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DASE201 Data Security Assignment Sample

Assignment Brief

Length/Duration: 1000 words report (+/- 10%)

Unit Learning Outcomes addressed:

• Identify vulnerabilities for data security threat.

• Examine methods to prevent cyber-attack defences, IDS and IPS.

• Compare framework of cyber security, safety principles and guidelines of various tools to enforce data security and privacy.

• Critique the mechanisms and prominent techniques to tackle sophisticated ICT attacks.

Submission Date: Week 11

Assessment Task: Group written report
Total Mark: 20 Marks
Weighting: 20%

Students are advised that submission of an Assessment Task past the due date without a formally signed approved Assignment Extension Form (Kent Website My Kent Student Link> FORM – Assignment Extension Application Form – Student Login Required) or previously approved application for other extenuating circumstances impacting course of study, incurs a 5% penalty per calendar day, calculated by deduction from the total mark.


Identify two of the biggest data breaches from 2020 for assignment help and explain the vulnerabilities that lead to the attacker gaining access to the data. Also propose techniques that practices that could have helped prevented this data breach.
This is a group task with groups of 3 students


Part 1. Group Report

This is a group activity and students are required to work with their respective group members. No individual submission will be accepted. You have to nominate someone as your group leader to coordinate the assignment submission. The report should be submitted online in Moodle by one member of the team ONLY (Group Leader) on Sunday Week 11.

You will not receive any marks for this assignment if your group members collectively report against you for non- participation or non-cooperation


Content for Assessment Task papers should incorporate a formal introduction, main points and conclusion. Appropriate academic writing and referencing are inevitable academic skills that you must develop and demonstrate in work being presented for assessment. The content of high quality work presented by a student must be fully referenced within-text citations and a Reference List at the end. Kent strongly recommends you refer to the Academic Learning Support Workshops materials available on the Kent Learning Management System


References are assessed for their quality. Students should draw on quality academic sources, such as booKs, chapters from edited booKs, journals etc. The textbooK for the Unit of study can be used as a reference, but not the Lecturer Notes. The Assessor will want to see evidence that a student is capable of conducting their own research. Also, in order to help Assessors determine a student’s understanding of the worK they cite, all in-text references (not just direct quotes) must include the specific page number(s) if shown in the original. Before preparing your Assessment TasK or own contribution, please review this ‘YouTube’ video (Avoiding Plagiarism through Referencing) by clicKing on the following linK: linK:http://moodle.Kent.edu.au/Kentmoodle/mod/folder/view.php?id=3606
A search for peer-reviewed journal articles may also assist students. These type of journal articles can be located in the online journal databases and can be accessed from the Kent Library homepage. WiKipedia, online dictionaries and online encyclopaedias are acceptable as a starting point to gain Knowledge about a topic, but should not be over-used – these should constitute no more than 10% of your total list of references/sources.



Data security is the way of protecting organisational data and digital information from destructive forces and unwanted actions like hacking, cyber-attacks, and data breaches. Data security includes hashing, encryption, and transmission of data over a secured line (Industry2018, p. 58). In this report, two biggest data breaches are identified from 2020 and the vulnerabilities that lead to the attacker gaining access to the data has been identified. The report also talks about techniques of preventing data breaches.
Identifying the data breaches from 2020

There are two biggest data breaches identified in 2020 for Microsoft and MGM resorts.

In January 2020, Microsoft has admitted that an internal customer support database has been accidentally exposed online. Through this statement, Microsoft indirectly meant that the customer records of 250 million people spanning for 14 years has been exposed online without any password protection. A security researcher reported Microsoft about the breach when he found the database online. However, Microsoft did not take the blame on itself and said that it was a fault of misconfigured Azure security rules that was deployed in the company on 5th of December 2019. In the next year, data breach happened where email address, IP addresses of the customers, and other sensitive details like bank account number and password were exposed. This security failure made customers less confident about using Microsoft products which resulted in huge loss for the company(Bertino 2016, pp. 1-3).

In February 2020, data researchers discovered that someone in a hacking forum leaked MGM Resort hotel’s personal information about more than 10.6 million guests. The organisation was reported about this incident where it was mentioned that the formers guest list including Justin Bieber, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and several government officials are leaked on the internet (Palmatierand Martin 2019, pp. 133-151). The very same day, it is reported that the information started appearing in several hacking forums that are viewed publicly. In July of 2020, the data was put on sale at a bargain price of $2,900. This became a huge blow for the company in the hotel industry as customer lost interest and trust in the group. MGM suffered in maintaining reputation and stayed out of limelight after the incident.

