This assignment requires you to plan, conduct and document a risk assessment based on the scenario. You should carefully read the marking scheme) to have a clear perception of what is the expected content of the risk assessment report you have to deliver and how it will be evaluated.
A cloud service provider in UK, CloudXYZ, hired your team to set up their IT network/system. The company provides (i) secure storage and (ii) virtual server services for both individual customers and organizations. The goal of the security system is to prevent or minimize the business loss caused by possible incidents, such as malfunction, information stealing, data modification, deletion or destruction, etc. Your colleagues in the team have proposed the first version of the security network architecture depicted in Figure 1. As a person responsible for risk assessment your task is to conduct a risk assessment on this system.
In Figure 1 the internal network of CloudXYZ is denoted by the dashed box, and all the assets in this dashed box are located in the company premise in UK.
In Figure 1 the internal network of CloudXYZ is denoted by the dashed box. The authentication server is responsible for authenticating the credentials (usually account names and passwords) of the customers. When performing authentication tasks the authentication server may communicate with the customer database which stores information about the customers. After successful authentication, the customers will be able to access to their data stored in the cloud storage (one of the machine denoted by S) or log into their hired virtual servers (hosted by one of the servers denoted by V). Company employees, such as HR can use their computers to download customers’ information, while administrators can use their computer to maintain/improve and monitor the operation of the servers and storages.
The communications among the servers and employee computers take place within the intranet (i.e., private network) of the company. The web and mail servers are placed in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) of the bank network to provide web interface to customers and visitors, as well as email services to the employees and customers. The communication between the untrusted outside world (such as Internet) and the DMZ is filtered and protected by a firewall and/or an intrusion detection system (IDS). In addition, the communication between the DMZ and the intranet is also protected by another firewall and/or IDS. Individual visitors/customers and organizations can browse the website of CloudXYZ and register/login with their PCs or smart phones via Internet.
The management board of the service provider would like to be sure if the proposed network system (in Figure 1) meets their goal, and hence, hired you, a security expert, to perform a risk assessment on this network. In this assignment you have to:
As you can see, there are no specific hardware and software given in the Figure 1. To avoid working in the entirely same network (and hence copying from each other), before doing the risk assessment, you have to specify the system parameters and the system boundaries, including the used operating systems, hardware, software/applications and firmware. Ideally, each of you will work with different sets of system parameters/scope that you chose or specified.
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