is significantly costlier contrasted with utilizing digital signatures on electronic records. The third advantage is the security as the utilization of digital signatures and electronic reports decreases dangers of documents being blocked, perused, obliterated, or modified while on the way. Fourth advantage is authenticity as an electronic report endorsed with a digital signature can stand up in court similarly just as some other signed paper record. Fifth advantage to be considered is tracking as a digitally marked or signed document can undoubtedly be located and followed in a short measure of time. (Genie, 2017)

    The first and main disadvantage of a digital signature is that it is profoundly reliant upon the technology used to make it. in the event that the technology propels, as it does rapidly, digital signatures need to change similarly as fast or lose their usefulness. The second is verification software also have to be purchased by users. Third one implies that it requires a great deal of time to authenticate as the check cycle incorporates convoluted remaining portion administrators. It requires a ton of time for calculation. Fourth one refers to the data in Digital Signature Algorithm is not encrypted. Only authentication of data can be done in it. The digital signature calculation first and foremost processes with SHA1 hash and signs it. Any downsides in the cryptographic security of SHA1 are reflected in DSA in light of the fact that verifiably of DSA is subject to it. Last one is the compatibility as there are a wide range of digital signature principles and a large portion of them are incongruent with one another and this confounds the sharing of digitally marked documents. (Pedamkar, n.d.) 

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    Auburn University Main Campus

    Text book: Chapter 1- Introduction to Data Mining 2nd Edition by Pang-Ning Tan, Michael Steinbach, et al. Jan 4, 2018: ISBN 978-0133128901 After completing the reading chapters 2 & 3 answer the following questions:

    Chapter 2:

    1. What is an attribute and note the importance?
    2. What are the different types of attributes?
    3. What is the difference between discrete and continuous data?
    4. Why is data quality important?
    5. What occurs in data preprocessing?
    6. In section 2.4, review the measures of similarity and dissimilarity, select one topic and note the key factors.

    Chapter 3:

    1. Note the basic concepts in data classification.
    2. Discuss the general framework for classification.
    3. What is a decision tree and decision tree modifier?  Note the importance.
    4. What is a hyper-parameter?
    5. Note the pitfalls of model selection and evaluation.

    POST 1

    1. What is an attribute and note the importance?

    An attribute is a property of an object which can change from time to time or is unique to a specific object. For a broader example of the attribute, we can consider columns in the database that are specifically text values or IDs representing a person’s name, zip code, region, city name, etc. All these objects contain unique values to specific objects such as a person, demographics information etc. These hold essential data of objects as they are used for reporting data in any field (Tan et al., 2019).

    2. What are the different types of attributes?

    The two attribute categories are Categorical (also known as Qualitative) and Numeric (also known as Quantitative). Categorical attributes are either Nominal or Ordinal type, whereas Numeric attributes are Interval and Ratio based (Tan et al., 2019).

    3. What is the difference between discrete and continuous data?

    A discrete attribute contains either finite or infinite data that is countable. Examples of this type of data are counts, Identification numbers, etc. Integer variables are used to denote discrete data (Tan et al., 2019).

    Continuous attribute data contains only real numbers. Examples include temperature, the weight of an object, and height. Floating-point variables denote these (Tan et al., 2019).

    4. Why is data quality important?

    Data quality is crucial for any algorithm to run or for an analytics purpose. Without good data quality, the representation of information is not accurate and misunderstood by any audience. Data cleansing tasks are implemented in several ways based on the end goal of data representation. Data mining helps identify issues in the data and fixes them as part of the data cleaning process. Raw data is often not consumable unless it is analyzed and processes as needed (Tan et al., 2019).

    5. What occurs in data preprocessing?

    Data preprocessing is performed on the data to make it consumable by the data mining process. This involves several techniques such as aggregation, reduced dimensionality, feature selection and creation, binarization and discretization, transforming variables, sampling, etc. All these techniques are applied to the data to summarize valuable content that several downstream processes can consume (Tan et al., 2019).

    6. In section 2.4, review the measures of similarity and dissimilarity, select one topic and note the key factors.

    The similarity is the numeric measurement between two objects based on the extent to which they have features in common. When two objects are closer in their properties, they tend to have more similarities. Their values are non-negative and between 0 and 1 (Tan et al., 2019).

    Dissimilarity is also a numeric measurement of two objects based on the extent to which they do not have standard features. When things are more common in their properties, they tend to be fewer dissimilarities. Distance is an alternative term for dissimilarity and serves as a particular class where their values are commonly in the range of 0 to infinity but are sometimes between 0 and 1 (Tan et al., 2019).

