Recent Papers 03-22-2022

You are to identify, describe, analyse and evaluate a specific security problem related to one of the above broad areas (i-vi) and demonstrate the application of a practical solution (or proof of concept) that mitigates the problem

Security in Computing

Brief

As the digital economy is growing so too is the opportunity for cyber criminals to exploit vulnerabilities in IT systems and access, damage, and destroy data and hardware. The Cyber Security Regulation and Incentives Review  (UK) published in December 2016 states " Businesses continue to experience cyber security breaches with one in four businesses detecting a breach in the last year. The nature of the attacks mean many businesses may not know their IT systems have been breached. Cyber security breaches have a direct impact on the organisations affected, including lost staff time dealing with the breach and disruption to other work. As a result businesses incur financial losses with the average direct costs of a breach estimated at £36,000 for large businesses and £3,100 for micro/small businesses. The most costly single breach identified in the Cyber Security Breaches Survey was £3,000,000 for a large firm. There can also be reputational costs with a number of firms experiencing a loss of customers following a breach. Breaches can also result in consumers and other businesses incurring costs, for example through fraud. A US survey found that the majority of consumers affected by a breach reported they incurred costs with an estimated average of $500, while less than a third said they incurred no costs. Despite the potentially significant financial costs, evidence shows businesses are not doing to enough to protect themselves, both in terms of technical controls but also risk management and incident response. Whilst 69% of businesses say their senior management consider cyber security is a very or fairly high priority for their organisation just over half (51%) of all businesses have actually taken recommended actions to identify cyber risks, and only 10% have a formal incident management plan. Only 17% of businesses say their staff attended some form of training on cyber security in the last 12 months"

Assume that you are working as a trainee Cyber Security Consultant at a UK based technology consultancy firm working on some of the most nationally critical technology projects to public sector clients including the MOD, HRMC, NHS and MOJ.

As a trainee Cyber Security Consultant you will work with your team on client sites to advise on a range of security issues. Your team`s assignments could include: advising on Information Assurance and architectural problems; identifying, analysing and evaluating information risks, developing new architectures that mitigate the risks posed by new technologies; scoping security testing activities as well as promoting security awareness within project teams and the business generally.

As a preparatory exercise, your project manager has asked you to write a 1200 word technical report (excluding references and any other additional materials) investigating a topic relating to one of the following broad areas that may affect an organisation such as a university:

  1. Program Security 
  2. Operating System Security
  3. Authentication, Access Control and Cryptography
  4. Network Security
  5. Database  and Data Mining Security
  6. Biometrics

You are to identify, describe, analyse and evaluate a specific security problem related to one of the above broad areas (i-vi) and demonstrate the application of a practical solution (or proof of concept) that mitigates the problem. You are also required to discuss how an organization should manage `security` and ‘incidents’. The practical work may involve the use or development or enhancement of a of software tool. The conclusion will make specific recommendation and discuss any further work needed.

It is vitally important that you adhere to ethical norms and that you do not in any way use any software illegally or inappropriately.

Report Structure

A typical report structure will have:

  • Title Page {module-name, module-code, title, student-name, student-id, date}
  • Contents Page  {shows structure of report - section numbers, heading and pages}
  • Introduction  {puts report within context /sets the scene for the reader (e.g. where does this development fit within the field); what are the problems/issues of the investigation; establish aims (general) and objectives (what is done to achieve the aims}
  • Body of report  {core/main part of report; like a narrative; use sign posting to sustain a thread for the reader}
  • Conclusions & Further Work {condensed version of body; gives key findings}
  • References (Bibliography)  {very important – See Referencing}
  • Appendices

Referencing

Referencing is very important in that you are acknowledging and attributing the work of others.  If you do not properly reference you work then you run the risk of plagiarism – i.e. taking credit for the work or ideas of others by presenting them as your own. It is easy to detect plagiarism!  Therefore, you will need to attribute the work or ideas of others by citing the source in the body of your report.  There are many referencing formats that you can use, such as for example, the Harvard APA.

As a simple example, using Harvard APA for a book reference, in the body of the report you cite as follows:

Symmetric encryption is also commonly known as conventional encryption or single-key encryption (Stallings, 2017).

And in your bibliography section you list your reference as follows:

Stallings, J. (2017). Cryptography and Network Security (7th ed.): Principles and Practice.USA: Prentice Hall.

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