Beard Manufacturing is extremely security conscious, especially in the area of its information system. Because of this, the director of the computer center has installed a sophisticated computer security system costing the company over $ 1 million. The system is so sophisticated that all communications terminals require positive voice identification. In addition, each user is assigned a security- level clearance by the network operating system. All systems application and data files require specific levels of security for access. For example, individuals running accounting reports are assigned a low- level classification that will allow them to access the data files that they need but will not allow them to make any changes to these files. In addition, a large number of other measures are part of the system, including security guards and closed- circuit television. Despite this sophisticated system, a very intelligent systems programmer managed to break through the company’s security and alter the accounts receivable files. He managed to find a backdoor in the operating system that allowed him to operate with a level 8 security clearances. In addition, he was able to access the system update log to instruct the target computer to completely forget that he accessed the data files. In other words, he was able to make changes to the data files without any trace being left of the transaction. In this case, the company was very lucky because the systems programmer was honest and took his scheme to the director of computer security. Needless to say, the director of security was flabbergasted. As a result of what the programmer did, the director of security is considering replacing the entire security system with a more sophisticated $ 2 million system.

What response should the director of security make regarding the systems programmer? What measures could have been taken to prevent the problem from occurring? Is a more expensive security system a good idea?

  • CreatedFebruary 26, 2015
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