ISSC421 discussion response
I need two responses of at least 150 words each for the below students discussions for this week. Also in the bold below are the questions the students at answering.
You have finally implemented your firewall and VPN solutions and are feeling much better about your network’s security posture. It is now the end of the fiscal year, and your CISO is looking to you for future budget requirements.
He asks for your thoughts on future trends in network security threats, evolving technologies that may mitigate these threats, and how “GRC” will contribute.
- List your thoughts on what the future holds for network security threats (what they are, will they increase, decline, etc.).
- List any evolving technologies (new) that you are aware of that can help with the threats you listed.
- Explain how Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) will help with these matters, what part will they play (Chapter 15).
For this final week, we are asked to list our thoughts on what the future holds for network security threats. I would like to point out how cyber space has evolved since the year the course material was published. Therefore, network security threats are evolving inasmuch as IoT devices are expanding to cover all aspects of our daily lives. First, there are those common (old fashioned) security threats such as malware (worm and virus), DOS and DDOS attacks, phishing, Rootkit, Adware and spyware, Man-in-the-middle attacks, SQL injection attacks, and the list goes on. The author provided solutions to these common threats by highlighting the firewall capabilities, the importance of authentication, and securing the Cloud and Mobile Devices. However, the emerging network security threats are of a different breed. In the past, cyber space was an exotic term that only a few privileged ones had a chance to explore. Now, cyber space can be weaponized to the extent that it could cripple the infrastructure of the entire country. Further, the increased production of artificial intelligence security tools have made it easier for hackers to scan for a network exploit and create very sophisticated malwares. There is also a polymorphic attack (polymorphism) which has gotten more sophisticated over the years since it was created by 1992. Not to sound negative, third party security breaches are becoming the favorite avenue for hackers to steal credit card numbers and sensitive information from innocent victims, such as hacking BestBuy, Sears, Delta, Target (more than once).
To defend against these security threats, organizations should “police” their employees’ interaction with the outside cyber-world. In other words, employees should only use the organization network for work purposes and refrain from using social media to chat with their buddies and partners or brag about their daily jobs through Instagram or tweets. In addition, Stewart recommended employing the Data leakage prevention technologies which can “identify, monitor, and protect data in use, data in motion, and data at rest from inappropriate use, distribution, transmission, or other unauthorized actions” (Stewart, 2014).
As for GRC, it serves as a warning policy that any organization should follow to thwart any security threat. Governance and compliance go hand in hand to manage any potential security risk. Therefore, governance, risk, and compliance should be all progressing in the same direction. Governance covers the SOP that ensure employees are adhering to their organization’s security policy. Risk management is the ability to determine the likelihood of a threat to exploit a vulnerability and cause damage or lose. Therefore, the objective of cybersecurity is to detect, understand, and eliminate the risk (Stewart, 2014).Finally, compliance is simply having employees or anyone authorized to have access to the organization’s network system comply with the security policies set forth by the IT department. Hence, if there is no compliance the rate of risk management will be higher.
Stewart, J. M. Network Security, Firewalls and VPNs. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/97812841077…
This week we are asked to discuss some of our thoughts on what network security threats will look like in the future, highlight any emerging technologies that we believe will help mitigate those network security threats, and explain how Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) will help with these matters. When it comes to the future of network security threats, I believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will begin to play a much larger role in offensive and defensive network operations. AI has started to emerge recently, with some AI-powered systems already being used in some business operations. Although these systems help automate tasks, they are also becoming known as promising attack targets due to AI systems containing large amounts of data. It is assessed that these systems will be used to help automate network probes looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited on the target network. Additionally, these AI-powered systems can be used to create social engineering attacks, like spearphishing, that are even more sophisticated by creating extremely realistic video and audio or well-crafted emails designed to fool targeted individuals. This is worrisome because, just like the various toolkits that are available online, these systems would give an amateur attacker the ability to launch much more sophisticated attacks (Zinatullin, 2018).
The upside these emerging AI-powered systems is that they can also be used to help defend the network from intrusions. The same AI systems that can be used by attackers to probe a network can also be used by network security administrators to probe for open vulnerabilities. For example, an AI-powered system could launch simulated attacks on a network periodically, hoping that it will identify a vulnerability that can be closed before it is exploited. As for GRC, the need for AI is rapidly increasing. As stated above, the ability to discover security vulnerabilities with the use of AI-powered systems is significantly enhanced. However, there is still a need for human analysis, and from the human analysis, GRC can learn to monitor for the emergence of high-risk vulnerabilities and orchestrate corrective actions that can prevent a major incident or failure (Muzzy, 2017).
Muzzy, L. (2017). HOW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN INFLUENCE GOVERNANCE, RISK, AND COMPLIANCE. Nasdaq. Retrieved from https://business.nasdaq.com/marketinsite/2017/How-Artificial-Intelligence-Can-Influence-Governance-Risk-and-Compliance.html. Retrieved on June 25, 2019
Zinatulin, L. (2018). Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity: Attacking and Defending. TripWire. Retrieved from https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/artificial-intelligence-cybersecurity-attacking-defending/. Retrieved on June 25, 2019