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Assignment Details:

  • Words: 2500 to 3500




Business Challenge


BartMart Shipping (BMS) began in 1850 supporting ships in docks. Today it is one of the world’s largest marine services provider with more than 150 offices in 35 countries. When a vessel arrives in port, BMS acts as the agent, handling services such as providing tugs, docking permission, fees, and refuelling. The company handles over 25,000 ship calls – every time a ship arrives at a port – a year. BMS also provides several additional shipping services such as defence, machinery and cargo services. Customers, typically organisations that own or charter ships, include Maersk, ExxonMobil and BP.


BMS has an aggressive business strategy to double in size and revenue by 2030. To support its business growth, BMS embarked on a programme to rationalise its IT systems and infrastructure. There was also a drive from the business for more services and applications such as enabling staff at large port complexes to be more mobile. Bryan Phillips, chief information security officer (CISO) at BMS, says, “We wanted to use network and cloud technology to improve the way we work and to add value to the business, and make setting up and running our port-located offices much more cost and resource- efficient. The only realistic way of doing that was through network optimisation and technology that would allow us to consolidate IT services but provide the same feel and improved performance to end-users.”


BMS operates in several regions of the world where communication infrastructures are not always as advanced as those in the developed world; in some cases, bandwidth is as low as 512 kilobits per second. BMS has to circumvent these problems so staff have the efficient support systems they need. BMS is a long-standing user of networking equipment and it saw the opportunity to extend the capabilities of the network by adopting a data centre and cloud networking strategy using the network to support its global, branch office business structure. “To expand our business globally and for IT to support that expansion with networking solutions and services that are easy and cost-effective to deploy.”


Network Solution


BMS has a Wide Area Network (WAN) which connects Local Area Networks (LANs) in headquarters. The infrastructure is managed entirely in-house by BMS. At the heart of the WAN is a data centre in London with around 70 servers and thirty terabytes of data. This is linked to a disaster recovery site in the North of England. BMS is in the process of consolidating virtually all its data and applications into the data centre increasing the data volume by a further three terabytes.

  • The main application is Your BMS which staff across the world use to manage the services they deliver to customers. For example, all information related to a vessel’s port operation is recorded in Your BMS. The management of a vessel in port is heavily paper based, so data also includes scanned
  • Your BMS is also available online to customers so they can track and monitor, in real time, the progress of their ships, anywhere in the Customers have full visibility of a vessel during its port operation and see related information from pre-arrival to final invoice.
  • Due to the inordinately large amount of traffic passing through both the Panama and Suez canals, BMS has also opened additional offices on both sides. Both offices will be following an identical plan to save on costs. Both offices connect directly with the main site in the UK for connections to Your BMS, and the BMS
  • BMS is using Cisco’s cloud based Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) technology as the key enabler to support and expand its consolidation strategy because it optimises network bandwidth so BMS can centralise applications, content and data in the UK and still deliver LAN-like speeds to branch offices globally. Phillips says, “What we like about the technology is the intelligence. It works by caching relevant data locally for an application or process, so network bandwidth isn’t wasted sending the same data time after time. As technology learns the data patterns of our applications, it starts to continually improve performance over some time.”
  • Because WAAS optimises bandwidth use, BMS is now deploying additional services across its WAN such as a Unified Communications system comprising IP phones in its UK head office and hundreds more across offices in Dubai, Chennai and Oslo. One of the key advantages of Unified Communications is it will allow BMS to extend IP telephony services to locations where it has been too expensive, if not impossible to At each location, the technology also supports mobility so staff can move around a large location with multiple sites – such as the Mississippi delta in North America – using wireless laptops.


Business Results


“An agent on the bridge of a vessel docked in Singapore can use a GPRS-enabled laptop to exchange information, in seconds, with our UK data centre. That information is accessible by anyone in the organisation, but significantly, customers can go online and see what’s happening to their vessels or cargo. The application and the data may be hosted in the UK, but for the agent, it performs as if it was on their laptop. This is what WAAS means to our business,” says Phillips.


