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QUESTION

You are the principal consultant for a community based Charity. The Charity is involved in locating and providing accommodation, mental health services, training and support services to disadvantaged

You are the principal consultant for a community based Charity. The Charity is involved in locating and providing accommodation, mental health services, training and support services to disadvantaged people in the community.  

The Charity currently runs a small data centre that has some 50 x86 64 bit servers running mainly Windows Server 2008 R2 for desktop services, database and file services. It also has 10 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 servers to service public facing Web pages, Web services and support. 

The Charity is considering joining a community cloud provided by a public cloud vendor in order to provide a number of applications to all 500 support staff and administrative users. A small number of the Charity's applications are mission critical and the data that those applications use is both confidential and time sensitive. 

The community cloud would also be used to store the Charity's 200TB of data. The data would be held in a SaaS database run by the public cloud vendor. The Charity's data contains a considerable amount of confidential information about the people to whom the Charity provides services.  

The Charity collects PII data on the clients who use its services so that it can assist them to manage their different service requirements. This PII data also includes holding some digital identity data for some of the more disadvantaged clients, particularly if they also have mental health issues. 

The cloud vendor has made a presentation to management that indicates that operational costs will drop dramatically if the cloud model is adopted. However, the Board of the Charity is concerned with the privacy and security of the data that it holds on the people that it provides services to in the community. It is concerned that a data breach may cause considerable damage to substantially disadvantaged people in the community.

The Board asks that you prepare a report that proposes appropriate privacy and security policies for the Charity's data. 

The charity has also decided to:

  • Purchase a HR and personnel management application from a US based company that provides a SaaS solution. 
    • The application will provide the charity with a complete HR suite, which will also include performance management. The application provider has advised that the company's main database is in California, with a replica in Dublin, Ireland. However, all data processing, configuration, maintenance, updates and feature releases are provided from the application provider's processing centre in Bangalore, India. 
    • Employee data will be uploaded from the charity daily at 12:00 AEST. This will be processed in Bangalore before being loaded into the main provider database. 
    • Employees can access their HR and Performance Management information through a link placed on the Charity intranet. Each employee will use their internal charity digital ID to authenticate to the HR and Performance management system. The internal digital ID is generated by the charity's Active Directory instance and is used for internal authentication and authorisation. 
  • Move the charity payroll to a COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) application that it will manage in a public cloud; 
  • Move the charity Intranet into a Microsoft SharePoint PaaS offering so that it can provide Intranet services to all agencies in the WofG. 

Tasks

You have been engaged to provide a risk assessment for the planned moves to SaaS application offerings.

You are to write a report that assesses the risks to the charity for just their planned moves in the HR area:

  1. Consider the data and information that the charity holds on its employees in the current HR system. 
    1. Establish the existing threats and risks to the security of that data and information contained in the in-house HR database. (10 marks)
    2. Are there any additional risks and threats to employee data that may arise after migration to an SaaS application? (10 marks)
    3. Assess the resulting severity of risk and threat to employee data. (10 marks)
  2. Consider the privacy of the data for those employees who will move to an SaaS application. 
    1. Establish the existing threats and risks to the privacy of that data and information contained in the in house HR database. (10 marks)
    2. Are there any additional risks and threats to the privacy of the employee data after migration to an SaaS application? (10 marks)
    3. Assess the resulting severity of risk and threat to the privacy of employee data. (10 marks)
  3. What are the threats and risks to the digital identities of charity employees from the move to SaaS applications? (10 marks)
  4. Consider the operational solution and location(s) of the SaaS provider for HR management. Does either the operational solution, or the operational location, or both, increase or mitigate the threats and risks identified for the security and privacy of employee data? (20 marks)
  5. Are there any issues of ethics, data sensitivity or jurisdiction that should be considered by the charity? (10 marks)

You are to provide a written report with the following headings:

  • Security of Employee Data
  • Privacy of Employee Data
  • Digital Identity Issues
  • Provider Solution Issues
  • Data Sensitivity
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