Identifying vulnerabilities for data security threat

In the case of Microsoft’s data breach, malware and misconfigured Azure security rules are responsible. The data was breached because of the rules and standards used by Azure security that were not reliable for the company. Malware is a code or file delivered typically over a network that explores, infects, conducts, or steals any behaviours an attacker desire virtually when they get the database not protected well (Kumar,et al. 2018, pp.691-697).

In the case of MGM resort’s data breach, the attackers attempt for tricking the employee within a victim company into downloading malware or into revealing account credentials and confidential data within a phishing attack. The Internet of Things surrounds several smart devices including printers, coffee makers, and other machines (Parn and Edwards2019). The problems with those devices are that those is hijacked by attackers for forming slaved network of compromised devices for carrying out attacks further (Bertino 2016, pp. 1-3).

Methods of Cyber-attack defences, IDs and IPS

There are several methods by which defence against the cyber-attacks are possible. In the case of Microsoft, the use of Intrusion Prevention or Detection Systems (IDS/IPS) are recommended as ethical methods. IDS helps in sending alerts to the company when there is a malicious traffic network detected in the company’s server. As Microsoft was not aware of the attack until it is reported by a data researcher, it is important to develop IDS and IPS systems. In the case of MGM Resorts hotels, there is a need of using a flexible method as it protects data of celebrities and government officials. For MGM, 24*7 network monitoring is needed on the server of the company. The possible method is to change the privacy setting from time to time and keep the firewalls up to date. The software applications used by this hospitality business needs to be updated with upgradation of the operating system. In this way, any vulnerability in the network or the computing devices can be identified easily (Kumar et al. 2018, pp.691-697).

Compare framework of cyber security, safety principles and guidelines of various tools to enforce data security and privacy

There are three top-rated cybersecurity frameworks that can be used to use various tools to enforce data security and privacy. The first one is the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework that helps in improving critical cybersecurity structure. The Centre for Internet Security Critical Security Control (CIS) helps in establishing safety rules for the companies. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) frameworks ISO/IEC 27001 and 27002 can be applied for data breaches. The NIST is far better for Microsoft’s data handling as it is an IT company and needs proper corporate infrastructure to handle the problems. While comparing it to the other two standards, it can be said that CIS can be used for MGM Resorts as it needs to keep cyber laws in mind(Industry 2018, p.58).

Critique the mechanisms and prominent techniques to tackle sophisticated ICT attacks

For both Microsoft and MGM Resorts, handling data security is an important organisational task. There are several tools and techniques and mechanisms that can be used to handle the data legally and ethically. Anti-malware tools are a type of software of network security developed for identifying harmful programs and preventing them from spreading. Network anomaly Detection Engine permits in analysing the network, so whenever breaches happen, it will alert quickly. Application security assists the companies in establishing the parameters of security for any applications, which is related to the network security. Data Loss Prevention policies and technologies assist in protecting employees from compromising and mis-utilising confidential data. Firewalls are utilized in managing network traffic, permitting authorized traffic during blocking access to non-authorized traffic. Web security assists in preventing web-based threat from utilizing browsers as an access point for getting into the network (Palmatier and Martin 2019, pp. 133-151).


The data security can be handled by Virtual Private Network tool which is utilized in authenticating communication among an endpoint device and secure networks by creating an encrypted line in handling the data breaches in companies like Microsoft and MGM. The vulnerabilities are also identified and mitigated the risk.

A few recommendations can be made in this case:

1- The companies should adopt to monitoring technologies for the detection of security threats at a priority.
2- The use of IDS should be implemented compulsorily in every company.


Bertino, E., 2016, March. Data Security and Privacy in the IoT. In EDBT (Vol. 2016, pp. 1-3).https://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/bertino/paper-a.pdf0.pdf

Industry, P.C., 2018. Data security standard. Requirements and Security Assessment version, 3, p.58.https://www.mastercard.us/en-us.html

Kumar, P.R., Raj, P.H. and Jelciana, P., 2018. Exploring data security issues and solutions in cloud computing. Procedia Computer Science, 125, pp.691-697.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.12.089

Palmatier, R.W. and Martin, K.D., 2019. Understanding and valuing customer data. In The Intelligent Marketer’s Guide to Data Privacy (pp. 133-151). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-03724-6_7

Parn, E.A. and Edwards, D., 2019. Cyber threats confronting the digital built environment: Common data environment vulnerabilities and block chain deterrence. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management.https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/ECAM-03-2018-0101/full/html

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