COIT20233 Assessment Details
Assessment item 3â€”Report
Due date: 11:55 pm AEST, Friday, Week 9 ASSESSMENT
Weighting: 30% 3
Length: 2500 â€“ 3500 words (Note: Failure to submit within this range will result in a penalty of 5 marks)
Please refer to the course profile to see how this assessment item relates to the course learning outcomes.
This assignment is designed to stimulate critical thinking outside of the classroom by requiring students to write a formal academic report. You will need to follow the AREA process described in chapters 2 and 3 of Your Business Degree (prescribed textbook for COIT20233) to analyse the assessment task, research relevant information, evaluate the information you find and to write an academic report in which you present your findings or outcomes and make recommendations on future practice. This assessment task will assess your skills in critical thinking, researching information, forming an opinion, academic writing, logical ordering of ideas and your ability to support your arguments with quotes from literature. These objectives will be measured by the â€˜closeness of fitâ€™ to meeting the assessment task, assessment requirements and assessment criteria listed below.
Please note that there is a wealth of material available on the Libguide website for this course that you should use to help you gather and evaluate relevant information for writing your report (http://libguides.library.cqu.edu.au/coit20233).
Students are required to write an academic report as per the format outlined in chapter 5 of the textbook. The report must follow Harvard citation and referencing guidelines. Please note that the prescribed textbook uses APA referencing guidelines. See also the Referencing Style subsection below.
The report is to be based on the following case study scenario about Malware such as viruses and other vulnerabilities to organisationsâ€™ information systems.
A malware program, such as a computer virus, is a program that when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of computersâ€™ hard drives. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are described as being â€˜infectedâ€™. Computer viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as stealing hard disk space or CPU time, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying political or humorous messages on the user's screen, spamming their contacts, or logging their keystrokes.
Malware and other software vulnerabilities cause billions of dollarsâ€™ worth of economic damage to organisations each year, due to causing systems failure, denial of service, wasting computer resources, corrupting data, increasing maintenance costs, etc. Unfortunately, no currently existing antivirus software is able to catch all computer viruses (especially new ones).
You are the ICT manager of a large organisation (1000 employees) based in Sydney. Your supervisor has asked you to research the best way to protect your organisationâ€™s information systems from being compromised through infection with Malware or suffering from other software vulnerabilities. You are to write a report to be presented at the next executive meeting. The report should explore:
1. The types of Malware and other software vulnerabilities that could affect your organisationâ€™s information systems.
2. The potential cost to the organisation if the information systems were to become infected by Malware or suffering from being compromised by other software vulnerabilities. Describe both tangible and intangible costs to your organisation.
3. The measures that your organisation could take to reduce the risks from Malware and other software vulnerabilities.
Your report should include recommendations that provide guidelines for the organisation with respect to reducing the risks of being adversely affected by Malware and/or other software vulnerabilities.
Please note that you will need to make some assumptions about your organisation in order to write this report. These assumptions should be incorporated in the introduction to your report when you describe the organisation and outline the problem to be solved.
Specifically your report should include the following:
1. Title page: student name, student number, email address, course code, assignment number, assignment due date, campus lecturer/tutor, and course coordinator (not counted in the word count).
2. Executive summary: should include the purpose of the report, the problem and how it was investigated, your findings and your recommendations (approximately 300 words).
3. Table of Contents: should list the report topics using decimal notation. Needs to include the main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers, using a format that makes the hierarchy of topics clear (not counted in the word count).
4. Introduction: provide a brief description of the organisation, a concise overview of the problem you have been asked to research, the objectives to be achieved by writing the report and how you investigated the problem. Provide an outline of the sections of the report. Note that you will have to make assumptions about what type of organisation you are working for in this case study (approximately 400 words).
5. Body of the report (use appropriate headings in the body of the report.): Define key terms you will use in your report, such as what is meant by â€˜Malwareâ€™. Present your ideas on the topic and discuss the information you found in your research that was relevant to the reportâ€™s objectives. Provide an analysis of the information that you gathered. Ensure that you explore the three points listed in the scenario above. You also need to discuss the ethical, social and legal aspects surrounding this issue. In your discussion, examine the issues from a global perspective as well as from the local perspective (of the fictional organisation that is the centre of this report).
Please do NOT use â€˜Body of the Reportâ€™ as a heading. Create meaningful headings that reflect the content of your report (approximately 1200 words).
6. Conclusion: based on your research and analysis. Explain the significance of your findings and your discussion. State if your report has achieved its objectives (approximately 550 words).
7. Recommendations: (based on your findings) what would your recommendations be to your supervisor in this situation? Provide some guidelines for the organisation with respect to protecting your organisationâ€™s information systems from of being adversely affected by Malware and/or other software vulnerabilities (approximately 550 words).
8. Reference list (not counted in the word count).
9. Appendices if necessary (not counted in the word count).
Note: Additional information regarding this assignment may be placed on the course website as required. Check the course website at least once a week for further information relating to the report. Regular access to the course website is a requirement of this course.
Your response should be structured as a report (chapter 5 of textbook), written in accordance with standard academic writing principles (chapter 4 of textbook). The report must be written using your own words with any in text citations clearly marked (see Referencing Style subsection below). You may discuss the assessment task with other students and the lecturing staff but you must WRITE the report YOURSELF in your own words.
You will need to conduct research to support your arguments using AT LEAST NINE references in addition to your set textbook (that is, a minimum of ten (10) references in your reference list). At least six (6) of these references should be from refereed academic journals and books. All sources should be current i.e. 2009 onwards.
The assignment should demonstrate a logical flow of discussion, be grammatically correct and free from typographical, spelling and grammatical errors. It should be prepared in MS-Word (or equivalent) using 12 point font, 1.5 line spacing and margins of 2.54 cm.
It is highly recommended that you submit your assignment to the Learning Skills Unit (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney students) or Communication Learning Centre (Rockhampton and Distance students) AT LEAST ONE WEEK before the due date so that it can be checked for spelling and grammatical errors.
References must be cited (in text) and a reference list provided in accordance with the Harvard (author-date) referencing style.
Helpful information on referencing techniques and styles can also be found on CQUâ€™s referencing webpage:
Marks will be deducted for poor referencing or having less than ten (10) references or going under or over the word length.
Use quotation marks for direct quotes and you must include the author, date and page number(s) with the quote as per the Harvard referencing standards.
ALL assignments will be checked for plagiarism (material copied from other students and/or material copied from other sources) using Turn-It-In. If you are found to have plagiarised material or if you have used someone elseâ€™s words without appropriate referencing, you will be penalised for plagiarism which could result in zero marks for the whole assignment. In some circumstances a more severe penalty may be imposed.
Useful information about academic integrity (avoiding plagiarism) can be found at:
To be submitted online through the COIT20233 Moodle course website assessment block on or before the due date.
Before submitting your assignment you should check it against the detailed assessment criteria in the following table to ensure that you have satisfactorily addressed ALL the criteria that will be used to mark your report.