Case Study-Gap Analysis

Teaching Case Bank Solutions Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: A Case Study for CSIA 485
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CSIA 485 Project #1 Detailed Assignment Description
Read the Case Study posted for this assignment. Determine the information technology/security
gaps and develop a security strategy that includes issues relating to confidentiality, integrity, and
availability (CIA), and that includes the key elements relative to People, Process, and
Technology.
Step 1: Describe the key issues/challenges/risks from this case study.
Step 2: Based on the information provided in the case study, describe and document the
recommended security strategy to mitigate the issues/challenges identified.
Step 3: Describe the proposed security solutions and relationship to the case study.
Step 4: Document a detailed, proposed timeline for addressing each element of the strategy that
you identify. Provide estimates for implementing recommended strategies, with rationale.
Include what resources are necessary for completing each task in the timeline.
Step 5: Provide a high-level recommendation regarding the next steps to take in mitigating risks
identified.
The deliverable for this case study assignment will be a minimum 5 page, double-spaced paper
using Times New Roman 12 font and APA style formatting for citations and references. It will
also include a minimum of 5 references. The Title/Cover page, illustrations and references are
not part of the page count but are required for the assignment. The grading rubric provides
additional details as to what should be included in the paper. Your instructor may provide an
APA style template to use for this paper.
Copyright © 2018 by University of Maryland University College. All rights reserved.
Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 22(2)
Teaching Case
Bank Solutions Disaster Recovery and Business
Continuity: A Case Study for CSIA 485
Steve Camara
Senior Manager, KPMG LLP
1021 E Cary Street, Suite 2000
Richmond, VA 23219
scamara@kpmg.com
Robert Crossler
Vishal Midha
Assistant Professor
Computer Information Systems
The University of Texas – Pan American
recrossler@utpa.edu, vmidha@utpa.edu
Linda Wallace
Associate Professor
Accounting and Information Systems
Virginia Tech wallacel@vt.edu
ABSTRACT
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (DR/BC) planning is an issue that students will likely come in contact with as they
enter industry. Many different fields require this knowledge, whether employees are advising a company implementing a new
DR/BC program, auditing a company’s existing program, or implementing and/or serving as a key participant in a company
program. Often times in the classroom it is difficult to find real world practice for students to apply the theories taught. The
information in this case provides students with real world data to practice what they would do if they were on an engagement
team evaluating a DR/BC plan. Providing students with this opportunity better prepares them for one of the jobs they could
perform after graduation.
Keywords: Case study, Computer security, Critical thinking, Experiential learning & education, Information assurance and
security, Role-play, Security, Team projects
117
Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 22(2)
2. CASE TEXT
2. 1 Company Background
Bank Solutions, Inc. (a pseudonym), founded in 1973 by the
First Presidential Bank, a major bank of its time, is a
provider of item processing services i to community banks,
savings and loan associations, Internet banks, and small- to
mid-size credit unions. It offers a full range of services,
including in-clearing and Proof of Deposit (POD) processing,
item capture, return and exception item processing, image
archive storage and retrieval, and customer statement
rendering.
Bank Solutions was formed in 1973 when the Chief
Operating Officer of First Presidential Bank, a major
commercial bank, recognized an opportunity. Since item
processing functions are standardized (they have to be in
order for originating and receiving financial institutions to
clear customer transactions) and scalable with increases in
item processing volumes, they were able to offer these
services to other financial institutions wishing to reduce
operating expense and focus on growth strategies and other
core business functions. First Presidential marketed these
services under the Bank Solutions brand name.
Over the next 15 years, Bank Solutions enjoyed modest
growth. By 1988, it served 41 small- to mid-size financial
institutions. It had not, however, developed a market
presence outside of the Northwestern Region of the United
States, as management had hoped.
This was primarily
because Bank Solutions was unable to compete with other
item-processing service providers that had developed
proprietary software systems considered “top of the line.”
To make matters worse, at the time almost one quarter of
Bank Solutions? client base was saving and loan associations
(saving and loans). As a result of the Savings and Loan
crisis, 60% of Bank Solutions? savings and loan customer
base failed over the six years spanning 1985–1991, thus
stunting the outsourcer?s growth. The related slow down of
the financial services and real estate industries and the
recession of 1990–1991 presented further headwinds to the
growth objectives of First Presidential management.
In
1994, First Presidential sold off Bank Solutions.
Under new management, Bank Solutions thrived. Keys
to the company?s renewed success included the following:
• The development of key strategic partnerships with
other industry participants, including data clearing
houses and financial institution core processing system
ii
outsourcers.