Another example of how WAAS impacts the business is enabling BMS to improve collaboration, saving time and money. “If we have a sales tender, instead of the tender being worked on by someone in North America and then emailed to the Middle East, then worked on there and emailed on to somebody else, we want to be able to provide a portal for everyone to collaborate. And the best way for us to do that is by consolidating all the relevant information centrally and using web-based applications – accelerated by WAAS – to access that information without anyone noticing the data is thousands of miles away “All we need to do is put a single router in a location and that delivers pretty much all the services we need. It also allows us to do things like maintenance remotely which is

essential because in some of the locations there isn’t IT staff on site.”


Note: This is a hypothetical assignment based on a real organisation. A lot of the technologies you will recommend are likely to be operating already within this organisation your task is to suggest improvements based on good practices. Your task is based on the information below.


Note: Just because all the technologies mentioned are cisco based you are encouraged to research and apply technologies outside of the Cisco provision e.g. Juniper.


Task 1 – Risk Assessment – 15 Marks


This is a complex scenario; you should read it several times to identify what you consider to be critical information that needs to be secured, and where you think the threats may come from. You will need to make some reasonable assumptions here since the scenario does not provide a complete list of data/information or technology employed.


a) Analyse the scenario and identify what you consider to be the 5 most important electronically held information assets for BMS. Justify your decision. This section of the report should be approximately TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY (250) words.


b) Create a table (see below) which lists the assets. For each asset identify the main security threats that you think could affect its confidentiality (C), integrity (I) or availability (A). Remember, threats can be accidents as well as There are likely to be multiple threats for each asset and the same threats are likely for several assets.


Asset Threat CIA? Likelihood Impact Risk
E.g. Customer data Server failure A Low Medium Low
Employee theft C Low High Medium


c) Complete the columns of the table by assessing the likelihood of the threat being successful and the impact that it would have on the company. In this scenario you should consider Low/Medium and High definitions as follows:


Likelihood Impact
Low Less than once per year Inconvenience may affect operation for a day or two
Medium Once per year to once per week Operation may be impacted for over a week, loss of customers.
High Several times a week Company may not survive – lost

reputation and customers


d) Now complete the Risk column by using the following Risk matrix.


Low Medium High


Low Very Low Low Medium
Medium Low Medium High
High Medium High Very High


Task 2 – Controlling the risks – Explanation – 40 Marks


Once you have identified the highest risks, you need to make recommendations on how to control those risks, i.e. what security you will put in place.


a) Discuss each of the threats you have identified and explain what security implementations you recommend they use to mitigate the risks. For higher marks, consider including alternative countermeasures to mitigate the risks and provide clear justifications. Where you use a technical term, you should explain (30 Marks)


b) For security implementations you recommend that include the use of encryption to mitigate identified risks, explain why and justify the encryption protocol/standard you recommend is (10 Marks)


This section of the report should be approximately SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY (750) words.


Task 3 – Setting up the VPN – 30 Marks


Phillips, the CISO has suggested VPN technology might be useful to help control security risks.


a) Explain the key features of a VPN and how it could be applied here to address key risk(s) associated with staff working remotely across multiple sites. Explain both the two VPN connection options “Site to Site” and “WEB” outlining the differences and Make recommendations regarding which option(s) would be the best option(s) for BMS to their branch sites and justify your recommendations. (10 marks)


b) Draw a diagram, showing the components that will be needed to create the site- to-site VPN connection between the Main site in London and the Panama or Suez branches. Each client PC need not be shown, but all other components should be (10 marks)


c) As part of the security features of using a VPN, discuss the use of Firewalls and the rules that should be used. Use a table to list the rules and their explanations. (10 marks)


This section of the report should be approximately FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY (450) words.


Task 4 – Maintaining Security – 5 Marks


Explain any actions you would recommend for ensuring security is taken seriously across multiple sites by all users and how you would monitor the effectiveness of the Information Security Management System.


This section of the report should be approximately ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY (150) words.


Task 5 Reflective practice question – 10 Marks


Evaluate the learning that you have undertaken in order to complete this assignment, using the Gibbs reflective cycle (1988) model. Based upon your learning, you should reflect on each element of the model in order to produce an action plan, examining what you would do if this happened again.