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Case Analysis: the Ipremier Company - Denial of Service Attack

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Case Analysis: The iPremier Company - Denial of Service Attack
Matthew M. Lambert
The e-commerce landscape is littered with the remnants of companies that didn’t survive the meteoric dot com boom and subsequent bust that began in the late 1990s. iPremiere Company, however, was the exception to the rule. Created by two college students in 1996, the web-based company had solidified its business position as a top online retailer of high-end, luxury goods with $32 million in sales and $2.1 million in profit for 2006. Consumers bought directly from iPremiere using credit cards, which were then stored on the company’s servers.
In 2007, computer hackers launched a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on iPremiere’s website, temporarily shutting down the website and taunting iPremiere with emails. The possibility of hackers breaching its security firewall is extremely troubling because it puts customer financial information at risk and the loss of this public trust would be disastrous for iPremiere.
The purpose of this paper is to assess why iPremiere was vulnerable to attack, examine their approach to both IT risk management and crisis communications and offer recommendations that foster customer trust and company profitability in the future.
SWOT Analysis
A brief SWOT analysis shows that iPremier’s strengths include good placement in the e-commerce marketplace and a highly experienced and productive team of managers and software developers dedicated to meeting company expectations. Weaknesses include weak IT security and outdated crisis management procedures. Opportunities revolve around maximizing its financial position in an e-commerce field focused on luxury, high-end retail items, while cyber hackers and potential lawsuits from other companies and customers pose considerable threats to iPremier’s future.
Core Issues
Technical Architecture – Most of...

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