•
The introduction of a new company culture that focused
on open door management, mentoring, and enhanced
employee benefits.
• The development of a proprietary, state of the art item
processing system that uses state-of-the-art Optical
Character Recognition (OCR) technology to achieve
character recognition accuracies that were previously
unheard of.
• The implementation of “remote capture” technologiesiii
to meet electronic banking initiatives and regulations
such as “Check 21.”
• The upgrade or replacement of other administrative
information systems, including the company?s financial
reporting system. This helped to increase operational
effectiveness and efficiencies.
From
1995–2008,
Bank
Solutions
enjoyed
unprecedented growth. During that timeframe, the company
expanded operations to 18 item processing facilities, two
data centers in which the item processing system was hosted,
and 345 financial institutions.
2.2 Current Scenario (2011)
Douglas Smith, the Chief Information Officer for Bank
Solutions, was one of the original members of “new
management” and responsible for many of Bank Solutions?
past successes.
A solid, middle-sized company with
continued growth potential, Bank Solutions has become a
target for a leveraged corporate buyout. This is an attractive
situation for Douglas and other members of executive
management.
Several of these individuals are close to
retirement; and initial indications are that the price of the
buyout will be very favorable for members of executive
management.
The CEO and other influential members of executive
management want Bank Solutions to remain an attractive
purchase option and, as a result, have contracted the services
of your team as an outside consultant to identify operating
and regulatory risks and advise them on control measures to
mitigate the risks.
2.3 Risk Assessment Task
As members of the engagement team performing the risk
assessment, your team has been given the task of assessing
Bank Solutions? incident handling, business continuity, and
disaster recovery strategy.
In order to perform the assessment, preliminary
interviews with Douglas Smith, the Data Center Managers,
Systems Engineers and Network Architect in each of
Banking Solutions? data centers, and the IT Managers and
Day and Night Operations Managers from seven of the
largest item processing facilities were conducted.
Additionally, the following documentation related to Bank
Solutions? security incident management, DR/BC planning
activities was reviewed:
• Flow charts that diagram the item processing operations
and data flow between Bank Solutions item processing
facilities and data centers and outside entities (see
Appendix A)
• A diagram of Bank Solutions? network architecture
118
Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 22(2)
• Bank Solutions? Data Center Disaster Recovery and
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Business Continuity Plan (DRBCP)
Policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards related
to security incident response
Item Processing Facility DRBCPs
Results from the most recently completed DRBCP
test/exercise
Distribution list for the DRBCP
Bank Solutions? Backup and Recovery Policy.
Screen prints of the configurations from Bank
Solutions? backup utility (these configurations show
what server shares are subject to automated backup and
the frequency of those backups)
Contracts with the off-site storage provider
A system-generated listing of access to event logging
servers
A list of individuals who have been provided access to
recall backup tapes from the off-site storage vendor.
Screenshots of the Intrusion Detection System (IDS),
firewall, and other event logging capability
configurations
Excerpts from the IDS and firewall event logs and
management?s manually maintained incident tracking
log.
2.4 Facts: Risk Assessment Findings
Based on the discussions held with the management and a
review of the documentation provided, you note the
following facts:
1. With the assistance of an external consultant, Bank
Solutions wrote its current data center DRBCP in 2007.
It was last updated in January 2009.
2. According to Douglas, the data center DRBCP was last
tested in 2007.
Testing activities consisted of a
conceptual, table-top walkthrough of the DRBCP
conducted by Douglas with the Data Center Managers
and Network and Systems Engineers. Item processing
facility DRBCPs have not yet been tested.
3. Site-specific DRBCPs have been written for the five
largest item processing facilities. The remaining item
processing facilities have a generic “small center”
DRBCP template that was distributed to and customized
by facility management in June 2010.
Four item
processing facilities have not yet completed the
customization exercise.
4. DRBCPs contain several sections, including the
following:
• Emergency/crisis response procedures
• Business recovery procedures
• “Return to normal” procedures
• Various appendices
Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point
iv
Objectives for each critical business process and
system were not identified in the DRBCP. The
following details, most of which are included in the
DRBCP appendices, are also documented in the text of
the DRBCP:
119
• Critical systems, including detailed hardware and
software inventories
• Critical business processes and process owners
• Alternative processing facility addresses and
directions
• “Calling Trees” (notification listings)
• Critical plan participant roles, responsibilities,
and requirements
Critical vendor contact listings
Key business forms
Specific recovery procedures for key systems
Procedures for managing public relations and
communications
Based on a review of DRBCP distribution lists, it
appears that not all key plan participants have a copy of
the plan. When this was discussed with Douglas, he
responded that copies of all DRBCPs are stored on the
network (which is replicated across both data centers
and via backup tape).
