This is the first case study for the course and it will be based upon the case study text: Public Sector Case Study – Edward Snowden – pg. 226 In reading the excerpt from the textbook on what happened and how Snowden was able to access the data that he did, write a mini-security policy following the security template in Chapter 7 (pg. 185).  Highlight at least three policies that you feel were violated in this case and address the policies that need to be in place to prevent those violations from occurring in the future.  Make sure to incluce enough detail that it could be amended to an existing policy and clear enough that any/all employees know what the new policy addresses. Part 1: Write 2-3 paragraphs at the beginning of your paper explaining the three issues you want to address and why.  Follow APA guidelines for paper format and make sure to check spelling/grammar prior to submitting. Part 2: Write your mini-security policy following the template in textbook addressing the three issues you identified.

Title: Analyzing Security Policy Violations in the Edward Snowden Case

The case study of Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, presents a significant breach of security in the public sector. This paper aims to analyze the security policy violations that occurred in this case and proposes a mini-security policy to prevent such violations from recurring. The three key issues to be addressed include the unauthorized access of classified information, inadequate control over user privileges, and the absence of robust monitoring and auditing systems. These policy violations compromised national security and necessitate comprehensive security measures to safeguard sensitive data in the future.

Violation 1: Unauthorized Access to Classified Information
One of the most critical policy violations in the Edward Snowden case was his unauthorized access to highly classified information. Snowden exploited his position as a system administrator and intentionally exposed classified documents to the public. This breach highlights the failure to enforce strict access control policies and insufficient monitoring of privileged users. The consequences of such unauthorized access could have severe repercussions on national security, as the information could be disseminated to unauthorized individuals or adversaries. To mitigate this violation, it is imperative to implement policies that restrict access based on a strict need-to-know basis and implement multi-factor authentication for privileged accounts. Furthermore, real-time monitoring and auditing systems must be established to detect anomalies in user behavior and promptly investigate any suspicious activities.

Violation 2: Inadequate Control over User Privileges
Another security policy violation in the Snowden case was the lack of control over user privileges. Snowden was granted excessive privileges that exceeded the requirements of his job, allowing him unrestricted access to classified information. This policy violation accentuates the need for well-defined and periodically reviewed user access control policies. A strict least privilege principle should be enforced to ensure that employees only have access to the resources essential for their job responsibilities. Regular audits should be conducted to validate user privileges and identify any inconsistencies or unnecessary access rights. Additionally, an approval process should be implemented for granting and revoking privileges, with regular reviews by management to eliminate the possibility of malicious insiders abusing their privileges.

Violation 3: Absence of Robust Monitoring and Auditing Systems
The absence of robust monitoring and auditing systems in the Snowden case contributed to the success of his unauthorized activities. Insufficient oversight allowed Snowden to operate undetected for an extended period, compromising the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information. To address this violation, a comprehensive monitoring and auditing system should be implemented. This system should encompass network traffic monitoring, log analysis, and user behavior monitoring. Regularly reviewing and analyzing logs can help detect suspicious activities, such as abnormal data transfers or unauthorized access attempts. Additionally, proper training and awareness programs should be conducted to educate employees about the importance of monitoring and reporting any suspicious behavior.

In conclusion, the Edward Snowden case highlighted significant security policy violations that compromised national security. Unauthorized access to classified information, inadequate control over user privileges, and the absence of robust monitoring and auditing systems were identified as key issues. To prevent such violations from recurring, it is crucial to implement policies that enforce strict access control, maintain proper user privilege management, and establish comprehensive monitoring and auditing systems. The proposed mini-security policy will address these issues, thereby safeguarding sensitive data and reducing the risk of insider threats in the public sector.

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