    Transformations are used to convert a dissimilarity into a similarity or the other way round. They can help convert a proximity measure to be in the desired range, such as between 0 and 1. Proximity measures of similarities are in the range of 0 and 1 (Tan et al., 2019).

    Chapter 3

    1. Note the basic concepts in data classification.

    The essential components for data classification are comprised of a set of records or instances. Every record is denoted by (x,y), where ‘x’ is the attribute value and ‘y’ is the class label (Tan et al., 2019). Attribute value ‘x’ can be of any type, whereas the class label ‘y’ should contain the values of the categorical type. Attribute set value x is inputted in the classification model for obtaining an output of class label ‘y’ (Tan et al., 2019).

    2. Discuss the general framework for classification.

    Classifiers are used for assigning labels to unlabeled data instances, and this process is known as classification. A classifier is explained as a model which has sets of instances called training sets (Tan et al., 2019). For every record, these training sets comprise attribute data and class labels. A learning algorithm is used to construct a classification model from its training data, and this process is known as induction. Induction is also known as ‘building a model’ or ‘learning a model’ (Tan et al., 2019).

    3. What is a decision tree and decision tree modifier? Note the importance.

    A decision tree is a basic classification technique that distinguishes between two different types of objects. This helps in classifying a particular object with the help of a series of questions (Tan et al., 2019). The three node types of the decision tree are root node which does not have incoming links but has none or many outgoing links, internal nodes where each of them has only one incoming link and two or many outgoing links, leaf nodes are also known as terminal nodes have only one incoming link for each node without any outgoing links (Tan et al., 2019).

    4. What is a hyper-parameter?

    Hyper-parameter is a constraint of learning algorithms that should be finalized before a classification model is learned (Tan et al., 2019). They are denoted with special characters such as alpha that are not available in the final classification model to classify unlabeled instances (Tan et al., 2019).

    5. Note the pitfalls of model selection and evaluation.

    The pitfalls of model selection and evaluation lead to conclusions that are not correct and usually misleading. Some pitfalls are simple and can easily be avoided, whereas some are understated and complex (Tan et al., 2019). Here are the two pitfalls that are commonly occurring.

    • Overlap between training and test sets (Tan et al., 2019).
    • Use of validation errors as generalization errors (Tan et al., 2019).

    POST 2

    1. What is an attribute and note the importance?

    Attributes are usually defining the characteristics or features of the place, person, etc. For example, the shape of a box can be either rectangular or square, which defines its attributes. The importance can be explained by considering an example from a shopkeeper’s perspective. They might weigh and measure different items asked by customers based on their attributes and decide which one to suggest to the buyer. This is just like a trial, whereas the importance lies when the shopkeeper weighs all the attributes before suggesting any product or item to any buyer.

    2. What are the different types of attributes?

    There are five types of attributes Simple, Composite, Single-valued, Multi-valued, and Derived attribute.

    3. What is the difference between discrete and continuous data?

    Discrete values are fixed values and take concrete values, for example, the number of children enrolling in swimming this summer or sales made by businesses each month. Continuous data, on the other hand, can take any value. The values can also change over time—for example, the weight of a man.

    4. Why is data quality important?

    Data quality is important because data quality helps to build trust. This helps to provide accurate and up-to-date information. This also ensures run efficient services and helps downstream people to make standard decisions based on the accuracy of the data. Data quality can help to achieve various services for an organisation also, high quality data can improve opportunity to attain top services in an organization (Sidi et al., 2012).

    5. What occurs in data pre-processing?

    Data pre-processing is a key step that involves converting the data into a meaningful format. Data from the real world can be incomplete, inconsistent and it might lack certain key trends. This data might also have some errors which required to be cleaned up.

    6. In section 2.4, review the similarity and dissimilarity measures, select one topic, and note the key factors.

    Distance measures help to place similar points into similar clusters and different data points into different ones. Performance is mostly decided using two-three dimensional spaces. To overcome the same, the framework is suggested to examine and standardize the cause of various similarity measures on distance-based clustering algorithms.

    Chapter 3:

    1. Note the basic concepts in data classification.

    Classification is the concept of determining that a new observation will belong to which set. It distinguishes and differentiates classes and concepts.

    2. Discuss the general framework for classification.

    The basic framework means to design something which in the future grows and expands to a useful element. The framework can be treated like a set of formulas and how they connect.

