organizational/ industrial assignment 2023 Business Finance

2023 Project 4 Attack Vector Solutions Start Here Attack Vector Solutions Music As you

Project 4: Attack Vector Solutions

Start Here

Attack Vector Solutions


As you complete your morning login routine, you notice an urgent

message from John, the chief technology officer.

“See Me ASAP!!”

You grab your tablet and stylus and rush to John’s office.

John gives you a friendly greeting as you enter his office, but he looks


“Good morning,” John says. “I appreciate you dropping everything and

coming by so quickly. I need your help with a high-level matter. Top

executives are meeting to prepare for the quarterly meeting with the

board of directors. They would like to review the current vulnerabilities

and threats that the organization has in regards to our technology,

people, and cybersecurity policies. The board will also be asking about

our ability to educate the organization’s population on not only our

policies and practices, but also the need for them. I need to prepare a

presentation for the board meeting. However, I have several other

urgent matters to oversee.”

John continues, “I need you to prepare my presentation by reviewing

common attack vectors, analyzing our vulnerabilities, and preparing

recommendations on what we should do to protect ourselves. In

addition, I need a brochure to show the board what we are doing to

educate the organization on these issues. I need this review in two


You are grateful for John’s trust in allowing you to put together his

presentation for the board, and now you’re eager to show that his faith

in you is justified.

You will have to combine your technical and research abilities to come

up with the recommendations, and present them in a professional



Organizations must implement countermeasures to protect information

and data that are vulnerable to cyberattacks. As new security threats

are introduced, these countermeasures must be evaluated and


This is the final of four sequential projects. In this project, you will

investigate common types of cyberattacks and possible solutions,

evaluate the costs of implementing identified countermeasures, and

communicate the recommended solution to a nontechnical audience.

You will present to management the most likely attack vectors against

your organization and suggest solutions ranked by cost and

effectiveness. You will also suggest how the mix of identified state and

nonstate actors should affect policy-maker decisions and policy

development for critical infrastructure protection.

There are 14 steps in this project. Begin by reviewing the project

scenario and then proceed to Step 1.


Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.

 5.2: Examine architectural methodologies and components used

in the design and development of information systems.

 6.2: Create an information security program and strategy, and

maintain alignment of the two.

 7.2: Evaluate international cybersecurity policy.

 7.3: Evaluate enterprise cybersecurity policy.

 8.2: Evaluate specific cybersecurity threats and the combination

of technologies and policies that can address them.

Step 1: Define Vulnerabilities, Threats, and Risks

Vulnerabilities, threats, and risks are important to understand in order

to evaluate and ultimately improve security posture by mitigating risks.

Your organization’s security posture will determine its cybersecurity

policies. Assessing risk is key in this process.

Define vulnerability, threat, and risk. Consider their relationship to one

another and how they relate to the security of networks and data.

You will use this information to complete your vulnerability assessment.

Review topics as needed from previous projects: creating a

program, systems, utilities, and applications software, and interaction

of software.

Step 2: Identify Examples of Vulnerabilities, Threats, and


In the previous step, you familiarized yourself with the concepts of

vulnerability, threat, and risk. You now understand their relationship to

one another and how they relate to security. In this step, you are going

to identify at least two examples of a vulnerability, two examples of a

threat, and two examples of a risk in each of the following categories:

 technology

 people (human factors)

 policy

Identify a minimum of 18 examples. This will assist you in conducting

the vulnerability assessment and developing the educational brochure.

Review topics such as basic elements of communication and computer


In the next step, you will look more closely at current vulnerabilities and


Step 3: Identify Current Vulnerabilities and Threats

After defining and identifying examples of vulnerabilities, threats, and

risks in the first two steps, you should understand the basic concepts of

vulnerabilities and threats as they apply to general cybersecurity.

However, vulnerabilities and threats are dynamic: They can evolve with

changes in technologies, changes in adversary capabilities or

intentions, or changes in human behaviors and organizational policies.

It is important to understand current vulnerabilities and threats and

their applicability to the larger community as well as to your

organization (e.g., critical infrastructure protection), so that you can

make informed recommendations on how/whether to mitigate them.

