Cyber Security

Week 1, Topic 1: The Internet: Revolutionary Change?

Question A

Revolutionary Change is a special kind of alteration of social trends. It often involves the intrusion of violence into civil social relations (Shackelford, 2014). The contemporary society views the Internet as a revolutionary change given the massive influence it has had on the vast population that has embraced information communications technologies. This great invention has immensely redefined people’s lives in all aspects; socially, economically, politically, spiritually and even morally. The Internet entices users by the ease of accomplishing tasks that would otherwise be cumbersome and/or expensive were the ordinary means been the only option.

For instance, social media platforms have mitigated the challenges faced the communication sector for decades. Loved ones can share opinions and multimedia information easily and as often as possible without any barrier. Internet banking is almost inevitable in the economic sector, and numerous corporate entities have resorted to using the Internet as a cheaper means of popularizing their products as well as making business transactions. Politicians are no exception. They too would use the Internet as a podium to disseminate their manifestoes to their perceived supporters. On the other hand, spiritual leaders have also resorted to the Internet as a conduit through which their recorded homilies could reach their wider congregation.

However, the society has also been influenced negatively by the Internet. Cybercrime is a rampant vice, which the international community has described as a confounding menace to root out. Fraudsters have perfected their notorious skills of defrauding their non-suspicious clients using camouflaging tricks, or even out-rightly hacking into the victims’ accounts and manipulating them to their own convenience (Harrison, 2014). Besides, the morality of the society has been under a constant attack by unhealthy multimedia such as pornographic sites, which provoke viewers emotionally, hence tripping some into committing social ills such as rape and prostitution among others. Summarily, the Internet is what defines the dynamics witnessed in the society, though users are to embrace positive effects to propagate a conducive environment for all.

Question B

Communication: As an integral component of the Revolutionary Change, the Internet has momentously influenced the sector of communication to the extent that the world is now perceived to be a unitary global village (Harrison, 2014). Overlong and frantic communication procedures are now a past vestige as people continue to embrace this global network to convey information to one another.

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Coordination: Crucial departments have also enhanced their operations because the Internet provides an intricate atmosphere for coordination. 

Control: The Internet also provides control measures to a range of peripherals in an organization. It may entail provision software drivers, installation and service manuals, and antivirus utilities among others (Mulligan & Schneider, 2011). This attribute is expedient and cost-effective as compared to old practices, where massive labor and transport could not be avoided.

Education: The Internet has become a reliable hub of learning materials. Large numbers of people in the learning institutions are relying on the Internet for research, tutorials, examinations and revision (Harrison, 2014). This versatility has boosted standards of education to an outsized degree hence equipping people with a significant aptitude to handle innumerable errands.

However, these attributes ought to be applied within the vital parameters to eliminate the insecurity threats from encroaching on the Internet. 

Week 2, Topic 1: Advanced Persistent Threats

Question A

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are high profile anomalies which alter the systems’ normalcy rendering them inoperable or inefficient. These errant programmes could be viruses or insecure sites, which are creatively developed to accomplish heinous missions on the Internet and in computers’ systems (Mulligan & Schneider, 2011). 

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Question B

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) introduce errors that disable or corrupt networks and computer peripherals making the work of operators cumbersome (Hasib, 2014). Specialists who have malicious interests choreograph them and expose them to the Internet users around the world. 

Question C

To mitigate Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), organizations should install utilities that regularly detect and combat threats to their systems. This approach will ensure the efficiency of the system in service delivery as well as longevity of the peripherals (Hasib, 2014). They should also be precautious while working with gadgets that are prone to infection by these threats. Such gadgets could be for mass storage such as the Universal Serial Bus (USB) accessories. Furthermore, organizations should restrict access to the sites that are a hub of the potential threat. It will save the organization the costs and the time incurred in repairs were the threats become effective.

Week 2, Topic 2: What Is Cyber Security?

Social Networks: The emergence of social networks was viewed as a milestone in the communications sector due to innumerable merits associated with them. However, those who use them inappropriately to satisfy their own selfish interests have rendered them susceptible to insecurity. Some prominent people have had their accounts hacked by frauds with malicious interests while others have literally been scammed of their money. Some have also abused social networks by spreading abusive and inflammatory literature, which would stir up animosity among the people. To curb these undesirable habits among the Internet operators, the governments in conjunction with the social networks’ service providers ought to enact remedial policies to curb illicit uses of the amenities. First, the service providers should devise software that appraises all data inputs. This software would detect, filter, and/or discard any data that does not meet the requisite conventional standards in communities. Governments should also come up with systems for tracking those who violate the set standards in the communications sector and subjecting them to severe punitive measures (Hasib, 2014).

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Week 2, Topic 3 – Mitigating Global Cyber Security Attacks on the Enterprise

An organization that wants to secure its operations from global cyber risks must have a competent cyber security policy backed by vibrant anti-cybercrime policies. The first policy is to ensure that the company sources its communication equipment, hardware and software from genuine vendors (Steinbruner, 2011). Most firms expose their business operations to risk through the use of fake communication gadgets. The second policy is to ensure that vulnerability checks are regularly performed to ascertain the strength of the system. Most businesses have exposed their businesses to the global internet threats by failing to perform regular checks. The third policy would be to ensure that only trusted employees gain access to sensitive information to minimize chances of internal sabotage.

