An IT Risk Assessment Case Study in support of a significant technology decision that is to be taken by a fictional company called Aztek that operates in the Australian Financial Services sector.
Senior executives in both business and technology divisions within Aztec have collected a portfolio of projects from their respective strategists that could be potentially funded for deployment. The portfolio includes projects such as
Allowing employees to bring their own devices (laptops, tablets and mobile phones for example) into the workplace to be used as their main or sole devices in achieving their work tasks
Migrating business-critical applications and their associated data sources to an external Cloud hosting solution
Outsourcing key IT functionality such as the network, desktop management or application development to a third party
Upgrading or introducing a major technology such as mobile platforms and applications, migrating to an improved networking technology (such as IPv6), creating a corporate-wide email archive for compliance purposes, or upgrading applications and desktop operating systems.
Each of these potential projects carries significant IT risks which will need to be managed to support the business case as to whether the project should go forward. In this case study you are the IT Risk Assessment lead at Aztek, and your role is to be the interface between business stakeholders and technologists, translating potential technical difficulties into risk language to facilitate effective decision-making by stakeholders.
For the Aztek case study you will need to select one of the projects from the list above for a thorough IT Risk Assessment. You may select another project beyond those listed above with the approval of the subject coordinator, and you may wish to select a project that is relevant to your workplace for example.
IT Risk Assessment report, written for the intended audience of Aztek management providing a risk assessment of the project you have selected to consider.
The report must address the following criteria:
An Executive Summary at the beginning of the report which provides a clear statement of the IT technology project that is being assessed, and an overview of your recommendations to Aztek management as to the merits of the project based on your risk assessment.
A review of the project with respect to the Financial Services sector, which would include any relevant government or industry regulation or compliance, and any established best practices.
A review of the project impact on the current security posture of Aztec, as expressed by its current maturity against IT Security policies and procedures
A risk assessment based on threats, vulnerabilities and consequences derived from an IT control framework and any existing industry risk recommendations for the project. For example, there are several consortia for Cloud Computing that have created IT Risk Assessments for this technology
Specially address risks for Data Security from the viewpoint in the project of what data will be used, who will have access to the data and where will the data will flow
To assess that the student has a holistic grasp of IT Risk Assessment techniques and issues, which can then be applied to produce valuable support for decision-makers
Develop an IT Risk Assessment opinion from both a bottom-up perspective of assessing controls, threats and vulnerabilities, and translate these findings into business risk language.
Deliver an IT Risk Assessment based on a proposed business project that required technical risk to be assessed and managed.
Executive Summary – clear risk-based opinions that business stakeholders understand and can be used directly for decision-support
Financial Services sector review – clear perspective to business stakeholders on similar projects in their sector, and any relevant regulation
Security posture review – clear assessment of the project’s impact on current security posture in terms of changes to the posture and the required mitigation actions to remain at an acceptable posture.
Threats, vulnerabilities and consequences assessment – demonstrate that the specific changes introduced by the project have been assessed systematically assessed according to lists and frameworks for threats, vulnerabilities and controls.
Data Security – demonstrate the data flows associated with the project have been identified, assessed against policies and any risks mitigated.