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Posted: October 29th, 2022

Failed Penetration Testing

Computer Sciences and Information Technology
failed penetration testing effort
Failed Penetration Testing
This assignment must have an introduction paragraph and an concluding one also. Research the web and identify a case study with an appropriate situation related to penetration testing or hacking for or against a business, organization, or government facility.
Lay out the case details, and provide your analysis of what was done and why, the results of the effort, the specific threats and vulnerabilities, and what mitigation was attempted or should have been attempted.
You may speculate on what actions you might have taken in a similar situation as part of your analysis.
Draw specific lessons and recommendations from your analysis of the case as part of the conclusion, and have a strong concluding paragraph. Be sure to revise your introduction to reflect what the paper accomplished once you finish your first draft.
Use no less than five quality resources in this assignment.

The security of the IT systems in many enterprises and government agencies is currently a big concern. Organisations are now spending huge resource on investing in security preventive measures for their IT systems. Businesses are investing in protecting the intellectual property and data for the customer details. Technological changes are on the rise with new technological developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing that are adopted to meet the demands of the customers (Hadnagy, 2011). The use of these technologies has increased complications on how cybersecurity should be managed. Nowadays the system security teams are experiencing difficulties in dealing with cybercrime and other system related crimes. Government agencies and organisations are developing systems that are safe from any possible attacks, though this cannot be achieved fully because of increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks whereby the attacks are inventing new methods to achieve their mission. Insufficient resources and lack of support are some of the challenges faced by the organisation in their effort to deal with such crime. Thus the implementation of Critical Security Control (CSC) provides an advantage of detecting and defending the systems from any possible attack. Thus implementing the controls is one of the mitigation mechanisms that minimise possible risks in the business.
Lessons learnt from previous attacks are important in assisting the security team in an organisation to deal with the attacks. In this approach, the security team identifies the methods attackers are using and new developments on issues of cybersecurity.
The vulnerability of the system exposes it to attacks. However, strengthening the system especially through backups and hardware protection is important in curbing the crime.

Case Study
The case study is about the company that was attacked by malicious attackers who gained access to important data of customers and important websites hence wiping some of them out. Efforts were made to control the remaining data. The case took place in Portland Design & SEO company also known as Portland Design.
The company had a well-laid Information technology infrastructure with over 100 employees, website and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to manage their customers. The system hosted many clients which were all controlled on the website. The company had a good number of professionals and sales engineer to control and maintain the system. However, the company outsourced the maintenance team; this could be the source of the attack on their system. However, efforts to control more damages to take place were initiated and implemented by Johnson who was one of the security experts in the company (Mousavian et al, 2015).
The issue started with customers who raised concerns that they were not able to access on their websites. Mr Johnson received several emails from customers who were complaining that they could not perform any activity on the website. Most of the website in the company was offline as indicated by a report from the monitoring service team. Johnson had a speculation that it could be a power problem issues, he attempted to do the connection to verify the problem but it failed. Johnson carried out an authentication on the server through the back door account. In his attempt, he tried to restore the websites that deal with the customers and discovered most of the websites were attacked but he attempted to restore a few. The process of restoring the data was singlehandedly carried out by one person. The servers were powered down to rescue the remaining data. The attempt succeeded though most of the data had already lost (Robinson et al, 2013).
The resultant damage was not quantified though most of the customer’s websites were offline and not available. The sites were deleted from the original producer of the servers. It was estimated that close to 92% of the data from the customer’s websites were deleted, though there was an attempt to save a small quantity of the data (Abomhara & Køien, 2015). The lack of a reliable backup system led to the loss of wide range of information. Most of the payment data remained intact because the company had contracted a third party to deal with payments. The information that lost was most of the personal details of the customers such as the emails, phone numbers, and address among others. The information was believed to have been stolen by the malicious actors. It was revealed that a malware was introduced in the system which led to such damage.
Threats and Vulnerabilities
Unreliable backup system
The company had invested in the backup system but it could not assist in protecting the data from any possible damage. The backup in the company was automatically scheduled to take place thrice a week, but during the happening of the incidence, the backup didn’t take place. The last back up was in the last seven months, but over the subsequent months, back up did not take place. There were many changes that were carried out in the system and they needed a complete change of the whole system. For this reason, the backup did not take place and was scheduled to continue after completion of all the changes. The changes included in the change of the host names and other important parts of the website. Had the company use their backup system well, most of these data could have been saved (Geers, 2011).
Poor management support in the provision of resources
The management failure to prove enough resources to keep the systems secure. Resources were not fully allocated in many of the IT systems rendering them weak. Little activities were done in protecting the system. A secure and strong system leads to a more secure approach in protecting the data. Resources invested help in developing a sophisticated system to meet the current security threats which keep on changing. However, weak systems are vulnerable to attacks
Failure to support the security team
The company did not support the security team on the requirements they needed. The outsourcing of services rather than supporting the existing team could have contributed to the attack. The outsourced team who do maintenance are able to learn about the architecture of the network and therefore easily breached. The team exposes the company by collaborating with possible competitors to initiate attacks. Therefore organisations should support the existing team of workers than outsourcing the services which are a threat to the whole IT system.
Insufficient resources
The resources were available but could not manage the most critical part of the security of the system. Complaints were raised to the management to increase the allocation of the resources but that could not happen. The management was so reluctant in channelling enough resources to the security system infrastructure. The negligence and reluctant of the management was one of the key reasons why there was a loss of many information. Generally, the system was weak.

Mitigation Measures
There are mitigation measures that could have been implemented to reduce the damage that occurred.
Strong backup system
The company should have put in place a strong backup system to keep the data safe from any kind of attack. The existing systems could not protect the data and therefore it was termed as a weak system of little use. Organisations should invest in a reliable back up system to protect their data.
Resource allocation
The company could have provided resources in prior to protect the system from the possible attacks. Resources increase the strength of the system through manpower and other important features that keep the system safe.
Firewalls and System protection mechanisms
Systems should be safe from malware attacks by the use of anti-viruses and anti-malware. The computers should be installed with anti-viruses to protect their data from loss or damage.

Recommendations and conclusions
Cybersecurity has taken a different dimension with most sophisticated methods employed to initiate the attacks. Companies and government agencies should build strong protective mechanisms to keep their data safe. Companies should fully adopt the Critical Security Controls (CSC) to protect the IT systems. However, Critical Security Control is not enough in protecting the data, additional measures such as management support, allocation of enough resources and other important variables should be incorporated to add more force in protecting the systems. It is therefore important to develop mitigation measures such as back up and investing in firewalls to control people who are able to access the data. All organisations should treat cybersecurity as a threat to the general running of the business. Technological advancements increase the possible threats because new methods are invented by the attackers.

Hadnagy, C. (2011). Social engineering: The art of human hacking. Indianapolis, IN:
Geers, K. (2011). Strategic cybersecurity. Kenneth Geers.
Abomhara, M., & Køien, G. M. (2015). Cybersecurity and the internet of things: vulnerabilities, threats, intruders and attacks. Journal of Cyber Security, 4(1), 65-88.
Mousavian, S., Valenzuela, J., & Wang, J. (2015). A probabilistic risk mitigation model for cyber-attacks to PMU networks. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, 30(1), 156-165.
Robinson, N., Gribbon, L., Horvath, V., & Cox, K. (2013). Cyber-security threat characterisation.

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