Week 4, Topic 1 – Management Actions Prior to Cyber Attack

Prior to an attack, the management must ensure that its data, especially crucial data, is fully backed up and can be accessed with ease (Steinbruner, 2011). Failure to back up crucial data means that the business would not be able to recover in the event of an attack. Similarly, the management must constitute a crisis management team whose prerogative would be to secure data and ensure that crucial functions are least affected by the attack.

Week 4, Topic 3: Offensive Cyber Attack Technology

Hacking is the act of intruding into a person’s account and manipulating it as the owner would, but in a malevolent manner, causing social, economic and political harm (Landau, 2011). To curb the menace, service providers should contrive software that bars aliens from accessing the accounts of other users. Such systems should also expose the hackers so that authorities take appropriate legal actions against them.

Scamming is a form of mutual communication between a fraudster and a non-suspecting victim, where in the process the former extorts money from the latter. More often than not the victims would develop unquestionable trust in the impostor forcing them to yield to their unjustified demands without any precaution (Landau, 2011). In this case, service providers should devise a mechanism for tracking and revealing the true identity of any Internet user where need be. It will ensure that no one commits a cybercrime and gets away with it.

Week 4, Topic 4: Building a Coordinated Federal Cyber Strategy

There is dire need for the Federal Government of the United States to build a collaboration comprehensive strategy across all departments to enhance cyber security, which could be achieved by initiating resolute measures that monitor and regulate the Internet services (Landau, 2011). All security agencies in the country should be proficient in detecting and tracking atrocious characters with the help of the special software developed by the Internet service providers. Alongside this strategy, the education sector ought to incorporate imperative knowledge about cyber security in the school curriculum. Such awareness would initiate a communal approach enabling the society to remain proactive in the fight against the menace. 

Week 5, Topic 2: Week 5, Topic 2: Multinational Cyber Security Programs

Question A

The federal government of the United States has Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) with sixty-three other countries around the world (Landau, 2011). It is a strategy enforced to provide assistance in collection of criminal fines and forfeitures. The involved parties could assist each other to the extent permitted by their respective laws in proceedings related to the forfeiture of the proceeds of crime, reimbursement to the victims of crime and collection of fines imposed as a sentence in criminal prosecution (Landau, 2011).

Question B

The federal government of the United States entered into several treaties with other countries’ governments as a precautionary measure against the spread of cybercrimes. An example of these treaties is treaty of Mutual Legal Assistance in unlawful matters (Steinbruner, 2011). It was signed between the United States’ government and its allies such as Netherlands, Morocco, and Italy among others. 

Week 5, Topic 3: Approaches to Cyber Security Programs

Question A

Risk Management Framework refers to mechanisms that provide the fundamentals and structural provisions meant to craft, implement, monitor, appraise, and perpetually improve risk management (Steinbruner, 2011). The following are elements of risk management framework:

  1. Governance and infrastructure; the framework ensures enactment of appropriate policies, standardized processes, a clear vision of the risk materiality and defined accountabilities that are conveyed throughout the organization.
  2. Identification and prioritization; all emerging risks and opportunities are systematically and consistently identified across all amenities. A thorough assessment and prioritization are then made with a special focus on critical risks (Steinbruner, 2011).
  3. Controls and risk response; the Risk Management Framework controls are evaluated to gauge whether they efficiently alleviate the risk to meet the desirable standards or not.
  4. Monitoring and reporting; there is a robust framework of governance in place, which is meant to expedite the processes of risk recording at all stages of the organization. More often, tools and systems that enhance efficiency are used to reinforce reporting.
  5. Implementation; a premeditated plan is always in place to guide and drive the execution of the strategy of risk management, which is usually founded on the objective of all the elements involved.
  6. Integration with key processes; the configuration of the risk management outline with significant processes such as strategic formation and costing is done to evade replication. It also generates worth across all departments of the organization (Landau, 2011).
  7. Continuous improvement and sustainability; the structure of risk management is appraised in contrast to routine metrics (Surratt, 2011). Here, various concerns are addressed and chances of enhancement are also properly instigated. The staff is also made cognizant of upcoming growths in the best practice. Besides, they are given the opportunities to advance their abilities and expand familiarity in managing risks.

Question B

At this point in time, where the world is waking up to the jeopardy of insecurity, organizations should embrace this risk management framework for a cyber-security program (Hasib, 2014). It is comprehensive and dynamic in its approach, thus assuring splendid outcome of its implementation process. It is a paramount strategy to confront the ever-sophisticated tricks unleashed by cyber criminals.

Week 5, Topic 4: Public Awareness and Education of Cyber Security Threats

With increased cyber security challenges, governments, institutions, and organizations are finding it necessary to initiate programs that can mitigate the sources and challenges of cyber security (Steinbruner, 2011). One such program is called the National Cyber Security Awareness that is sponsored by the United States department of homeland security. This annual program takes place every year. The aim of this program is to increase cyber threat awareness among American citizens. It targets institutions, organizations and individuals, at large. The program challenges the American citizens to be more vigilant about the threats posed by cyber insecurity and urges the population to treat the Internet safety as a communal responsibility (Steinbruner, 2011).



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