Risk management is an important process for all organizations. This is particularly true in information systems, which provides critical support for organizational missions. The heart of risk management is a formal risk management plan. This project allows you to fulfill the role of an employee participating in the risk management process in a specific business situation.
Learning Objectives and Outcomes
You will gain an overall understanding of risk management, its importance, and critical processes required when developing a formal risk management plan for an organization.
Required Source Information and Tools
Web References: Links to web references in this document and related materials are subject to change without prior notice. These links were last verified on October 8, 2020.
The following tools and resources will be needed to complete this project:
- Course textbook
- Internet access
- Suggested resources:
o NIST RMF: https://www.nist.gov/system/files/documents/2018/03/28/vickie_nist_risk_management_framework_overview-hpc.pdf
o NIST risk assessment guidance: https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nistspecialpublication800-30r1.pdf
o NIST contingency planning guidance: https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nistspecialpublication800-34r1.pdf
o Business Impact Analysis, https://www.ready.gov/business-impact-analysis
o Business Continuity Plan (Ready.gov): https://www.ready.gov/business-continuity-plan
You are an IT security intern working for Health Network, Inc. (Health Network), a fictitious health services organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Health Network has over 600 employees throughout the organization and generates $500 million USD in annual revenue. The company has two additional locations in Portland, Oregon and Arlington, Virginia, which support a mix of corporate operations. Each corporate facility is located near a co-location data center, where production systems are located and managed by third-party data center hosting vendors.
Health Network has three main products: HNetExchange, HNetPay, and HNetConnect.
HNetExchange is the primary source of revenue for the company. This service handles secure electronic medical messages that originate from its customers, such as large hospitals, which are then routed to receiving customers such as clinics.
HNetPay is a web portal used by many of the company’s HNetExchange customers to support the management of secure payments and billing. The HNetPay web portal, hosted at Health Network production sites, accepts various forms of payments and interacts with credit-card processing organizations.
HNetConnect is an online directory that lists doctors, clinics, and other medical facilities to allow Health Network customers to find the right type of care at the right locations. It contains doctors’ personal information, work addresses, medical certifications, and types of services that the doctors and clinics offer. Doctors are given credentials and can update the information in their profile.
Health Network customers, which are the hospitals and clinics, connect to all three of the company’s products using HTTPS connections. Doctors and potential patients can make payments and update their profiles using Internet-accessible HTTPS websites.
Information Technology Infrastructure Overview
Health Network operates in three production data centers that provide high availability across the company’s products. The data centers host about 1,000 production servers, and Health Network maintains 650 corporate laptops and company-issued mobile devices for its employees.
Upon review of the current risk management plan, the following threats were identified:
- Loss of company data due to hardware being removed from production systems
- Loss of company information on lost or stolen company-owned assets, such as mobile devices and laptops
- Loss of customers due to production outages caused by various events, such as natural disasters, change management, unstable software, and so on
- Internet threats due to company products being accessible on the Internet
- Insider threats
- Changes in regulatory landscape that may impact operations
Senior management at Health Network has determined that the existing risk management plan for the organization is out of date and a new risk management plan must be developed. Because of the importance of risk management to the organization, senior management is committed to and supportive of the project to develop a new plan. You have been assigned to develop this new plan.
Additional threats other than those described previously may be discovered when re-evaluating the current threat landscape during the risk assessment phase.
The budget for this project has not been defined due to senior management’s desire to react to any and all material risks that are identified within the new plan. Given the company’s annual revenue, reasonable expectations can be determined.
This project is divided into several parts, each with a deliverable. The first four parts are drafts. These documents should resemble business reports in that they are organized by headings, include source citations (if any), be readable, and be free from typos and grammatical errors. However, they are not final, polished reports.
Project Part 4: Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
Senior management at Health Networkhas decided they want a business impact analysis (BIA) that examines the company’s data center and a business continuity plan (BCP). Because of the importance of risk management to the organization, management has allocated all funds for both efforts. Your team has their full support, as well as permission to contact any of them directly for participation or inclusion in the BIA or BCP.
Winter storms on the East Coast have affected the ability of Health Network employees to reach the Arlington offices in a safe and timely manner. However, no BCP plan currently exists to address corporate operations. The Arlington office is the primary location for business units, such as Finance, Legal, and Customer Support. Some of the corporate systems, such as the payroll and accounting applications, are located only in the corporate offices. Each corporate location is able to access the other two, and remote virtual private network (VPN) exist between each production data center and the corporate locations.
The corporate systems are not currently being backed up and should be addressed in the new plan. The BCP should also include some details regarding how the BCP will be tested.
For this part of the project:
- Research BIAs and BCPs.
- Develop a draft BIA plan for the Health Network that focuses on the data center. The BIA should identify:
- Critical business functions
- Critical resources
- Maximum acceptable outage (MAO) and impact
- Recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO)
- Develop a draft BCP that could recover business operations while efforts are ongoing to restart pervious operations. You may use or repurpose a BCP template you find online. Include a description of how you would test the plan.
- Format: Microsoft Word (or compatible)
- Font: Arial, size 12, double-space
- Citation style: Your school’s preferred style guide
- Estimated length: 6–10 pages
- I created a basic BIA that focuses on the data center.
- I identified critical business functions, critical resources, and the MAO, RPO, and RTOfor the BIA.
- I created a basic BCP for the given scenario that includes a description of how to test the plan.
- I created a professional, well-developed draft report with proper documentation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- I included citations for all sources used in the report.
I followed the submission guidelines.