Vulnerability and Threat Assessment Report
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Project 1: Vulnerability and Threat Assessment
Step 1: Classify Aspects to Be Addressed
Before beginning the vulnerability assessment, you must first create a preliminary classification of mission-critical aspects to be addressed in the assessment. Determine what “secure” means to the organization by reviewing the topic of cybersecurity vulnerability, evaluating existing business practices, and interviewing senior personnel.
Prepare an overview of the mission-critical aspects of the organization’s current processes. Include personnel, physical security, network security, and cybersecurity in the overview. You will use this overview to prepare a scope of work in the following step.
Step 2: Create a Scope of Work (SoW)
In this step, you will perform a vulnerability assessment once again as the CISO. Since the previous contractor was an external consultant, you will be able to offer insights and consider the big picture of the organization when conducting the assessment. You will prepare for the assessment by creating a comprehensive list of security needs based on findings from the previous step. This list should identify threats, risks, and vulnerabilities to achieve a holistic view of the risk across the entity.
The scope of work is the key element to any project and important to learn. It should be filed as supplementary documentation for purposes of evaluating execution and directional purposes of meeting milestones of a multiphase comprehensive project plan within the vulnerability assessment. The scope of work will be the first section of the final vulnerability assessment report.
Combine the overview from the previous step with the list of security needs into a one-page SoW report. Submit the report for feedback.
Step 3: Develop a Comprehensive Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Within the previous step, the SoW report conveyed a brief overview of the organization’s critical aspects and a list of the organization’s security needs. Now, you are ready to develop a comprehensive work breakdown structure (WBS).
This breakdown provides more detail, so you will need to devise examples of procedures you might recommend to your organization. Some examples include a penetration test, baseline analysis, or system logging. Note the tools and techniques to use in conducting a vulnerability assessment to be used later in the project.
Using a spreadsheet, create the comprehensive work breakdown structure, including key elements that must be tested and analyzed. Organize the spreadsheet using the elements identified in the SoW from the previous steps and the following:
internal threats: personnel, policies, procedures
external threats: systems, connectivity, databases
existing security measures: software, hardware, telecommunications, cloud resources
compliance requirements: legal aspects (federal, state, and local), contractual demands up and down the supply chain
Note the security threats and vulnerabilities. This plan will serve as the second section of the final vulnerability assessment report.
Step 4: Explain Security Threats and Vulnerabilities
In the previous step, you developed a comprehensive work breakdown structure. In this step, you will explain the security threats and vulnerabilities included in the plan. In the explanations, consider relevant concepts such as the threat modeling process and third-party outsourcing issues. Include system and application security threats and vulnerabilities.
Reference aspects that are not being included. Note that you would need to obtain management agreement with the initial analysis of mission-critical components to be included in the assessment. This phase includes management input into the prioritization process of all risks from internal and external sources.
This information will be used in the following steps to develop the threats and vulnerabilities report, which will then be included in the Final Vulnerability Assessment Report.
Next, you will classify the risk of threats and vulnerabilities.
Step 5: Classify the Risk of Threats and Vulnerabilities
Throughout this project, you have developed a foundation for the vulnerability and threat assessment by classifying critical organizational aspects, creating a scope of work, and explaining security threats and vulnerabilities. Now, you are ready to classify the organization’s risk according to the relevant data determined in the project plan.
Company demands, management input, compliance requirements, and industry probability of exploitation are all considerations when classifying the risk of threats and vulnerabilities. Based on these considerations for the midsize government contracting group, further clarify the vulnerabilities and threats you have itemized. Explain why each is a vulnerability or threat, as well as why it is relevant to the overall assessment.
Consider continuous monitoring issues as you work through the classification. Use the threat and vulnerability explanations from the previous step and risk classifications from this step to develop the threats and vulnerabilities report.
In the next step, you will prioritize the threats and vulnerabilities you have explained and classified.
Step 6: Prioritize Threats and Vulnerabilities
Now that you have explained and classified the threats and vulnerabilities, you will prioritize them using a reasonable approach as explained in the project plan. As you prioritize the identified threats and vulnerabilities, you will need to:
- include both internal and external sources of threats
- consider assessment of exposure to outages
- consider information resource valuation
- indicate which approach you are using and justify your choice
Use this information, along with the threat and vulnerability explanations and risk classifications from the previous steps, to develop the threats and vulnerabilities report.
Compose a two- to three-page report regarding specific threats and vulnerabilities of the technical aspects of the environment. This report will be used in the final vulnerability and threat assessment report.
Submit the threats and vulnerabilities report for feedback.
Step 7: Analyze Network Analysis Tools
Now that you have finished the threats and vulnerabilities report, you will analyze how network analysis tools are employed to identify vulnerabilities.
Earlier in the project, as you developed the comprehensive project plan, you should have read about tools and techniques available for vulnerability assessment activities. Research the tools relevant to the project plan and provide a cogent analysis of which tool or tools to recommend for this project. Consider threat remediation and make special note of tools used to identify software communications vulnerabilities.
Include the findings in a one- to two-page report, including a justification of your decision based on peer-reviewed reference materials cited in APA format. This report will be used in the final vulnerability and threat assessment report.
Submit the network analysis tools report for feedback.
Step 8: Assess Vulnerabilities and Threats
So far, you have considered the scope of work to complete a vulnerability and threat assessment for the organization, created a comprehensive work breakdown structure, explained, classified, and prioritized threats and vulnerabilities, and have chosen the network analysis tools to be used. It is finally time to assess vulnerabilities.
Using the Vulnerability and Threat Assessment Matrix template, complete the vulnerability assessment for your organization. This matrix will serve as Appendix B of the final report.
Step 9: Review and Record Findings
After completing the vulnerability and threat assessment in the previous step, you should now take time to review and consider your findings. Review the work you have completed and the feedback that you have received. Record any lessons that you have learned that may be beneficial in the future.
Issues that may be addressed include whether nontechnical factors should be considered during the vulnerability assessment, the point at which the assessment is complete, next steps, and any other issues that you noticed throughout. Record your notes thoroughly, as they will be the basis for the “lessons learned” report completed in the next step.
Step 10: Write Lessons Learned Report
Based on the work done and research accomplished, consider what you have learned so far. Build upon the findings recorded in the previous step to write a lessons learned report.
Is a vulnerability and threat assessment a technical undertaking only, or should it consider other factors? When is the assessment complete? What are the “next steps” based on your assessment? These are some examples of issues that should be addressed. This report will serve as the conclusion of the final report.
- Submit a two- to three-page report of lessons learned for feedback. Once this reflection is complete, you will be ready to compile the overall vulnerability and threat assessment report. In the next step, you will revise your findings as necessary.
- Step 11: Review and Revise Report Sections
Now that you have completed all the major sections of the vulnerability and threat assessment, it is time to prepare the individual sections of the final report. Review the feedback from the SoW, Work Breakdown Structure, Threats and Vulnerabilities Report, Network Analysis Tools Report, Vulnerability and Threat Assessment, and Lessons Learned Report. Make any appropriate revisions to incorporate the received feedback. Compile the findings in preparation to submit the final report.
- Once the revisions are complete, the final report is ready to submit in the last step.
Step 12: Write Overview and Compile Final Vulnerability and Threat Assessment Report
- You have reached the final step. Use the Final Vulnerability and Threat Assessment Report template in preparing the final report. In APA style, write an overview and compile all the sections prepared throughout the project into a report according to the template.
Since this report will be delivered to Maria and other top executives, tailor your writing to the appropriate audience. Be sure that coherent paragraphs or points are developed so that each is internally unified, functioning as part of the whole document.
When you are finished, submit the final report.
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