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System security challenges have increased over the years especially with critical systems such asbanking, healthcare, and the use of advance utilities becoming more connected. On the other hand, the malicious actors have evolved from early-day hackers whose intentions were mostly curiosity to modern-day hackers who has the intentions of financial gain to espionage and beyond. To effectively secure against these threats, it is important to understand what we are securing, how we are securing it, and who we are securing against.


You need to cover the following topics to secure the company network:
1. Know The Enemy. You need to conduct a research and identify the possible enemy
2. Know The Self. Threat is the presence of something valuable that makes a threat credible.The value and nature of a valuable define the risk posed by a threat, the nature of the threat, and the cost of defense. You need to define the assets that you have to protect, the risks to those assets, and the costs of protecting or not protecting them, so you can define the threat to your network. This analysis of an organization’s assets and risks is done when creating a security policy.

You need to prepare the following:
a. Need to identify a business that has multiple branches nationally and/or internationally that are connected over internet. Discuss the different type of threats facing this company.
b. Discuss the possible vulnerabilities might exist at the company and how to check them.
c. What could be the potential risk and how to mitigate it.
d. Describe the steps for security policy needed to secure the company’s network
e. What is the role of security standards in improving the network security You can give example of NIIST framework.

Company Background and Threats Faced by the Company

Cybercrime is one of the growing threats for most of the organizations in today’s world. There are different kinds of issues such as unethical hacking by the hackers form the outside world such as financial manipulations, tax frauds as well as defamation of brand image for the organizations. These issues can often cause the large organizations to pay hefty fines as well as facing ethical dilemmas.

In the following report such data privacy and safety concerns that are faced by Dell, which is one of the largest IT company in the world today, will be discuss in details. By the end of the report, the reader will have a clear idea on the data security related concerns and recommendations will be provided in order to prevent such issues within the organization. The CISCO safe model will also be discussed and the important data within Dell that needs maximum protection will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Company background and threats faced by the company:

Dell is one of the most renowned Information technology company in the world. It has multiple data centres and branches all across the world that are connected through the internet and there are different kinds of threats and vulnerabilities that exist for the organizational network that has to be secured. Dell is headquartered in Round rock, Texas, in the United States. Recently Dell had faced multiple threats in the customer’s information that it stores in its databases for its customers.

Dell has recently detected some unauthorized activities in its internal network, which has tried to extract confidential customer information from Dell.com. Important information such as customer names, their email addresses as well as hashed passwords and other extremely important information were compromised.  Some of the information were removed from the network while some information were compromised and values changed. These had not only caused trouble for the customers but also defamed the brand image of Dell and had put questions on the data security policy of the organization.

Several important information was removed from the databases and were exposed in the internet to the public. These include the hashing of our customers’ passwords and a mandatory Dell.com password reset [1]. Credit card and other sensitive customer information was not targeted. The incident did not affect any Dell products or services.

Vulnerabilities faced at Dell:

Dell has different kind of vulnerabilities for its services and products. It has security vulnerabilities for the customer information that it stores in its databases as well as its own products and services. Some of the most probable security related vulnerabilities that are faced by the organization are discussed below in a tabular format:

Name of vulnerability

Effect

The Dell Encryption v10.1.0

This vulnerability related to the disclosure of information. A hacker or even an internal employee with unethical mind-set who has physical access to this machine has the capability of exploiting this vulnerability and gain access to the unencrypted folder called “RegBack” which stores the backup copies of important organizational information.

Vulnerability in Dell 2335dn series of printers

It is equipped with a Printer Firmware of Version 2.70.05.02 and an engine firmware version of 1.10.65 as well as a Firmware Version for the Network which is V4.02.15(2335dn MFP) 11-22-2010. Through the following combination of the firmware’s, the interface of the admin allows the hacker to retrieve confidential information from the SMTP server [2]. It also allows the hacker to retrieve the LDAP password by accessing the source code of HTML in the Email Settings webpage.

Dell WMS versions of 1.1

These are vulnerabilities of unquoted path of service path. Virus infected software’s carries out installation of the different services that are incorporated in an incorrect way that specifies the paths to the executable’s of the services without the proper quotes. This allows the low-privileged local users to execute the arbitrary executables with higher privileges.

Vulnerabilities Faced at Dell

Potential risks and mitigation techniques:

Some of the potential risks of for the company due to the above-discussed vulnerabilities are employee vandalism and unauthorized access and misuse of important organizational data. Due to the WMS versions of Dell the low privileged uses can gain unauthorised access to the important databases for Dell and can manipulate important information such as financial documents, tax calculations and other information and cans cause massive tax frauds and other unethical activities which in turn can also cause huge economic losses and brand defamation for the organization.

