Project #1 – Understanding Investigative Parameters
You: Data Security Analyst, Allied Technology Systems (ATS)
Randy Capisi: Information Security Director, Allied Technology Systems (Your supervisor)
Devin Roberts: Human Resources Director, Allied Technology Systems
Keith Jackson: (former) engineer, Product Development Division, Allied Technology Systems
Jon Dewberry: Product Engineering Manager; Product Development Division, Allied Technology Systems (Keith Jackson’s Supervisor)
**Characters will carry through Project 1, 2 and the Final Project. However, please remain conscious of who you are/what roll you play in EACH project and in regards to specific questions.
For the purposes of this project, imagine you are a Data Security Analyst, an employee of the Allied Technology Systems and assigned to the company’s Data Protection Team.
In this case, you have been notified by Mr. Devin Roberts, Human Resources Director for Allied Technology Systems, that the company has just terminated Mr. Keith Jackson, a former engineer in the company’s New Products Division, for cause (consistent tardiness and absences from work). Mr. Roberts tells you that during Mr. Jackson’s exit interview earlier that day, the terminated employee made several statements to the effect of “it is okay because I have a new job already and they were VERY happy to have me come from ATS, with ALL I have to offer.”
Jackson’s statements made Mr. Roberts fear he might be taking Allied’s intellectual property with him to his new employer (undoubtedly a competitor). In particular, Mr. Roberts is worried about the loss of the source code for “Product X,” which the company is counting on to earn millions in revenue over the next several years. Mr. Roberts provides you a copy of the source code to use in your investigation. Lastly, Mr. Roberts tells you to remember that the Company wants to retain the option to refer the investigation to law enforcement in the future, so anything you do should be with thought about later potential admissibility in court.
The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” While the 4th Amendment is most commonly interpreted to only affect/restrict governmental power (e.g., law enforcement), the fact that a formal criminal investigation is a possibility (and the Company has no desire to be named in a civil lawsuit) means you must consider its effect to your actions.
With the above scenario in mind, thoroughly answer the following questions (in paragraph format, properly referring to and citing materials used in this course as well as outside research, where appropriate, and within a reference page at the end of the project paper).
1. Prior to any incident happening, it is important for any company to implement a “forensic readiness” plan. Discuss the benefits of a forensic readiness plan and name what you believe are the top three (3) requirements to establish forensic readiness within a private sector business like Allied Technology Systems. Support your answers. (Please note that while cyber security and digital forensics have overlaps in incident response preparation, please limit your answers here to forensic readiness in the digital forensic arena, not cyber security.)
2. Mr. Roberts, out of concern for the theft/sharing of the “Product X” source code, is requesting that you, your supervisor, or Mr. Dewberry start searching the areas in which Mr. Jackson had access within the building. Can you or Mr. Dewberry search Jackson’s assigned locker in the Company’s on-site gym for digital evidence? Support your answer.
3. Can you or Mr. Dewberry use a master key to search Jackson’s locked desk for digital evidence, after Keith Jackson has left the premises? Support your answer.
4. The police have not been called or involved yet, however, Mr. Roberts asks how involving the police will change your incident response. Describe how you will respond to Mr. Roberts concerning how the parameters of search and seizure will change by involving the police in the investigation at this time. Support your answer.
5. There is a page in the Company’s “Employee Handbook” that states that anything brought onto the Company’s property, including the employees themselves, are subject to random search for items belonging to Allied Technology Systems. There is a space for the employee to acknowledge receipt of this notice. Mr. Jackson has a copy of the handbook but never signed the receipt page. Does that matter? Explain.
6. Allied Technology Systems uses a security checkpoint at the entrance to the building. A sign adjacent to the checkpoint states that the purpose of the checkpoint is for security staff to check for weapons or other materials that may be detrimental to the working environment and employee safety. Screening is casual and usually consists of verification of an employee’s Company ID card. Can security staff at this checkpoint be directed to open Mr. Jackson’s briefcase and seize any potential digital evidence? Support your answer.
7. You know that it is important to document the details of your investigation if the company wants to insure admissibility of any evidence collected in the future. However, Mr. Roberts has never heard of the term “chain of custody.” How would you explain to Mr. Roberts what the chain of custody means, why it is important, and what could occur if the chain of custody is not documented. Support your answer.
• Each question should be answered with a minimum of 1-2 paragraphs, so do your research, be specific, be detailed, and demonstrate your knowledge; submitting your project through the appropriate assignment folder.
• Answers to the above questions should be submitted in a single Microsoft Word document (.DOC/.DOCX), with answers separated and/or numbered in respect to the question, so as to make it clear which question is being answered. It may be in a question and answer format, or as described with answers to the associated question numbers;
• The paper should be written in third-person grammar, not first person (I, me, myself, etc.);
• The submission is to have a cover page that includes course number, course title, title of paper, student’s name, and the date of submission per APA writing format;
• Format: 12-point font, double-space, one-inch margins;
• It is mandatory that you do some research, and utilize outside resources! You must have a reference page at the end of your project that is consistent with APA citation style and format (see https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ for help).