    3. What is a decision tree and decision tree modifier? Note the importance.

    Decision trees use various algorithms to split a node into multiple nodes. This helps in improving the purity of the node. Decision tree modifier has its importance where we consider the example of Modifier -25. The main fundamental lies in when and when not use the modifier. This has a walk-through of the page when one should or should not use the tool and takes the help of a decision tree.

    4. What is a hyper-parameter?

    Parameters defined before the learning process starts are called hyper-parameter. These can be tuned, for example, the number of branches in the decision tree.

    5. Note the pitfalls of model selection and evaluation.

    This is the phase where we examine our model. We analyze the performance and decide on steps to improve the model. It can also be considered a difference in the model, which performs well and performs very well. With evaluation, we come to know what the model can evaluate and predict better. This helps us to improve the performance up to 90%.

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    Auburn University Main Campus

    After reading chapter 8, describe the strengths and weaknesses of RC4.   You are also required to post a response to a minimum of two other students in the class by the end of the week.  You must use at least one scholarly resource.  Every discussion posting must be properly APA formatted.

    Your responses to other students must be more than a simple “Good job” or “I agree with your post”. They must also not just be “Let me add to your post…” Instead, your responses to each other should do three things:

    1. Acknowledge the other student’s post with some form of recognition about what they posted
    2. Relate their posting to something you have learned or are familiar with
    3. Add to the conversation by asking additional questions about their post, or discussing their topic further

    POST 1

    The RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4) Encryption algorithm is a stream cipher it uses a variable-length key algorithm. It means it encrypts only one byte per given input. It uses a pseudorandom generator. A typical input is converted into an unpredictable 8-bit number; then, these 8 bits are run through an X-OR operation. In this step, one byte is taken at a time, and it is converted into a plain text stream cipher.

    According to Stosic, Lazar & Bogdanovi?, Milena, 2012.Ron Rivest first developed the RC4 in the year 1987. The application of RC4 is mostly seen on the WIFI domain; It is accepted and used as a standard WEP protocol for IEEE 802.11 wireless land devices. It is used in SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS(Transport Layer Security ) protocols.

    There are different variants of RC4 that were developed in the later years, such as the Spritz cipher it is mostly applied in developing cryptographic hash functions. And also, RC4A and RC4A+ were developed based onRC4 concept. They both are much stronger interims of producing robust results in producing complex cipher outputs. (Stosic, Lazar & Bogdanovi?, Milena, 2012)

    According to Puneet,2021. The primary advantages of the RC4 algorithm are it is quite robust, and the ciphered RC4 key can only be used once. When compared to DES, it is ten times faster; It can be efficiently used in any given system. The second advantage is it is much faster in producing the ciphertext outputs. And it is quite capable of handling large streams of data at a faster phase. These are some of the given advantages of the RC4 Cipher module.

    The disadvantages of RC4 are, according to cryptanalysts, the RC4 generates weaker keys; they discovered the generated keys are co-related to the subsets of the key bytes.There are some vulnerabilities detected in this RC4 algorithm itself, this made it less popular and used in few areas, and NIST also restricts it for its potential use in TLS.Vulnerabilities such as it does contain authentication while in transit it makes it vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. It cannot process smaller streams of data that makes the RC4 viability not so useful in processing cipher for smaller streams. ( Puneet, 2021)

    POST 2

    The security of files is paramount in ensuring confidentiality of information is maintained. This is particularly for the sensitive information that only authorized individuals are supposed to know. Because of the rising number of exposures and leaks, all data gathered by an organization remains a secret as the information obtained in most cases results in undesirable events as well as misused parties that often are deemed highly irresponsible. Cryptography is undoubtedly the best way used for file security and RC4 is one of the algorithms used. S-Box is formed to generate the key where the results are taken by XOR process with the current or the existing plain character. RC4 has its weaknesses and strengths.

    RC4 has several strengths which includes its simplicity in use. It is highly chosen because it is simple to use compared to the other algorithms. The second strength of RC4 is that its speed of operation is fast in comparison to other common ciphers. The third strength is that RC4 stream ciphers are strong in coding and is easily implemented. The fourth strength of RC4 is that it does not need a huge memory. The fifth strength is that the stream ciphers in RC4 are implementable on large streams of data.

