Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words: Consider the following scenario: Your manufacturing company has operated with a mainframe IBM computer for more than 20 years. Recent technological advances have brought opportunities to replace that mainframe-based computing environment with a client/server environment. You have been tasked with responding to senior management about the security issues involved with replacing the existing mainframe computer environment with a client/server platform. The salespeople you deal with from each vendor believe the current mainframe environment costs about $500K a year to maintain from a security standpoint, while a client/server environment would cost about $325K a year. But cost is not the only consideration. No PII or SPII data is contained in this manufacturing platform. It is strictly a final product for sale application. Outline and review a typical mainframe enterprise security footprint. Do the same for a possible client/server environment. This could include the use of the cloud for distributed computing, but that would also include unique security concerns. Discuss the following:

In this scenario, the task is to assess the security issues involved in replacing the existing mainframe computer environment with a client/server platform. The current mainframe environment is estimated to cost $500K per year for security maintenance, while a client/server environment is expected to cost $325K. However, it is important to note that cost is not the only consideration, especially since no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (SPII) data is contained in this manufacturing platform.

To begin the assessment, let’s review the typical security footprint of a mainframe enterprise environment. Mainframes have a long-standing reputation for their robust security features, which include several layers of protection. They typically employ segregation of duties and role-based access controls to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive resources. Mainframes also utilize encryption mechanisms to protect data in transit and at rest, and they have built-in intrusion detection systems to identify and respond to potential threats. Additionally, mainframes often have strong authentication mechanisms such as multifactor authentication to protect against unauthorized access.

On the other hand, a client/server environment typically consists of multiple servers and client devices connected through a network. This introduces additional security concerns compared to a mainframe environment. One of the most significant concerns is securing the communication between the clients and servers. Encryption protocols such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) are commonly used to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data transmitted over the network.

In a client/server environment, securing the servers becomes crucial as they store and manage data accessed by multiple clients. Access controls need to be implemented to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive resources. This includes securely managing user accounts, implementing strong password policies, and regularly updating and patching server software to protect against vulnerabilities. Additionally, network-based intrusion detection and prevention systems should be deployed to detect and respond to potential attacks.

If the client/server environment includes the use of cloud services for distributed computing, it introduces additional security considerations. Cloud environments rely on shared infrastructure and services, which can introduce new vulnerabilities and risks. It is crucial to assess the security practices and certifications of the cloud service provider, ensuring they have strong physical and logical security measures in place. Data encryption and access controls need to be carefully implemented to protect data stored in the cloud.

In conclusion, transitioning from a mainframe environment to a client/server platform introduces new security considerations. While the cost of security maintenance may decrease, it is important to carefully evaluate the security footprint of both environments. This includes assessing the access controls, encryption mechanisms, intrusion detection systems, and authentication measures. Furthermore, if the client/server environment includes the use of cloud services, additional security concerns related to shared infrastructure and data protection must be addressed.

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