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Amazon Breach Shows Need For Stronger Third-Party

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Question:

Discuss about the Amazon Breach Shows Need For Stronger Third-Party.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Amazon is an American e-commerce retail company that has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The company was set up in 1994 and launched its mobile application to allow the users to browse and purchase the items from their mobile phones and from any location.

The E-commerce model that Amazon follows is Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) model. It has recently provided the customers with the opportunity to sell of exchange their products through the app by include Consumer to Consumer (C2C) model. However, the larger shares of its activities are based on B2C model. According to the B2C e-commerce model, the business activities are designed to provide the customers with the desired features and functionalities on the e-commerce platform (Amazon, 2018).

Architectural Features

The mobile app architecture of Amazon can be explained in the set of three layers.

 

Presentation Layer

The mobile application of Amazon provides simple UI and layout to the users to allow them to access the components easily. The elements are self-explanatory and there is an option to browse through the departments/categories and search functionality present right at the top.

There is data validation techniques applied on the input fields and the users can also access the Orders, Settings buttons easily. Customization can be done from the Settings option by changing the country, default purchase settings, etc. (Kim, 2013).

Business Layer

The login option that is included in the application includes the security features, such as use of One Time Passwords (OTPs) for login. There is security features included in the payment processes as well by implementation of secure payment gateways. Single Sign On is also integrated in the application for authorization and authentication purpose.

There are in-house Amazon Web Services (AWS) that are used for caching and exception handling. Amazon ElastiCache is a web service that is designed by Amazon and is implemented in the mobile application.

Data Layer

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is integrated in the Amazon mobile application to control the user and data access. Multi-factor authentication is incorporated for access and identity management.

There are also Big Data and data analytics tools integrated at the back end of the application to keep a track of the data activities (Aws, 2018).

Interfaces

The User Interface (UI) that is incorporated on the Amazon mobile app is visually appealing and rich to provide enhanced user experience.

Amazon Pay, Amazon Prime, and Sell on Amazon are some of the systems and services that the mobile application is integrated with and provides access to all of these applications. There are also Amazon Web Services (AWS) that are used on the application for data management, data access, customer management, and security services.

 

Business Processes Redevelopment

Amazon mobile application started with the retailing of the books as the only item available on the app. The business processes were revised with the expansion of the business and there are now further categories that are included, such as Groceries, Electronics, Home Appliances, Apparels, Furniture, and many more. The features in the mobile app were re-designed in accordance with the expansion of the business operations.

Security of the mobile data and application is witnessing numerous changes with each passing day. The mobile application of Amazon is continuously upgraded with the latest security features and functionalities. As a result, the associated business processes are also upgraded and re-defined to incorporate the latest mechanisms.

Amazon is an organization that continuously works for its customers and releases innovative solutions and services in the market. The company came up with faster delivery options, such as Amazon Prime, use of Amazon wallet for payments called Amazon Pay, and the opportunity to the users to sell on Amazon. These features were integrated in the mobile app with the further development of the application.

Benefits & Impact to the Company & Users

The release of Amazon mobile application has provided numerous benefits to the users as well as the company.

Some of the benefits that the mobile application has provided to the users are as listed below.

  • The users can easily access the Amazon features and services from any location using the mobile devices.
  • Availability of the services and features is another benefit that is provided by the application to the users.
  • The application allows the users with an option to track their order and contact the customer support services using the mobile app.
  • The user satisfaction level has increased with the 24x7 usage of the application.
  • There are alerts that are sent to the users on their mobile device through the mobile app in terms of the status of the order, delivery of the product or discount deals active on the application. The user can use these deals in-time for enhanced cost-savings.
  • The user engagement with the application has increased with the better quality and speed of operations.
  • Mobile browsing is more convenient as compared to web browsing.
  • Amazon had developed its responsive mobile website before launching its mobile app for the users. The personalization and speed that comes with the mobile apps is better as compared to the mobile website.
  • There is an instant online and offline feature that is available with the mobile platforms and applications.

The application has also provided benefits to the company.