Identify current known vulnerabilities and threats that could affect your

organization. The vulnerabilities and threats that you identify will be

necessary for your final presentation.

List a minimum of two current known vulnerabilities and threats

involving the following:

 people (human factors)

 technology

 policy

When complete, move to the next step, where you will take part in a


Step 4: Vulnerability Assessment and Operational Security

eLearning Module

To prepare for the upcoming vulnerability assessment, you will practice

in a simulated environment with the Vulnerability Assessment and

Operational Security eLearning Module. You will learn how to maintain

effective audit, risk analysis, and vulnerability assessment practices in

a fictional scenario. You will also review risk and vulnerability analysis

tools. You may want to review some topics from earlier

projects: network devices and cables and network protocols.

Take notes during the simulation as the information will be helpful

during your own vulnerability assessment in Step 7. Specifically note

the major components of cybersecurity architecture, architectural

methodologies for the physical structure of a system’s internal

operations and interactions with other systems, and architectural

methodology standards that are compliant with established standards

or guidelines.

When you have completed the simulation, move to the next step, when

you will consider attack vectors.

Step 5: Identify Attack Vectors

Attack vectorsare the means by which vulnerabilities are exploited and

threats realized. As a result, understanding attack vectors is critical to

developing impactful mitigations. Identify applicable attack vectors, the

weaknesses exploited, and the means used to gain access based on

the vulnerabilities and threats identified in Step 2. Also note the

common types of cyberattacks.

The attack vectors and weaknesses that you identify will be necessary

for your vulnerability assessment and final presentation. You may want

to review some topics from earlier projects: a closer look at the World

Wide Web  web markup languages , and web and internet services.

Identify attack vectors and weaknesses exploited via the following:

 hardware

 software

 operating systems

 telecommunications

 human factors

In the next step, you will take a closer look at the importance of


Step 6: Examine and Identify Known Attributes

Attribution is often difficult, if not impossible, to identify. One reason is

the anonymity afforded by the internet. Another reason is the potential

sophistication of malicious state actors and nonstate actors who are

able to disguise themselves and/or exploit an innocent and often

unknowing computer user to achieve their goals.

Attribution is desired because knowing who is behind an exploit can

provide insight into the motivations, intentions, and capabilities of

threat actors. Understanding attack vectors used by threat actors

provides key insights that help to build stronger defenses and construct

better policy management.

To complete your vulnerability assessment, you will need to first do the


 From the attack vectors identified in the previous step, determine

if attribution is known for the threat actor (e.g., name of nation

state, nonstate and/or hackers and threat actors) most likely

involved in exploiting each weakness.

 Categorize the threat actor(s) based on attribution for previous

exploits, likely targets, and rationale(s) for targeting/exploitation

(e.g., profit, political statements, extortion, etc.).

In the next step, you will compile your findings from the past few steps

on a spreadsheet.

Step 7: Submit a Vulnerability Assessment Spreadsheet

From the results of Steps 4, 5, and 6, develop and submit a

spreadsheet that includes the following:

 characterization of current and emerging vulnerabilities and


 identification of the attack vector(s) employed against each

 your assessment (high, medium, or low) of the impact the

vulnerability could have on your organization

Make sure to address security architectures, including components,

specifications, guidelines, standards, technologies, etc. Also consider

international threats and attack vectors. This assessment will be

included in your final presentation.

Submission for Vulnerability Assessment

Previous submissions


Drop files here, or click below.

Add Files

In the next step, you will consider ways to address the vulnerabilities

and threats identified.

Step 8: Identify Countermeasures

Now that you have assessed your organization’s vulnerability, you are

ready to identify possible countermeasures. Identify specific

countermeasures that will address the vulnerabilities/threats to your

organization that you summarized in the previous step.

Review best practices as well as any published mitigations for the

specific weaknesses identified. Include both cyber defenses and, as

appropriate and legal in the United States, cyber offenses (cyber

offensives/warfare). Make sure to address key cybersecurity

technologies, methodologies, standards, and legal compliance.

