Project 4: Cryptography

Step 1: IT Systems Architecture

You are a senior-level employee, and you must tailor your deliverables to suit your audience: the leadership of the organization. You may choose to use a fictitious organization, or model your organization on an existing organization. Remember that your deliverables should include proper citations.

Leadership is not familiar with the architecture of the IT systems, nor are they familiar with the types of threats that are likely or the security mechanisms in place to ward off those threats. You will provide this information in tabular format and call it the Network Security and Vulnerability Threat Table. Refer to this threat table template for guidance on creating this document.

Before you begin, select the links below to review some material on information security. These resources will help you complete the network security and vulnerability threat table.

  • LAN security
  • availability

Now you’re ready to create your table. Include and define the following components of security in the architecture of your organization, and explain if threats to these components are likely, or unlikely:

  • LAN security
  • identity management
  • physical security
  • personal security
  • availability
  • privacy

Next, review the different types of cyberattacks described in the following resource: cyberattacks. As you’re reading take note of which attacks are most likely to affect your organization. Then list the security defenses you employ in your organization to mitigate these types of attacks. Include this information in your Network Security and Vulnerability Threat Table.

Step 2: Plan of Protection

In this lab exercise, you will learn more about the transmission of files that do not seem suspicious but that actually have embedded malicious payload, undetectable to human hearing or vision. This type of threat can enter your organization’s networks and databases undetected through the use of steganography or data hiding.

You should include this type of threat vector to an organization in your report to leadership. Research how organizations can monitor, identify, and remedy those files with embedded files and data, and provide these as recommendations for your leadership.

You will have to provide the leadership of your organization with your plan for protecting identity, access, authorization and nonrepudiation of information transmission, storage, and usage.

Research scholarly works on nonrepudiation measures and discuss options for protecting the integrity of an organization’s information assets, which include files, networks, databases, and email, and include this in your lab report.

Complete This Lab


  • Accessing the Virtual Lab Environment: Navigating UMGC Virtual Labs and Lab Setup
  • Self-Help Guide (Workspace): Getting Started and Troubleshooting
  • Link to the Virtual Lab Environment:

Lab Instructions

  • Understanding Cryptography and Data Protection

Step 3: Data Hiding Technologies

You will describe to your organization the various cryptographic means of protecting its assets. Select the links below to review encryption techniques and encryption technologies, then provide your organization with a brief overview of each.

Encryption technologies

  1. shift/Caesar cipher
  2. polyalphabetic cipher
  3. one-time pad cipher/Vernam cipher/perfect cipher
  4. block ciphers
  5. triple DES
  6. RSA
  7. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  8. symmetric encryption
  9. texture block coding

Data Hiding Technologies

  1. information hiding and steganography
  2. digital watermarking
  3. masking and filtering

These descriptions will be included in the network security vulnerability and threat table for leadership.

Step 4: Create the Network Security

Vulnerability and Threat Table

Using the information you’ve gathered from the previous steps, prepare the network security vulnerability and threat table, in which you outline the following:

  • security architecture of the organization
  • the cryptographic means of protecting the assets of the organization
  • the types of known attacks against those types of protections
  • means to ward off the attacks

Create your Network Security Vulnerability and Threat Table and include it in your submission to the organization. Refer to this threat table template for guidance on creating this document.

Step 5: Access Control Based on Smart Card Strategies

Smart cards use encryption chips to identify the user’s identity, role, and sometimes use the user’s personal identifiable information (PII). 

Two examples of smart cards are the federal government’s use of Common Access Cards (CACs), and the financial sector’s use of encryption chips in credit cards.

You have completed your threat table, and you’ve decided that you want to modernize the access control methods for your organization. To that end, read the following resources to gather some background information on access control and the various encryption schemas associated with a CAC:

  • access control
  • Common Access Card (CAC)

You plan to deploy CAC to the company and you are tasked with devising that CAC deployment strategy, which includes the cryptographic solutions used with the CAC.

In the Common Access Card Deployment Strategy final deliverable, describe how identity management would be a part of your overall security program and your CAC deployment plan:

Create your Common Access Card Deployment Strategy and include it in your submission to the organization.

Step 6: The Email Security Strategy

After completing the CAC, your next step is to build the Secure Email Strategy for the organization. You will present this tool to your leadership.

Provide an overview of the types of public-private key pairing, and show how this provides authentication and nonrepudiation. You will also add hashing and describe how this added security benefit ensures the integrity of messaging.

Begin preparing your strategy by reviewing the following resources that will aid you in becoming well informed on encryption technologies for email:

  • public key infrastructure (PKI)
  • iOS encryption

Then start developing your strategy.  Define these strong encryption technologies as general principles in secure email:

Pretty Good Policy (PGP algorithm)

  • GNU Privacy Guard (GPG)
  • public key infrastructure (PKI)
  • digital signature
  • mobile device encryption (e.g., iOS encryption and Android encryption)

In your report, also consider how the use of smart card readers tied to computer systems might be beneficial in the future enhancements to system and data access protection. This may help you define long-term solutions for your leadership.

Leadership does not know the costs and technical complexity of these email encryption strategies. To further their understanding, compare the complexities of each in relation to the security benefits, and then make a recommendation and a deployment plan.

The deliverables for this project are as follows:

  1. Create a single report in Word document format. This report should be about 10 pages long, double-spaced, with citations in APA format. Page count does not include diagrams or tables. The report must cover the following:
    1. network security and threat table
    1. Common Access Card deployment strategy
    1. email security strategy
  2. In a Word document, share your lab experience and provide screenshots to demonstrate that you performed the lab.

Submit your deliverables after reading the instructions below.

Check Your Evaluation Criteria

Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them. To view the complete grading rubric, click My Tools, select Assignments from the drop-down menu, and then click the project title.

  • 1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.
  • 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
  • 1.7: Create neat and professional looking documents appropriate for the project or presentation.
  • 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
  • 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
  • 2.3: Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem.
  • 2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
  • 3.2: Employ mathematical or statistical operations and data analysis techniques to arrive at a correct or optimal solution.
  • 5.1: Knowledge of procedures, tools, and applications used to keep data or information secure, including public key infrastructure, point-to-point encryption, and smart cards.

Take Action

Submit your assignment to your instructor for review and feedback.

Follow these steps to access the assignment:

  • Click My Tools in the top navigation bar.
  • Click Assignments.
  • Select the relevant assignment.

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