Now that you have categorized the risks, it’s time to consider risk management for virtual currency.
Virtual Currency Applicability Transcript
Your CEO is impressed with both the MDM Policy and Identity Theft Response Plan that you presented.
You receive a meeting invite from the CEO and CIO to discuss the next project, one on digital currency that you had proposed a few weeks earlier.
In the meeting, you learn that leadership has committed to research on a hot topic in financial services, Bitcoin.
The CEO says, “Virtual currency is growing in popularity. More and more merchants and customers around the world use Bitcoin. If we’re going to get on board, we should understand the risks involved. That’s why we’ve included you in this meeting today.”
The CIO, your direct supervisor, nods in agreement.
As the CISO, you are aware that Bitcoin presents challenges to the financial side of the organization. You also know that its underlying technology presents some interesting questions for cybersecurity.
The CEO continues: “I need you to research and deliver findings on digital currency applicability. More specifically, you should provide us with the following:
financial implications of the various virtual currency types;
security options presented by block chain, which is the underlying technology to Bitcoin; and,
information on alternatives to Bitcoin that encompass the same or similar characteristics.
“These questions should be answered in a Virtual Currency Applicability Report.”
You are eager to get started on this new venture. You are confident the results of a solid presentation on virtual currency would enhance the security of the company’s data, and it would also place you on the leading edge of technology in the industry.
It will be challenging to present information on virtual currency to stakeholders who have a technical background but no experience in policy. However, these challenges can be overcome with proper time management and communication with your CIO.
As the exploration of emerging technologies continues within cybersecurity, your third of four projects investigates the phenomenon of virtual currency. The assignment should take about 22 days to complete and consists of 12 steps that will guide you toward a Virtual Currency Applicability Report.
This report and accompanying formal business presentation should include research, supporting documentation, and recommendations for financial and cyber policy perspectives. Proceed to Step 1 and contact your CIO (the instructor) if you have questions or need additional guidance.
Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.
1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
5.4: Define and appropriately use advanced cybersecurity concepts and terminology.
8.2: Evaluate specific cybersecurity threats and the combination of technologies and policies that can address them.
The concepts of virtual currency and digital currency can be difficult to comprehend. Since the financial industry is generally founded on physical assets, the thought of conducting business in a medium that cannot be carried in your pocket or put in a safe is unnerving. The underlying concerns are the standards by which the currency is measured.
Consider the characteristics of virtual currency and digital currency, and how they compare to one another. Additionally, think about these in regards to the context of virtualization and cloud computing. Remember that you must include technical content within your final report, but it is also important to be prepared to provide less technical explanations to decision makers, especially in the executive summary, conclusion, and the recommendations you provide. Once you are comfortable with these terms, consider these and their relationship to one another throughout the project and proceed to the next step, in which you will research virtual currency.
Even though Bitcoin is the best-known brand in the category, your interest in any virtual currency is being driven by the encryption method and if it is applicable to the institution’s cybersecurity policy requirements.
Develop a spreadsheet that will be used to gather your research. In the first column, list Bitcoin and other virtual currency options available, if any. In column 2, list the corresponding encryption method for that specific virtual currency. In column 3, assess what characteristics or cybersecurity technologies used by that virtual currency that makes it unique.
Proceed to the next step, in which you will take a look at virtualization and cloud computing, specifically the policy constraints of those elements.
You assessed cybersecurity technologies during your competitive research of virtual currency in the previous step. Now, take these technological elements and consider the policies that include aspects of virtualization and cloud computing. Consider the cybersecurity policies and constraints that affect these specific elements.
Make a fourth column in the spreadsheet for policy constraints and document the findings. Once this is completed, proceed to the next step, in which you will compile those findings.
In the previous step, you identified the technological elements of virtualization and cloud computing, and now it’s time to fully assess the inherent policy issues and challenges of these cybersecurity technologies. Discuss core concepts and developments in cryptography and cryptanalysis for the benefit of your financial audience from a cyber perspective and the financial implications of virtual currency. Also, consider information assurance needs for the business.
Provide a two- to three-page summary of the findings thus far and an overall assessment of virtual currencies, the encryption technology, and the subsequent policy issues that might arise.
