The infectious company, Grocery Stores, Inc. has just been breached by what was first thought to be a remote attacker who infected the supermarket chain with a server based malware program. However, after a security assessment was performed, it was confirmed that it was an inside job. Apparently, a new and sophisticated plan was developed by a disgruntled employee. The attacker slipped malware onto servers at all of the company's 200 grocery stores. The malware appears to have snatched card data from customers as they swiped their credit cards through the checkout counter machine and transferred the card data overseas.
You've been hired as an information security administrator for Grocery Stores, Inc. Your duty is to assess the situation and determine the best course of action to take to ensure that the security breach is contained and eradicated. You will need to interview key staff members and decide how which member(s) can best assist you in eliminating this risk.
Vice President Information Technologies
The fact that the malware was not the ordinary kind of key logger program that might capture keyboard presses as a customer logs into their online bank account, but was instead software programmed to lift credit card data as it was being transmitted to the servers at Grocery Stores, Inc, suggests that the malware program had to be written specifically to target our stores and deployed from inside the company network. It seems almost too much of a coincidence to believe that remote hackers would have a chance to infect every server with the appropriate malware by using traditional security flaws such as a misconfigured firewall, or even an out-of-date antivirus application. We have over 20 network administrators throughout multiple branch offices and satellite locations. Security was set up so that each network administrator had the same security access and privileges to each location. In hindsight, I believe that while having redundant or equal security privileges for all network administrators can be a good thing; it can also be a major security hole. That is because the administrators have access to the entire system and not just their local area network.
The possibility that the security breach of Grocery Stores, Inc. was performed by an employee is very disturbing. We must review our current employee hiring policies and procedures to insure that we are performing the appropriate background checks and monitoring our employees to make sure that valuable customer data is both secured and protected from external threats and internal employees. We can't have our I.T. professional circumventing the system because they have elevated privileges that give them unfettered access to valuable company data. We must review the current job descriptions and duties of all personnel who have access to customer data and only give access where appropriate. Also, during the termination and/or transfer process, we need to be sure that we have done the steps necessary to disable security access so that we do not have any rogue accounts.
The recent security breach at Grocery Stores, Inc. indicates to us that our security policies and procedures need serious scrutiny and oversight. However, even if we were found compliant with all security controls and financial protection measures, the fact remains that we were hacked. A major concern at many corporations is the potential for a man-in-the-middle attack, where an attacker can install a sniffer program and pull out the data as it flows through. You can reduce the risk of this type of attack by encrypting the data at the time it transverses the network. I also want to review the training policies and procedures of our personnel to make sure that everyone understands the rules, is complying, and that there are punitive measures in place to reduce the risk of incidents like these from happening again.
Human Resources Director
The security breach at Grocery Stores, Inc. has caused major damage to the reputation and trust that our customers and stakeholders have in this organization. This cannot be tolerated; security of our valuable data is paramount. As CEO of this company, I am responsible for insuring security of our critical data and compliance. Security must be an important concept to every employee from top to bottom. We must demonstrate adequate internal controls of business records and information security. We need a layered security program so that if one defense is unsuccessful, the attacker must poke through other defenses. Even with a layered security program, there's no guarantee that the company can prevent every attack from succeeding. Good security requires constant care and it doesn't take much for a vulnerable opening to develop. We will do everything possible now and review for potential updates monthly in the future.
Given the scenario, your role and the information provided by the key players involved, it is time for you to make a decision.
If you are finished reviewing this scenario, close this window and return to this Week's You Decide tab, in your course, to complete the activity for this scenario.
You can return and review this scenario again at any time.
Based on your assessment of the security breach and interviewing the staff in the scenario, develop a server malware protection policy that accounts for the concerns of the stakeholders involved in mitigating the risk of a malware attack; network security controls that prevent the infiltration of viruses, worms, and/or malware; and reducing the chances that the attack originates from an internal source. Please draft an 800–1,200 word paper and submit it to the Dropbox. Use transition words, a thesis statement, an introduction, a body, a conclusion, and a reference page with at least two references. Also, use double-spaced, 12-point Arial font.