IT and HR Department Case Study and Analysis

Based on my observation security at Cenartech is high risk. I base this off of the security practices that are in place. What companies fail to realize is you can protect your network technically but you also have to protect the network physical. There are firewalls in place to protect the network from the outside but no policy to protect the network from the inside. “A security policy is a document that defines the scope of security needed by the organization and discusses the assets that need protection and the extent to which security solution should go to provide the necessary protection.”(Stewart and Chapple and Gibson, 2012, p221)
Although the company IT structure is solid, most of it was created by out consultants and the IT department did not have any leadership that was IT smart. The IT department was ran by the Director of Finance. Cenartech has already been establish for a few years before Brian the IT manager came on board. There was no Standard Operating Procedures. “Procedures are the final element of the formalized security policy structure.
” (Stewart and Chapple and Gibson, 2012, p221) Within a year of being at the company he wrote a draft outlining duties and responsibilities for each staff member. Since his IT department was small he gave each staff member some security responsibilities. His staff members did not have any experience looking at security logs. Any time he had the chance he would train them. He knew the importance of looking at the logs regularly and maintaining Audit Trails. Audit trails are a set of records or events that record activity on a system. (White, 2003)

As Brian was viewing the logs he found that there were repeated failed log-in attempts on a few different accounts, but not enough to cause a lockout. But there were too many to failed log-in attempts to just ignore. He also found out someone was attempting to access the accounts from other location within the engineering department. According to policy he had to report this to leadership in Human Recourses. The leadership was not technical and did not understand the issue and how server the problem was. Given what the case has presented the attacker wanted to gain access to the
network. After the presenting his case to HR leadership he decided to work on an IT project at the top of the list. He setup virtual private networks (VPN) for the sale staff to have remote access. A VPN is a communication tunnel that provides point-to-point transmission of both authentication and data traffic over an untrusted network. (Stewart and Chapple and Gibson, 2012, p221) He setup the VPN on the financial network. Once the software was loaded on employee’s systems he started to monitor the security logs. He found more incoming connection then what he installed.
“When he followed up on a few of the originating IP addresses in the security log, He found that a number of the connections originated from a local cable Internet Service Provider (ISP)” (Whitman and Mattord, 2011, p. 27). The attacker was using shared accounts from employee in the company. When someone would leave they would pass the account down. Accounts were not being deleted or disable. Removing or disabling accounts should be a standard best practice for any system. Accounts need to be deleted as soon someone leaves.
(Stewart and Chapple and Gibson, 2012, p231) Some of the things he could have done differently was to review his IT security policies from day one. The events that took place were events that were easy to miss. HR should have had a policy on how to handle terminated employees. There should be a lock out policy since the engineering employee was able to try many attempts on the account before it was locked out. The good lockout policy is three attempts then the user has to go through their IT department to get the account unlocked. A password policy should be implemented as well.
At least 8 characters with a combination of lower case, upper case, one number, and one special character, this is DOD standard. If these were in place the attacker would not have been able to attack the network. The IT department needs to be trained to Monitor Security logs once a week. He would face a big challenge trying to recommend these changes to the Leadership. He try to explain this to the HR Director. “His explanation required substantial effort as Jim had minimal IT experience. ” (Whitman and Mattord, 2011, p. 26). It took another incident for the HR Director to take him serious.

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