Cybersecurity in Government Organizations
Project 1: Cybersecurity for OPEN Data
A federal agency has asked your cybersecurity consulting firm to provide it with a research report that examines the issues of usefulness and security in regards to Open Data services. The report is intended for a group of executives at the agency who are currently involved in converting paper-based data sets and data request forms to digital formats for distribution via digital government websites and mobile applications. This report is particularly important as the agency head has received inquiries from Congressional staff members who are conveying concerns that various elected officials have about potential issues with the integrity and authenticity of downloaded data. The agency’s executives were also surveyed and they provided the following security risks and related items in a list of concerns for the planned conversion to an Open Data delivery method:
a. Confidentiality / Privacy (ensuring proper redaction of personally identifiable information from government data sets)
b. Integrity (ensuring data sets are unchanged when moved from back-end servers to front-end, customer facing apps and websites)
c. Authenticity (origin of data is known and can be verified / proven)
d. Availability (reliability) of the Open Data service (mobile apps, website, network infrastructure)
e. Non-repudiation of data sets (assurance that the originating source cannot deny having provided the data or data set)
1. Read / Review the weekly readings for weeks 1-4 including readings marked as “optional” or “review.”
2. Research the federal government’s OPEN Data mandate. Here are some sources that you may find useful:
a. Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset – OMB Memorandum M-13-13 (PDF file is in the week 2 readings). This Memorandum includes significant discussion of security issues and policy solutions including references to FIPS 199 and NIST SP-800-53)
c. https://www.data.gov/privacy-policy#data_policy (see sections on Security, Privacy, and Data Quality and Retention)
d. Guidance for Providing and Using Administrative Data for Statistical Purposes – OMB Memorandum M-14-06 (PDF file is in the week 2 readings). This Memorandum includes discussion of privacy and security issues arising from the use of information collected for statistical purposes (e.g. the Census, employment, economic data, etc.).
3. Research how government information, e.g. OPEN Data, is used by businesses and the general public. Here are some sources to get you started:
a. Building on a year of open data: progress and promise https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2021/04/29/open-data-campaign-anniversary-review/
b. Open Data Day: Resources https://opendataday.org/#resources
c. 16 Innovative Applications and Businesses Created with Open Data https://medium.com/datapace/16-innovative-applications-and-businesses-created-with-open-data-9927c953e9d2
d. 27 Open Data Applications Ideas https://www.pinterest.com/socrata/open-data-applications/
4. Research the issues that can arise when businesses depend upon the confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, and non-repudiation of government provided Open Data. Suggested sources include:
a. Authenticating Digital Government Information https://scholarship.richmond.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1954&context=law-faculty-publications
b. Legal and Institutional Challenges for Opening Data Across Public Sectors https://ezproxy.umgc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=iih&AN=97430297&site=eds-live&scope=site
c. Risk Analysis to Overcome Barriers to Open Data https://ezproxy.umgc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=93550378&site=eds-live&scope=site
d. Reconciling Contradictions of Open Data Regarding Transparency, Privacy, Security and Trust https://ezproxy.umgc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=iih&AN=97430299&site=eds-live&scope=site
5. Find five or more best practice recommendations for ensuring the security (confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, non-repudiation) of information provided by the federal government through its OPEN Data initiative. Note: For the purposes of this assignment, you may treat “licensing” concerns as an “availability” issue.
Write a five to eight (5-8) page research report which includes a summary of your research. You should focus upon clarity and conciseness more than length when determining what content to include in your paper. At a minimum, your summary must include the following:
1. An introduction or overview of OPEN Data which provides definitions and addresses the laws, regulations, and policies which require federal agencies to identify and publish datasets and information collections. Discuss the role of the executive branch’s Open Data / Open Government policies in making data available via Data.Gov. This introduction should be suitable for an executive audience.
2. A separate section in which you discuss the value (benefits) of Open Data. This section should provide several specific examples of how government provided Open Data is being used by businesses and the general public.
3. A separate section in which you address security issues for Open Data (confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, and non-repudiation). Focus on how these issues can impact the availability and usefulness of Open Data. You should also discuss how these issues are currently being addressed by the U.S. federal government. Provide examples of issues and mitigations or solutions.
4. A section in which you address best practice recommendations for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, and non-repudiation of Open Data. Your recommendations should address use of the NIST guidance for risk management including security and privacy controls.
5. A separate section in which you summarize your research and recommendations.
Submit For Grading
Submit your white paper in MS Word format (.docx or .doc file) using the Project 1 assignment in your assignment folder. (Attach the file.)
1. Consult the grading rubric for specific content and formatting requirements for this assignment.
2. Your 5 to 8 page research report should be professional in appearance with consistent use of fonts, font sizes, margins, etc. You should use headings and page breaks to organize your paper.
3. Your paper should use standard terms and definitions for cybersecurity.
4. The CSIA program recommends that you follow standard APA formatting since this will give you a document that meets the “professional appearance” requirements. APA formatting guidelines and examples are found under Course Resources. An APA template file (MS Word format) has also been provided for your use CSIA_Paper_Template(TOC+TOF,2021).docx.
5. You must include a cover page with the assignment title, your name, and the due date. Your reference list must be on a separate page at the end of your file. These pages do not count towards the assignment’s page count.
6. You should write grammatically correct English in every assignment that you submit for grading. Do not turn in any work without (a) using spell check, (b) using grammar check, (c) verifying that your punctuation is correct and (d) reviewing your work for correct word usage and correctly structured sentences and paragraphs.