    There are weaknesses of RC4 that is critical to the state of cryptography. The first weakness is that RC4 stream ciphers do not give out the required authentication. The second weakness is that encryption is vulnerable if RC4 is not utilized with a strong MAC. In particular, vulnerability is exposed by a bit-flipping attack. The third weakness is that the RC4 algorithm often needs additional analysis. This is prior to inclusion of new systems. The fourth weakness is that it cannot be implemented on streams of data that are small. Despite the highlighted weaknesses, RC4 still plays a crucial role in cryptography.

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    Auburn University Main Campus

    After reading chapter 19, determine the impact that cryptography plays on email exchange.  Should a company encrypt their email traffic and what would be the disadvantage for encrypting the data. You are also required to post a response to a minimum of two other student in the class by the end of the week. 

    post by varun

    In many organizations today, the critical challenge is maintaining the business emails from getting compromised. It is getting quite challenging to prevent spam emails and malicious content sent by unknown individuals. Organizations deal with such emails efficiently by configuring the email services to filter the content and mask or stripe off attachments that could contain potential malware. Some ways to prevent cyber-attacks and malicious content via emails are to configure VoIP and electronic email services to filter the content coming from unknown sources, completely block the incoming traffic from flagged sources, and train employees to identify and report the fake emails and malicious popups from these emails. These are some of the best practices to prevent cyber-attacks via emails. (Scarfone, 2015)

    Encrypting emails can prevent unauthorized access; some of the standard protocols used in email encryption are SSL (Secure Socket Layer), TLS (Transport Security Layer), and STARTS; these are some of these the protocols that are used for secure emails transmission.

    The function of the STARTS protocol is to notify the email server and email client to convert the insecure connection into a secure connection. (Witts, 2021)

    During the client sends and receives an email, it deals with Transport Control Protocol to establish a handshake with the email server. In this window, the email client communicates with the email server regarding characteristics such as which version of SSL or TLS is running and the suitable compression methods and cipher configuration. Once it confirms these characteristics, it initiates a verification by sending a digital certificate acceptable by the client’s application; once it is trusted, the key is exchanged between both parties, and it enables the encryption for the emails sent and received. TLS is the latest tool for securely encrypting emails; it is proven to be quite robust. (Witts, 2021)

    It is quite essential to encrypt emails because a weak unprotected email can be easily intercepted and taken advantage of; it can cause loss of user personal information and financial information. The current email encryption software is automated; they do not require users to exchange keys. The cost is of encryption is cheaper because it does not use Public key infrastructure for generating keys. (Scarfone, K. 2015)

    post from yesha

    Cryptography plays a vital role in email exchange by ensuring secure communication between sender and receiver. Different methods are used to secure email communication. One method is the application of Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME). This method offers a generation of digital signatures using Secure Hash Algorithm-256 (Stallings, 2019). The digital signature is transmitted together with the message. There is also the option of using detached signatures send separately. S/MIME also offers encryption by creating a one-time-key using Advanced Encryption Standard-128 (Stallings, 2019). This one-time key is itself encoded using the destination’s public-key cryptosystem. S/MIME also allows the return of a signed receipt report from the receiver and supports the provision of security labels (Stallings, 2019). The Domain Name System Security Extension (DNSSEC) secures communication through the use of digital signatures verifiable by the destination’s resolver software (Stallings, 2019). DNSSEC also eliminates trust issues brought by intermediate name servers and resolvers by establishing continuous trust, starting from the trust anchor (Stallings, 2019). DNS- Based Authentication of Names offers security by utilizing DNSSEC, especially in situations when CA is unavailable (Stallings, 2019). Sender Policy Framework (SPF) enables a receiver to verify a source’s IP address against specific encoded policies found at the sender’s domain (Stallings, 2019). Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is another cryptography method that enables the mail addressee to verify that the message is from the domain owner by prompting the domain to retrieve the sender’s encrypted signature (Stallings, 2019). Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) security technique is meant to control spoofing by specifying the criteria for delivery reports send by recipients and the frequency at which these reports are sent (Stallings, 2019).

    Companies should encrypt their email communication, although encryption has a few disadvantages. There are several advantages to encrypting email communication. First, it secures confidential information like bank details and salary details. This prevents financial loss and reputation damage (Lausch, 2017). Secondly, it ensures that message is not altered, thus passing the intended objective. It also prevents spoofing and identity theft. Encryption saves time because cumbersome steps of securing messages are skipped (Lausch, 2017). The disadvantages to encryption include user unfriendliness and technicality for some security solutions, high costs, especially for digital certificates, and lack of cooperation from some parties (Lausch, 2017).

     

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