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Individual Ethical Situation

In: Computers and Technology

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Individual Ethical Situations

Student Name

CMGT 230

28 Sept 2015
Instructor Name

Individual Ethical Situations

The use of sensitive information at an organization comes with responsibilities that the users and security professionals need to be aware of. Without proper procedures, policies, and training this sensitive data could be breached and cause significant problems for the organization, users, or customers. As security professionals we need to ensure that all aspects of the security triangle are followed along with are organizations policies and procedures to ensure any breach or disclosure of data has minimal effects. One instance of sensitive information being mishandled is the case with classified information that was discovered on a home server of Hillary Clinton. To sum up the situation storage of the server was handed over to Clinton’s lawyer and a safe was put into place to store the material, but later the State Department deemed that the information on the server and the safe provided was not up to standards with the classification of the material on the server. The information was deemed to be higher than what initially it was stored at. This brings into call confidentiality of the CIA security triangle. This entire situation calls into play ethics of if and how classified documents are used and stored. Depending on the classification there are specific actions that need to be addressed before a site can be used for classified material storage. A good ethical response to this situation would have been to fully certify the system being used; location the system was being kept, and meets the accessibility requirements for the use of classified material. This step would have included strengthening and implementing proper access controls, ensuring that all physical assets are secure, and implementing proper security protocols. The article itself shows how poor ethical response such as using the private server itself, storing the server at the place of residence with proper physical and information security practices lead to the possible comprises of sensitive classified information. The next situation is the breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In July if this year OPM reported that they had a breach in their system and that 1.1 million fingerprint records were stolen. Recently they have released that their ongoing investigation revealed that it was 5.6 million vice the 1.1 million previously reported. This breach of their database poses a serious problem to biometric systems. Since a fingerprint will not change the stolen information is now out there to be used at the hackers’ whim. At present time biometric system are few and the data stole has little possibility of being used except to overcome simple biometric security system. This however can change dramatically as technology moves forward, and since fingerprints are uniquely yours, there is that possibility that someone can have your personal information for misuse. A poor ethical response would have been to downplay the issue, or not even mention that the fingerprint data had been breached. Due to OPM not using the fingerprint data for any biometric system but simply for identification purposes, they could have just stated that PII was breached. A good ethical response is exactly what they are in the process of accomplishing. They have issued letters to the initial victims of this data breach and are offering free identity protection services to those affected. Along with this will be reviewing the potential ways that the data breached could be misused. The final situation is the data breaches in the Department of Energy. At the time of this article it was stated that there have been 53 successful root exploits in the US Department of Energy. Throughout the DOE there has been a significant drop in breaches. In 2013 the DOE experienced two significant intrusions that led to the potential loss of PII of former and current DOE employees and contractors (Loshin, 2015). As to date they have not released any information about the current infiltrations. A good ethical response would be to state that an breach had occurred and that an investigation is ongoing and what the possibility of data loss is. The DOE has issued a statement that there was a breach and that an investigation is on going, but the only information regarding the information breached was the date, time, and category of each attack. On the other side, a poor response would have been not to acknowledge the breach and fix what was wrong under the radar. This article shows that cyber defense is not up to what it should be at especially with government agencies. To be able to get into a government system through root exploits just further confirms that point.

Associated Press. (2015, September 28). State Department says classified material on Hillary's home-brew server was so sensitive that the safe it gave her lawyer to store the emails wasn't secure enough. Retrieved from

Blevins, B. (2014, October 29). White House Hack Confirmed; State-Affiliated Actors Suspected. TechTarget. Retrieved from

Loshin, P. (2015, September 11). Department of Energy Latest Victim Of A Government Data Breach. TechTarget. Retrieved from

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