Potential and existing security issues affecting digital government websites

For this paper, you will research potential and existing security issues affecting digital government websites. Government websites enable customers to enroll in programs and services

Potential and existing security issues affecting digital government websites
For this paper, you will research potential and existing security issues affecting digital government websites. Government websites enable customers to enroll in programs and services, check the status of benefits, and receive information about the federal government’s activities. Your audience for this research report is the Chief Information Officer for a small federal agency who asked for assistance in developing a risk assessment and risk mitigation strategy for the agency’s digital government websites.

Note: this research report is separate from the report you previously prepared about OPEN data and may not reuse information from that report. This paper must address other types of government services. See Table 1 for the list of websites to use in your research.

For this report, you should begin by reviewing three or more specific digital government websites (from the list provided in Table 1) to determine:
(a) the types of information provided by the websites

(b) the types of services provided by the websites

(c) security issues which could impact the delivery of digital government services by the websites

After you have reviewed these websites, review the Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Cybersecurity-Risk-Determination-Report-FINAL_May-2018-Release.pdf (this resource is also posted in Week 3) to identify additional sources of risk that the agency must be aware of and should address in its planning. You should also review Executive Order 13800 Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure (PDF version posted in Week 3)

Table 1. List of Digital Government Websites

Base URLs

BENEFITS.GOV

CANCER.GOV

CONSUMERFINANCE.GOV

DATA.GOV

DIGITALGOV.GOV

DISASTERASSISTANCE.GOV

FOODSAFETY.GOV

GRANTS.GOV

HEALTHCARE.GOV

HEALTHFINDER.GOV

MEDICARE.GOV

READY.GOV

RECREATION.GOV

REGULATIONS.GOV

RESEARCH.GOV

SAFERCAR.GOV

SERVE.GOV

STOPFAKES.GOV

USA.GOV

VOLUNTEER.GOV

Research:

  1. Read / Review the Weekly readings
  2. Research three or more attacks that could compromise the security of a Digital Government Website that uses Web Applications, a Web Server, and a Database Server. Here are some sources to get you started:

a. Web Applications Architectures and Security (in the Week 3 content module).

b. Cyber Vandalism — https://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/readiness-recovery-response-social-media-cyber-vandalism-toolkit/

c. Cybersecurity: Actions needed to address challenges facing federal systems (GAO 15-573T)

https://www.gao.gov/assets/670/669810.pdf
  1. Review three or more websites that deliver digital government services (select from those listed in Table 1). What types of information or services are available via these websites? What population do these websites serve (who is in the intended audience for each website)?
  2. As part of your Digital Government websites review, determine the types and sensitivity of information collected, displayed, processed, and stored by the Web applications that implement the Digital Government services.

a. See https://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/checklist-of-requirements-for-federal-digital-services// for general security and privacy requirements.

b. See FIPS 199 https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/FIPS/NIST.FIPS.199.pdf for additional guidance on determining the sensitivity level of a Federal IT system. (See the section on public websites.)

  1. Using FIPS 200, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and NIST SP 800-53, research the general types of security controls required by IT systems hosting the Digital Government service that you reviewed.

a. FIPS 200 https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.FIPS.200

b. NIST Cybersecurity Framework https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/CSWP/NIST.CSWP.04162018.pdf

c. NIST SP 800-53 https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-53r5.pdf

  1. Find three or more additional sources that provide information about best practice recommendations for ensuring the security of the Web Applications used to deliver Digital Government information and services. These additional sources can include analyst reports and/or news stories about recent attacks/threats, data breaches, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, etc. that impacted the security of digital government services.
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