Record the findings to be included in your upcoming white-paper

resource for the final presentation.

You will need to figure out the cost of your security solutions, and you

will do that in the next step.

Step 9: Determine the Cost of Security Solutions

Once you have identified possible countermeasures for your

organization, you will need to determine their cost. Discuss the relative

financial impact of these countermeasures, considering appropriate

technology and policy changes to address cyberthreats at the

enterprise, national, and international levels as a result of procurement,

implementation, and maintenance. Also consider the policy and

technology trade-offs at each level.

Rank the countermeasures according to cost and effectiveness.

Record your findings to be included in your upcoming white-paper

resource for your final presentation.

In the next step, you will be asked to consider how successful your

mitigations will be.

Step 10: Assess the Potential Success of Mitigations

Now that you have identified countermeasures and their costs, develop

an assessment of the likelihood of success of the mitigations when

implemented as you prescribe. Criteria to be considered should include

the following:

 ease of implementation (technically as well as from a policy


 ease of adoption by the workforce

 impact on ability to perform the organization's work (e.g., is

productivity affected are additional steps required that impede


 record of success of this mitigation on the same/similar weakness

 cost (as a factor of the overall budget of the organization, e.g.,

will significant trade-offs have to be made in order to invest in this


 leadership support

Record the findings to be included in your upcoming white-paper

resource for the final presentation.

Step 11: Submit the Countermeasures White Paper

Compile your findings from the last three steps and submit a three-

page paper that describes the countermeasures, cost, and potential

challenges with implementing them in your organization. This paper will

provide much of the basis for your final presentation. Make sure to

include the following:

 critical issues in cybersecurity management and technology


 principles of cyber warfare theory and application (cyber


 various concepts of enterprise cybersecurity

 cybersecurity standards organizations

 key initiatives in international cybersecurity policy advances

Submit your paper for feedback.

Submission for Countermeasures White Paper

Previous submissions


Drop files here, or click below.

Step 12: Summarize the Solutions

In order to develop recommendations to include in your presentation,

you must prepare your solutions. Summarize recommended solutions

to mitigate the vulnerabilities and/or threats as identified in Step 10,

with at least two recommendations each in the categories of people,

technology, and policy. Rank your recommended solutions by both

cost and effectiveness. You will use this solutions summary to develop

your recommendations in your final presentation.

Step 13: Develop Your Security Recommendations

Your presentation will also need to consider an overall security

strategy. Develop the overall way forward for your company that

includes an explanation of the current security environment in your

organization, identification of security vulnerabilities and threats,

explanation of attack vectors, and recommended solutions. Refer

specifically to the information prepared in Steps 4 through 12. Your

recommendations must meet the following criteria:

 coincide with IT vision, mission, and goals

 align with business strategy

 incorporate all internal and external business functions within the

organization’s security program

 create an organizational structure, if it does not already exist, to

operate the security program and align it with the entities of the

organization as a whole

 include a rough implementation plan

 evaluate the effectiveness of the security program

These recommendations will be the focus of your presentation.

Step 14: Submit the Presentation

You now have the information needed to develop the slide presentation

that John requested for senior management. The presentation should

clearly explain current known weaknesses in your organization’s

security (to include people, technology, and policy) that could result in

successful exploitation of known vulnerabilities and/or threats.

Develop a narrated slide presentation of 16 to 20 slides that concludes

with the recommended way forward (e.g., continue to accept risks,

accept some risks (identify them), mitigate some risks (identify them),

mitigate all risks, etc.).

Submit your presentation for review when complete.

Check Your Evaluation Criteria

Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below,

which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice

would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have

incorporated all of them. To view the complete grading rubric, click My

Tools, select Assignments from the drop-down menu, and then click

the project title.

 5.2: Examine architectural methodologies and components used

in the design and development of information systems.

 6.2: Create an information security program and strategy, and

maintain alignment of the two.

 7.2: Evaluate international cybersecurity policy.

 7.3: Evaluate enterprise cybersecurity policy.

 8.2: Evaluate specific cybersecurity threats and the combination

of technologies and policies that can address them.

Submission for Cybersecurity Recommendations


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