CISSP Essay Questions - Computer Science homework help

timer Asked: Jun 8th, 2016

Question description

Essay Questions

Answer all questions below in a single document, preferably below the corresponding topic.

Responses should be no longer than half a page.


1. A security program should address issues from a strategic, tactical, and operational view. The

security program should be integrated at every level of the enterprise’s architecture. List a

security program in each level and provide a list of security activities or controls applied in these

levels. Support your list with real-world application data.

2. The objectives of security are to provide availability, integrity, and confidentiality protection to

data and resources. List examples of these security states where an asset could lose these

security states when attacked, compromised, or became vulnerable. Your examples could

include fictitious assets that have undergone some changes.

3. Risk assessment can be completed in a qualitative or quantitative manner. Explain each risk

assessment methodology and provide an example of each.


1. Access controls are security features that are usually considered the first line of defense in

asset protection. They are used to dictate how subjects access objects, and their main goal is to

protect the objects from unauthorized access.

These controls can be administrative, physical, or technical in nature and should be applied in a

layered approach, ensuring that an intruder would have to compromise more than one

countermeasure to access critical assets. Explain each of these controls of administrative,

physical, and technical with examples of real-world applications.

2. Access control defines how users should be identified, authenticated, and authorized. These

issues are carried out differently in different access control models and technologies, and it is up

to the organization to determine which best fits its business and security needs. Explain each of

these access control models with examples of real-world applications.

3. The architecture of a computer system is very important and comprises many topics. The

system has to ensure that memory is properly segregated and protected, ensure that only

authorized subjects access objects, ensure that untrusted processes cannot perform activities

that would put other processes at risk, control the flow of information, and define a domain of

resources for each subject. It also must ensure that if the computer experiences any type of

disruption, it will not result in an insecure state. Many of these issues are dealt with in the

system’s security policy, and the security model is built to support the requirements of this

policy. Given these definitions, provide an example where you could better design computer

architecture to secure the computer system with real-world applications. You may use fictitious

examples to support your argument.


1. Our distributed environments have put much more responsibility on the individual user, facility

management, and administrative procedures and controls than in the old days. Physical security

is not just the night guard who carries around a big flashlight. Now, security can be extremely

technical, comes in many forms, and raises many liability and legal issues. Natural disasters,

fires, floods, intruders, vandals, environmental issues, construction materials, and power

supplies all need to be planned for and dealt with. Provide examples of facility management,

administrative procedures, and controls to protect a distributed computer networks. You can list

all aspects of relevant security issues to support your argument.

2. Every organization should develop, implement, and maintain a physical security program that

contains the following control categories: deterrence, delay, detection, assessment, and

response. It is up to the organization to determine its acceptable risk level and the specific

controls required to fulfill the responsibility of each category. Provide examples of security

controls to ensure deterrence, delay, detection, assessment, and response in real-world

applications. You may use fictitious examples to support your arguments.

3. This week, we studied many of the different technologies within different types of networks,

including how they work together to provide an environment in which users can communicate,

share resources, and be productive. Each piece of networking is important to security, because

almost any piece can introduce unwanted vulnerabilities and weaknesses into the infrastructure.

Provide examples networking devices or components that can present vulnerabilities into the

corporate networks, and how to mitigate them. You may use fictitious examples to support your



1. Cryptography has been used in one form or another for over 4,000 years, and the attacks on

cryptography have probably been in place for 3,999 years and 364 days. As one group of

people works to find new ways to hide and transmit secrets, another group of people is right on

their heels finding holes in the newly developed ideas and products. This can be viewed as evil

and destructive behavior, or as the thorn in the side of the computing world that pushes it to

build better and more secure products and environments. Describe these two types of people

where one can build to secure the cryptography, and another to break it.

2. Cryptographic algorithms provide the underlying tools to most security protocols used in

today’s infrastructures. The algorithms work off of mathematical functions and provide various

types of functionality and levels of security. A big leap was made when encryption went from

purely symmetric key use to public key cryptography. This evolution provided users and

maintainers much more freedom and flexibility when it came to communicating with a variety of

users all over the world. Explain these two types of cryptography with examples of real-world


3. Encryption can be supplied at different layers of the OSI model by a range of applications,

protocols, and mechanisms. Today, not much thought has to be given to cryptography and

encryption because it is taken care of in the background by many operating systems,

applications, and protocols. Explain each protocol stack where encryption can be used and how

it is used in real world applications. Support your argument with examples.


1. BCP and DRP are getting more attention in organizations today because the risks are better

understood, business partnership constructs require them, and regulatory and legal

requirements pertaining to this type of protection are increasing. Provide examples with

organizations that have undergone these BC/DR requirements for their business nature. You

may use fictitious examples to support your arguments.

2. Unfortunately, many companies have to experience the pain of a disaster to understand how

it could have circumvented or mitigated the events that caused the pain. Provide a short

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) to prevent a small company’s IT operation. Make a list of

procedures to compete in preparation of the DRP. You may use fictitious examples to support

your arguments.

3. To develop and carry out business continuity efforts successfully, plenty of thought, planning,

time, and effort must go into the different phases of this activity. The real threats must be

identified and understood, reasonable countermeasures must be put into place, and detailed

plans must be outlined for the unfortunate but anticipated day when they are needed. As part of

the DRP, make a list of procedures to complete a successful DR plan. You may use fictitious

examples to support your arguments if needed.


1. Although functionality is the first concern when developing software, adding security into the

mix before the project starts and then integrating it into every step of the development process

would be highly beneficial. Although many companies do not view this as the most beneficial

approach to software development, they are becoming convinced of it over time as more

security patches and fixes must be developed and released, and as their customers continually

demand more secure products. Explain the best security software development life cycle

(SSDLC) methodology.

2. Software development is a complex task, especially as technology changes at the speed of

light, environments evolve, and more expectations are placed upon vendors who wish to be the

“king of the mountain” within the software market.

This complexity also makes implementing effective security more challenging. For years,

programmers and developers did not need to consider security issues within their code, but this

trend is changing. Education, experience, awareness, enforcement, and the demands of the

consumers are all necessary pieces to bring more secure practices and technologies to the

program code we all use. Given this environment, what suggestions do you have to keep our

SDLC secure and mature?

3. Explain the best security practices in patch management, configuration management to avoid

any software security issues.


1. Operations security involves keeping up with implemented solutions, keeping track of

changes, properly maintaining systems, continually enforcing necessary standards, and

following through with security practices and tasks. In light of these operations security, provide

examples of operations security an organization must practice. You may use fictitious examples

to support your arguments if needed.

2. Operations security includes many procedural activities each day. Provide examples to

secure facilities that house systems that process sensitive information.

3. Explain why the following operations security practices are important.

 Data should be classified, and the necessary technical controls should be

put into place to protect ts integrity, confidentiality, and availability.

 Hacker tools are becoming increasingly more sophisticated while requiring

increasingly less knowledge by the attacker about how they work.

 Clipping levels should be implemented to establish a baseline of user

activity and acceptance errors.

 Sensitive information should contain the correct markings and labels to

indicate the corresponding sensitivity level.

 Proper fault-tolerant mechanisms should be put in place to counter

equipment failure.

 A teardrop attack involves sending malformed fragmented packets to a

vulnerable system.

 Improper mail relay configurations allow for mail servers to be used to

forward spam messages.

 Phishing involves an attacker sending false messages to a victim in the

hopes that the victim will provide personal information that can be used to

steal their identity.

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