Submit the Virtual Currency Overview, along with the spreadsheet of the recorded findings as an addendum for feedback, and proceed to the next step.
Bitcoin has become a successful globally appropriated form of virtual currency and digital currency (cryptocurrency) through its accomplished technology and practices. By many, it is still considered an emerging technology in the realm of cybersecurity.
Within the first few steps, you reviewed virtual currency and gained an overview of cybersecurity methods such as encryption methods and other technology traits associated with various virtual currencies. In the next few steps, you will investigate the cross-cutting effects in Bitcoin’s use of block-chain technology and perform an external Bitcoin and Block-Chain Technology Audit for your company. You will scrutinize policy, budget, and technological capabilities to address cyberthreats, as well as how these effects are managed at the enterprise, national, and international levels. Feel free to pull items from your findings thus far to frame this assignment.
In this step, develop a record keeping system specifically for block chain. This can be in the form of a table, spreadsheet, or other format. Keep in mind that this will be submitted as an addendum to the final project, so it should be organized and easily understood by the instructor. Determine variances from a cybersecurity perspective, consider Bitcoin’s encryption method, and other technological capabilities at the enterprise, national, and international level. Include other virtual currency technologies and reasons why they might have a better impact in these areas.
In the next step, you will determine any policy limitations of the use of block-chain technology.
As CISO, you direct the focus of the research into block chain as the underlying encryption technology to the dominant virtual currency — Bitcoin. As you have learned, emerging alternatives tend to have a disruptive effect on current technology. Block chain and other options would be expected to have similar results.
In this step, continue the comprehensive review of block chain and related technologies regarding policy impacts. Review limitations which might be imposed or might involve other business affairs in the company’s cybersecurity arsenal. This should also include the perspective at the enterprise, national, and international levels.
Next, you will consider budget and resources for block chain.
In the last two steps, you have considered policy and technology capability impacts of block chain and related technologies viewed from enterprise, national, and international levels. As you probably have found or predicted, budget and resource trade-offs now need to be acknowledged and will be the final piece of your External Bitcoin and Block-Chain Technology Audit. This should also recognize and accommodate potential enterprise, national, and international constraints.
Provide a three- to five-page External Bitcoin and Block-Chain Technology Audit. Incorporate what you have identified during your cross-functional analysis of block-chain and digital-currency technology alternatives in regards to technological capabilities, policy, and budget trade-offs relative to enterprise, national, and international restrictions. This should be directed to senior leaders about the pros and cons, the options, and the alternatives that would facilitate their strategic decision making in defense of cyberthreats.
Submit the External Bitcoin and Block-Chain Technology Audit along with the recorded findings document as an addendum for feedback.
Based on what you have learned about risk management, dust off your competitive research spreadsheet, add a final column, and address the cybersecurity risk in each alternative and how to manage it. Address the application of virtual currency and encryption to other aspects of the institution’s cybersecurity. Where do they fit?
Virtual currency could expand the attack vectors of cyber criminals. Include information on this expansion of cyberattack technologies.
Summarize the risk implications that were found during your research in a one-page summary for the category of risk from your research. The next step will focus on managing the potential risks.
As you better define the information to be delivered in the final report, the Virtual Currency Applicability Report, you recognize the need to distinguish between the technology and policy issues that are involved. As an update to your ongoing analysis, categorize the risk as technical or policy.
The classification is based on risk, not the solution. In other words, you might have documented what appears to be a technical condition or change that actually triggers a policy risk. As such, for the purpose of this reporting, it would be classified on the policy risk side of the ledger.
Record the findings and proceed to the next step, in which you will come up with a strategy to mitigate risk.
Now that you have categorized the risks, it’s time to consider risk management for virtual currency. Begin the process of addressing those risks from a strategic response perspective. What direction will be taken in the event of one or more of the identified risks occurring?
This brief, two- to three-page report is an integral part of the Virtual Currency Applicability Report. It is not intended as a play-by-play procedures manual in the event of a breach. It is intended, as is the final report, as an overview of a strategic response should risk mitigation be required.
Submit the Virtual Currency Risk Mitigation Strategy for approval and proceed to the final series of steps to complete the Virtual Currency Applicability Report.
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