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The changes in customers’ needs, their radical increase, and the evolving technology come with unlimited challenges, security threats being among them. Managers of web design companies have to devise ways of dealing with the hitches facing the industry. Quality Web Design, like all other companies in the industry, is faced by hardware, software, and policy based security threats. The threats range from cybersquatting to the infringement of web font copyrights. They can be software based, where the developed sites may have applied fonts that may not work with the user’s web browser.
Cybersquatting is a crime that involves registering a domain name that one has no rights over. It is a violation of trademarks, which could cause confusion for the clients and even the loss of it. To explain what cybersquatting is, it is worth to note that the domain registrant leases the right to use the domain name from the domain registrar, who acts as an agent of the domain registry. When a web developer purchases the right to use the domain name from a registrar or a reseller, he or she does not know whether the right is genuine. In that case, the designer may go ahead and deliver his or her product to the client, who will not be aware of the crime. However, time heals situations, and the registry may catch the innocent client. The registry will file a lawsuit against the user of the name and the developer of the website. Such legal procedures will tarnish the good reputation of the company in the short run and the loss of clients and revenue in the long run.
Web design and development involves the use of web fonts like Times New Roman and other codecs like HTML5. They come with software in Microsoft products, Adobe products being among others. The font designers secure their products’ copyrights through the end user license agreements (EULA). Web designers accede to the EULA at the installation stage of the carrying software. It is easy to overlook the regulations regarding the use the fonts can be put to, considering that there are other free fonts in the systems such as CSS3. If a web designer puts the fonts to the unlicensed use in his or her work, this will outrage the copyrights. The aftermath of such a conflict may amount to anything, from hefty fines to the revocation of a trading license. With that, the company will be out of business. The impact could even go deeper and affect the careers of the developers through the withdrawal of their practicing licenses. It is important to note that human effort is a very important part of any organization, for it is through the creativity and commitment of the employees that the company makes revenue. The company therefore has to safeguard the interests and security of its workforce if it wants to remain in business.
In the late nineties there was a “browser fight” between Internet Explorer (IE) and Netscape. In those times, it was easier for web designers to come up with products that were compatible with the two browsers. The situation has changed in the recent years, where the Microsoft’s market dominance, which lasted for more than a decade, has been infiltrated by new browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari, which work in both mobile and desktop varieties. These browsers will operate well with screens designed for using some web fonts, while other fancy fonts will appear like hieroglyphs. Web developers have to keep up with the pace of technological invention and innovation by improving their tools and getting smarter than their competitors. They must be able to present outputs that will be compatible with the variety of browsers in today’s market and still allow the clients to work with the software that meets their needs. Clients may come to business organizations simply because they were referred to them by other customers who are satisfied with the service. This keeps the business afloat, and if the company doesn’t please its customers, the idea of keeping the business afloat will be lost; the business will be insecure.
The issue of gremlins cannot be ignored. In a way, something will surely go wrong in the process of designing a new website or, even more probably, in the process of upgrading the existing websites. Cybercrime is so rampant nowadays that even security software developers have threats to reckon with in their work. One thing you can be sure of is that no single person can say that he is immune to these uncertainties, not even web developers. Someone may hack into a website under construction. You find that the site in process behaves in a way that is neither planned nor anticipated. This may be most stressful for a web developer. The malfunction may be so adamant that the developer will be forced to bring the whole site down and reconstruct it. Being aware that web development may be a time-bound contract and one may need to redo the work again may have a negative impact on the developer. The developer may not be able to present his work on time, and he may lose some revenue, depending on the terms and conditions of the contract. Where do gremlins emanate from? They may come from hackers, but they can also be self-initiated vulnerabilities. One exposes himself to such dangers when keeping and using outdated software. That is why one will see that abnormal blinking on a website under construction. It is a security issue.
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Quality Web Design is prone to the aforementioned security threats. A question arises as to how the management of the company should avoid falling into the traps of these threats. Phase II of this research paper discusses the necessary measures to be applied.
From the onset the company should be prepared for any uncertainties by having a competent Internal control system (ICS). This is the key concept in any disaster management. The ICS should be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the software being used is always up to date. This saves the company from the threats posed by hackers, who may take advantage of obsolete software to compromise the security of web developers. ICS will also ensure that the software being used by the company’s workforce is licensed. The system makes necessary recommendations to the management regarding any upcoming threats, taking into consideration the fact that technology is changing every day, as well as its complexity. Running ICS department is costly, but choosing whether or not to have one is equal to deciding whether or not the company needs to remain in business in the long run. It is a trade-off between stagnating in the current position and being ahead of the competitors.
Though the ICS ensures that software is up to date, it is the duty of the management to purchase unfeigned products. The management should assure that the domain names the company sells to the customers are licensed properly in order to avoid costly legal procedures and obligations that may arise from the violation of the rights to lease. It is obvious that the cost of buying genuine software and complying with the EUALs will be much lower than juggling with legal obligations.
An ICS department may, after an in-depth research, make some recommendations, but the management may fail to act according to those. This renders the ICS useless, and its existence in the company will not be justified. The management should, for its own good, follow such recommendations and, after a keen analysis, put them to use. If the management finds any of the recommendations irrational, it should discuss those with the relevant body until a reasonable agreement is reached.
Quality Web Design can only ignore the importance of cryptographic protocols such as Transport Security Layer and Secure Sockets Layer at its own peril. The company may reserve the encryption methods for the clients, but this will only endanger the business. The encryptions secure data transmission in the Internet, and since this is the business operating environment, it has to be more than careful. The company must also invest in other security software to secure its data.
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Information is power. The company must not keep fraudulent employees who may be the reason of information leaking out to the competitors. If the company detects such employees, they must be penalized heavily and taken through disciplinary measures, as information leakage polarizes the competition, thus placing the competitor at a better position. Since creativity, inventions, and innovation are key considerations in any technological task, the exposure of such information will result in competitors using the new knowledge combined with their own and, ultimately, performing better. They will satisfy their customers more, and the customers might switch to the competitors, unless the company raises the bar and surpasses the competitors.
The company should conduct customer satisfaction surveys from time to time. This helps in gauging customer satisfaction levels as well giving heed to complaints of the customers. The best known product improvements and developments came about as a result of surveys, in which customers expressed their dissatisfaction and made recommendations. Companies then worked on finding lasting solutions, which involved a lot of research, creativity, and innovation. As a result, new products were created and the old ones improved. The initially dissatisfied customers trickle back to the organization and the company becomes secure again. This is a move that must be emulated by producers across the world, and Quality Web Design is not an exception.
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Another way of dealing with insecurity is through training and development of employees. Technology is changing every day. New products are coming up, and the complexity in the sector is increasing. In order to curb the threats that come alongside these developments, the company must continuously train its employees on the new trends in order to keep them updated. This will help avoid any threats that may be brought by lack of such knowledge.
The company will always be faced with security challenges. It should always be seeking the ways of improving security control measures if it needs to remain in business and retain or improve its competitive edge. As Darwin puts it in the theory of evolution, “adapt or die.”