Systems infected with virus can also corrupt the data without the knowledge of the supervisors and cause Dell to be answerable to ethically challenging questions, which is not at all desirable for the reputation of the company [3]. It can also cause the customers and stakeholders to lose their trust on the security policy of the organization. This can also affect the business of the organization.

The kind of threats and vulnerabilities faced by Dell regarding information security need different kind of threat mitigation techniques. These include techniques such as hashing of the customers’ account passwords as well as a mandatory password reset for Dell.com. Strong passwords should be set that should contain numbers, mixtures of upper case and lower case alphabets as well as special characters and the system administrators should ensure there are also proper data and decryption policies within Dell. This can ensure that the important data can be retrieved even in unforeseen situations such as system crashes, hardware failures and natural disasters.

There should also be audit trail features in each of the systems for the administrators to track who accessed what information from which systems and at what point in time. Enterprise antivirus software solutions such as Kaspersky internet solution should be installed mandatorily on each employee workstations [4]. There should also be properly scheduled data backup cycles that can have the capability of backing up data in regular cycles in the online cloud storage databases of Dell across all its branches in the different parts of the world.

Security policy at Dell:

It is extremely important for Dell to develop a proper security policy for ensuring optimum data and information security within the organization. The steps of implementing the security policy can be explained as below:

  • Studying the requirements: Dell first has to understand the issues in details. It has to clearly understand the requirements in order to incorporate the security policy. The different requirements such as agreements with third party vendors as well as the requirements from standards such as ISO 27001 or BS 25999-2. The hardware as well as software requirements such as enterprise licence of antivirus software solutions on a bulk scale for all the workstations within Dell has to be purchased [5]. There are other investments in requirements of information systems and in terms of work force that has to be considered by the organization.
  • Results of risk assessment should also be taken into consideration: The potential threats related to the storage of data in the dell servers and the possible attacks from the hackers of has to be taken into consideration while framing the security policy. The probable consequences of acts of employee vandalism and unethical acts such as tax frauds etc., has to be considered as well.
  • Optimization and alignment of documents:It is another important step in the formulation of the security policy. The security procedures should be optimized in order to ensure that the most cost effective solutions yield the maximum possible security for the organizational databases. Redundancy should be reduced while writing the documents on the organizational security policies and it should be ensured that the security measures a realigned properly to the different areas and departments within dell such as finance, sales etc.
  • Structuring the security measures:It should be done adequately to ensure that the right security policy is aligned to the right department and the concerned security personnel for the particular department is always updated about any internal departmental change to ensure that the proper risk assessment and threat mitigation techniques are properly defined thereafter [6]. Experiences risk and security personnel should be hired by Dell for the different data centres and branches all across the world to ensure there is optimum data security in the work operations at all points in time.
  • Getting the security policy approved by the management at the headquarters:It is again a very important step in the implementation of the policy. The entire security framework that is proposed be the team of experts and the risk professionals have to be presented and approved by the top management.
  • The employees of Dell should be adequately trained:This will ensure that they are properly equipped on the necessary technologies and security information systems so that they can counter attack and efficiently respond to any unforeseen or crisis within the organization. Proper security training of the employees, especially the security personnel will ensure that they are technically competent to ensure that there is no data loss or privacy issues even in cases of system failures or privacy breaches by the hackers.
  • Once the security policy is successfully implemented within the organization, it is extremely important that the policy be maintained in the future:A lapse in the security policy can result in enormous issues such as data hacks as well as other unethical issues like tax frauds etc. This can also cause the brand image of Dell to go down and pay hefty fines as well.

Role of security standards in network security and NIIST framework:

Data security policies are extremely important for the implementation of an efficient network security program within Dell [11]. With the help of the security standards the management of Dell including the security personnel will understand the different aspects such as “who, what as well as why” of the organizational security program.

Potential Risks and Mitigation Techniques

The National institute of standards and technology provides important guidelines for the organizations in United States to prevent any form of cybercrime and data security related threats. The NIST framework is aimed at critical situations within large organizations such as Dell that has multiple department and different possibilities of information security threats.

NIIST aspects

Steps of NIIST framework implementation

Leadership Strategy

- Identification of the threats within Dell.

Customers satisfaction by improved network data security

- Detection of the threats.

Measurement of the impact of the threats.

- Protection of information and other data shared over the network.

Threat analysis

- Responding to the crisis.

knowledge management

- Disaster recovery system.

human workforce operations

- Efficient communication of the change

Outcomes

- Sustaining the new security policy.

CISCO safe model for risk management:

Analysis of risks and threats:

Cisco’s safe model SAFE is a model of security that can be used to secure the information at Dell. It analyses the threats as well as the best practices to mitigate them. SAFE model highlights the business challenges in a way that changes conventional and traditional risk management methods and redefines organizational security.