  • The user satisfaction levels have increased with the release of mobile app. There are more number of users that are now associated with the company due to continuous accessibility and availability of the services.
  • The company has a newer platform for the purpose of marketing and advertising. The use of mobile devices has increased in the recent years and the users constantly check their phones or tablets. The generation of alerts in terms of discount deals and coupons, text messages regarding latest offers and emails on the best deals can be viewed immediately and are utilized by the users.
  • The revenues and profits that are earned by the company have increased after the launch of its mobile application.
  • The newer developments that are taking place in the field of technology are largely in the area of mobile technologies and devices. The company has managed to sync the latest tools with the mobile apps to achieve better customer engagement and satisfaction levels.
 

Problems

The Amazon application has been able to provide the users with a rich user experience and there are not many problems reported with respect to the application.

However, there have been a few issues reported in association with the Amazon app. It was reported in the year 2015 that the iPhone users complained about the frozen app. The Amazon app frequently turned unresponsive and there were updates that were soon released by the company to fix the issue (Kartini, 2015).

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack was reported on some of the primary internet services, such as Twitter, Amazon, and Spotify in 2016. The adverse implication of the attack on Amazon Web Services (AWS) has an impact on the mobile application as well. It is because the application makes use of numerous AWS (Phys, 2016).

There was another massive security breach that was reported in 2017 on Amazon. The accounts of numerous third-party vendors were compromised and their credentials were stolen to modify the bank-deposit details. The integrity of the information was impacted as a result and the mobile application was also used as one of the attacking mediums (Abel, 2017).

The downtime of the application has been low as the company has succeeded in resolving any of the issues quickly without causing and impact on the performance or availability of the application.

 

Future Development

Mobile technology and applications are witnessing a lot of research and development work. These developments shall be integrated and launched in the Amazon mobile app as well. Some of these latest technologies and components have been listed below.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now the most extensively researched technology. The Amazon app currently incorporates some of the intelligent features and shall be completely shifted to the AI-first world in the next few years.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) is another technology that is being extensively research and used all across the globe. The syncing of the Amazon app with IoT shall be done to enhance the overall connectivity (Marutitech, 2018).
  • Augmented Reality is being used by Amazon to come up with some of the latest tools in the market. The mobile application developed by Amazon must also reflect the use of the same by incorporating some of the related features.
  • Security of the data and information sets along with the mobile application security is also one of the widely researched topics. The technocrats are coming up with the latest security tools and features with each passing day. These latest features shall be included in the mobile application of Amazon so that the data sets are always protected from any of the third-party attacks.

The features and points that have been listed above shall be researched and integrated in the mobile application of Amazon in the future to make sure that the application has the latest features in terms of the services and functionalities that are offered to the users.

 

References

Abel, R. (2017). Amazon breach shows need for stronger third-party cybersecurity. [online] SC Media US. Available at: https://www.scmagazine.com/hackers-compromise-third-party-vendor-amazon-accounts/article/649665/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].

Amazon (2018). Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. [online] Amazon.com. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].

Aws (2018). Mobile Partner Solutions. [online] Amazon Web Services, Inc. Available at: https://aws.amazon.com/mobile/partner-solutions/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].

Kartini, E. (2015). 5 Ways To Fix Unresponsive Amazon App On IPhone - Technobezz. [online] Technobezz. Available at: https://www.technobezz.com/5-ways-to-fix-unresponsive-amazon-app-on-iphone/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].

Kim, H. (2013). Architecture for Adaptive Mobile Applications. [online] Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.14257/ijbsbt.2013.5.5.21 [Accessed 15 May 2018].

Marutitech (2018). 7 Trends that Define the Future of Mobile Application Development. [online] Maruti Techlabs. Available at: https://www.marutitech.com/7-trends-of-mobile-application-development/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].

Phys (2016). Ongoing cyber attack hits Twitter, Amazon, other top websites (Update). [online] Phys.org. Available at: https://phys.org/news/2016-10-twitter-spotify-websites-ddos.html [Accessed 15 May 2018].

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