Critical plan participants have not been trained to use
DRBCPs.
Bank Solutions has implemented a robust host-based
IDS, including detailed event logging and reporting
capabilities. However, neither the DRBCP nor any
other policy, standard, guideline, or procedure addresses
security incident handling steps, including escalation
points of contact and procedures for preserving the
forensic qualities of logical evidence.
Event logging is also performed when power users
perform specific privileged activities on production
servers and selected administrative back office systems.
Interestingly, it was noted that several of the same
power users whose actions are recorded onto event logs
also have write access to the logs themselves.
A review of the network diagram and conversations
with the Network Architect reveal that redundancies
have been implemented at the network perimeter (e.g.,
routers, firewalls, IDS, load balancers, etc.).
Banking Solutions has organized their DR/BC program
according to a “sister center” format; that is, each data
center serves as the other?s “hot site” processing
location and each item processing facility has been
assigned a corresponding item processing facility to
serve as a backup processing location.
Neither the
DRBCPs nor any other documentation outline specific
processing responsibilities for backup facilities.
On a daily basis, transaction detail and item image files
from the current day?s processing operations are
uploaded from each item processing facility to their
regional data center (see Appendix A).
At the data centers, electronic vaulting has been
established whereby all e-mail, file, and application
servers and databases at the data center are continuously
backed up to the other data center via dual dedicated
fiber optic lines.
A data backup and recovery utility has been
implemented in each data center and the item
processing facilities. Full backups of critical data files,
software programs, and configurations are performed
•
•
•
•
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 22(2)
once a week and incremental backups are performed on
a daily basis Monday through Friday.
14. At one item processing facility, backup jobs have
routinely failed due to unknown causes. When the topic
was discussed with the IT Manager on duty, he
shrugged the failures off noting that the core financial
institution transaction data and images are transmitted
to and archived at the Bank Solutions Data Center East
on a daily basis.
15. At the item processing facilities, the management has
been tasked with contracting the off-site storage of
backup tapes. At one of the item processing facilities,
management has contracted the bank across the street to
store its backup tapes in a safety deposit box. At
another item processing facility, the night Operations
Manager stores the backup tapes in a safe at his home.
At a third item processing center, tapes are stored in a
shed at the back of the building.
ii
120
Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 22(2)
This is individual project. As a member of an engagement team in charge of performing the incident handling, DR/BC risk
assessment for Bank Solutions. you should read the case background and the facts identified in the interviews.
Individual Work: For all of the facts/ findings, prepare a written report that lists the condition(s) that present risks to Bank
Solutions as well as proposed recommendations for addressing those conditions.
121
Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 22(2)
Appendix A
This case was developed solely for class discussion. While the situation described in this case is based on realistic events, the Bank Solutions is a fictional organization.
Further, the names, product/service offerings, and the names of all individuals in the case are fictional. Any resemblance to actual companies, offerings, or individuals is
accidental.
122
Copyright of Journal of Information Systems Education is the property of Journal of Information Systems
Education and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the
copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for
individual use.
CSIA 485 Project #1 Detailed Assignment Description
Read the Case Study posted for this assignment. Determine the information technology/security
gaps and develop a security strategy that includes issues relating to confidentiality, integrity, and
availability (CIA), and that includes the key elements relative to People, Process, and
Technology.
Step 1: Describe the key issues/challenges/risks from this case study.
Step 2: Based on the information provided in the case study, describe and document the
recommended security strategy to mitigate the issues/challenges identified.
Step 3: Describe the proposed security solutions and relationship to the case study.
Step 4: Document a detailed, proposed timeline for addressing each element of the strategy that
you identify. Provide estimates for implementing recommended strategies, with rationale.
Include what resources are necessary for completing each task in the timeline.
Step 5: Provide a high-level recommendation regarding the next steps to take in mitigating risks
identified.
The deliverable for this case study assignment will be a minimum 5 page, double-spaced paper
using Times New Roman 12 font and APA style formatting for citations and references. It will
also include a minimum of 5 references. The Title/Cover page, illustrations and references are
not part of the page count but are required for the assignment. The grading rubric provides
additional details as to what should be included in the paper. Your instructor may provide an
APA style template to use for this paper.

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