Policies to implement controls:

  • Identification of the business goals of Dell.
  • Breaking down the internal Dell network into manageable pieces.
  • Establishing success criteria for Dell.
  • Categorizing risks, threats as well as other security concerns.
  • Building the security solution.
  • Implementing the controls:
  • Secure dell applications.
  • Secure data East/West of Traffic across internal and external parties.
  • Secure access to organizational network by employees as well as customers to access their own information that they store as well as stakeholders.
  • Secure Remote Access for troubleshooting for third party vendors.
  • Role of owners, stakeholders and customers:

The top management in Dell should be the ultimate decision makers and the chief executive offers in the headquarters will have to approve the change in information security standards for its successful implementation. The stakeholders such as the different government bodies as well as other third party vendors also have to be properly communicated about the changes in Dell [9]. This will ensure that they are aware of the changes and the possible consequences [10]. The customer should also be given transparent access to their important information that they store on dell.com and they should have the provision of removing or adding data to their accounts.

Conclusions

Therefore, it can be concluded from the above report that Dell is a multinational comp any with different kinds of security measures, which are already incorporated across its different branches and data, centres all cross the world. However, there are still different kinds of cybercrimes that has to be taken into consideration by the system administrators to ensure optimum data security over the internal organizational networks. The employees should incorporate data protection strategies such as installation of antivirus programs as well as network firewalls in Dell’s networks to ensure optimum customer satisfaction and easy access to useful resources.

The CISCO safe model was explained in details in the report. The different security measures that can be applied incorporated in Dell were also discussed in details. The NIIST framework was also discussed in details, which showed that it can address some of the most important areas within the organizations. The organizations should also have a digital forensics firm in order to carry out an independent investigation. There should also be a mandatory law enforcement related to the security of the data. There should also be strict policies of setting passwords on each workstations and systems in the workplace [12]. This can ensure optimum data protection in the organizations.

Security Policy at Dell

Future works:

There are different kinds of threats that exist within the companies and due to lack of security policies. Often the privacy of the important data are compromised. There is lot of research that can be done in the future in the field of information and network security for the organizations. There are different areas of research such as systems engineering as well as the increasing complexities of the network architectures. The emerging technologies open up newer avenues of threats and hacks for the hackers and therefore it is of utmost importance that the organizations remain updated with the latest technologies and information security standards.

Since not much of research can still be done in the emerging technologies in the future, the possible threats can further be understood in details through future studies. More advanced and complicated network technologies are coming up every day in the different organizations, which open up newer avenues of risks and threats that should be addressed by the organizations.

References:

[1]G. Zhu, J. Zhang, Y. Sun and Y. Xiong, Data security and privacy in cloud computing. International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks,. 2014, pp. 10(7), p.190903. 

[2]H. Li, M. Li, S. Chow and B. Wang, Storing shared data on the cloud via security-mediator. In Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), 2013 IEEE 33rd International Conference on. IEEE., 2013, pp. (pp. 124-133).

[3]M. Speciner, R. Kaufman and C. Perlman, Network security: private communication in a public world.. Pearson Education., 2016. 

[4]J. Langill and E. Knapp, Industrial Network Security: Securing critical infrastructure networks for smart grid, SCADA, and other Industrial Control Systems. Syngress.. 2014.

[5]U. Pooch, E. Fisch and G. White, Computer system and network security.. CRC press., 2017. 

[6]S. Hipgrave, Smarter fraud investigations with big data analytics. Network Security,. 2013, pp. pp.7-9. 

[7]G. Gu, H. Wang and S. Shin, A first step toward network security virtualization: from concept to prototype. IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 10(10), pp.2236-2249.. 2015. 

[8]G. Gu, S. Hong, L. Xu and S. Shin, Enhancing network security through software defined networking (SDN). In Computer Communication and Networks (ICCCN),, 25th ed. International Conference on IEEE., 2016, pp. (pp. 1-9).

[9]M. Hossain and M. Ahmed, Cloud computing and security issues in the cloud. International Journal of Network Security & Its Applications. 2014, p. p.25.

[10]G. Padmavathi and M. Uma, A Survey on Various Cyber Attacks and their Classification. IJ Network Security. 2013, pp. pp.390-396.

[11]E. Dosal, "Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities", Compuquip.com, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.compuquip.com/blog/top-5-cybersecurity-threats-and-vulnerabilities. [Accessed: 29- Dec- 2018].

[12]"Common Types of Cybersecurity Attacks and Hacking Techniques | Rapid7", Rapid7, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.rapid7.com/fundamentals/types-of-attacks/. [Accessed: 29- Dec- 2018].

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