What types of risks or vulnerabilities could be transferred from a supplier and/or imposed upon a purchaser of cybersecurity related products and/or services?

For this project, you will investigate and then summarize key aspects of risk and risk management for acquisitions or procurements of cybersecurity products and services. The specific questions that your acquisition risk analysis will address are:

1. What types of risks or vulnerabilities could be transferred from a supplier and/or imposed upon a purchaser of cybersecurity related products and/or services?

2. Are suppliers liable for harm or loss incurred by purchasers of cybersecurity products and services? (That is, does the risk transfer from seller to buyer?)

3. How can governance frameworks be used by both suppliers and purchasers of cybersecurity related products and services to mitigate risks?


For this assignment, your “purchaser” will be the same company that you researched in Project #2. You should reuse relevant information from your risk assessment and risk profile (especially your recommended security controls).


Begin by reviewing your selected company’s needs or requirements for cybersecurity (this information should have been collected your earlier projects in this course). What information and/or business operations need to be protected? What are the likely sources of threats or attacks for each type of information or business operation? What technologies, products, or services did you identify and discuss in your risk management strategy / acquisition forecast?


Next, you will research how operational risk during the manufacturing, development, or service delivery processes can affect the security posture (integrity) of products and services listed in your acquisition forecast. You will then explore the problem of product liability and/or risk transference from supplier to purchaser as products or services are delivered, installed, and used. You will also need to examine the role that IT governance frameworks and standards can play in helping purchasers develop and implement risk mitigation strategies to compensate for potential risk transfer by suppliers.


Once you have completed your research and analysis, you will summarize your findings in an acquisition risk analysis for cybersecurity products and services. This analysis should be suitable for use by the company’s senior managers in developing a company-wide risk management strategy for acquisition and procurement activities which could impact the company’s cybersecurity posture.


1. Review your work for projects 1, 2, and 3.

2. Review your previous work as to the role of IT Governance standards in helping businesses identify and manage risks arising from the purchase of IT related products and services.

3. Review the course readings relating to the Cybersecurity industry and sources of products and services.

4. If you have not previously done so, identify three or more categories of cybersecurity products or services which your selected company is likely to purchase. Investigate the characteristics of these products / services. You should also identify possible vendors or sources from whom these can be purchased or acquired (e.g. open source software is acquired rather than bought or “purchased”). You should focus on products which can help reduce risks associated with e-Commerce and protection of customer information, protection of online ordering systems, etc.

5. Research risks and/or vulnerabilities which could be introduced into a buyer’s organization and/or IT operations through acquisition or purchase of cybersecurity products or services. Some suggested resources are:

a. Hardware Security:

i. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2011/5/hardware-cybersecurity/05_hardware_cybersecurity.pdf

ii. https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/hardware-attacks-backdoors-and-electronic-component-qualification/

b. Software Security

i. https://www.synopsys.com/blogs/software-security/software-security/

ii. https://ezproxy.umgc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umgc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=heh&AN=61216498&site=eds-live&scope=site

c. Data Center Security

i. https://www.forcepoint.com/cyber-edu/data-center-security

ii. https://phoenixnap.com/blog/data-center-security

d. Telecommunications Systems

i. http://www.oracle.com/us/industries/communications/state-telecom-security-wp-3518256.pdf

ii. https://www.fico.com/blogs/fraud-security/how-are-telecom-providers-managing-cybersecurity-risk/

6. Identify five or more specific sources of operational risks, in a supplier’s organization, which could adversely affect the security of cybersecurity products or services delivered to its customers. In addition to using information you relied on in your previous projects, consult the Software Engineering Institute’s publication A Taxonomy of Operational Cyber Security Risks https://resources.sei.cmu.edu/asset_files/TechnicalNote/2010_004_001_15200.pdf

7. Research the issue of product liability with respect to cybersecurity products and services. What is the current legal environment? Some suggested sources are:

a. https://cdt.org/files/2018/04/2018-04-16-IoT-Strict-Products-Liability-FNL.pdf

b. https://www.productliabilityadvocate.com/2018/12/internet-of-things-security-standards-will-states-follow-californias-lead-or-look-across-the-pond-for-further-guidance/#more-2266

c. https://www.travelers.com/resources/product-service-liability/5-steps-for-product-liability-risk-management


1. An introduction section which provides a brief overview of your selected company, its e-Commerce operations, and the acquisition forecast for the company’s likely future needs and purchases for cybersecurity products and services. You should reuse information / narrative from projects 2 and 3. Your introduction section for this project should be no more than 1 page in length.

2. A governance frameworks & standards section in which you discuss the role that standards and governance processes should play in reducing risk by ensuring that acquisitions or purchases of cybersecurity products and services meet the buyer’s organization’s security requirements (risk mitigation).

3. A Cybersecurity Industry & Supplier Overview section which provides a discussion of the likely sources (companies, vendors, consortiums, open source repositories, etc.) from which cybersecurity products and services can be acquired, licensed, or purchased. Your overview should briefly discuss the cybersecurity industry as a whole. Why does this industry exist? (Hint: buyers want to procure or acquire cybersecurity related products and services). How does this industry benefit society?

4. An operational risks overview section in which you provide an overview of sources of operational risks which could affect suppliers of cybersecurity related products and services and, potentially, compromise the security of those products or services. Discuss the potential impact of such compromises upon buyers and the security of their organizations (risk transfer).

5. A product liability section in which you provide a summary of the current legal environment as it pertains to product liability in the cybersecurity industry. Discuss the potential impact upon buyers who suffer harm or loss as a result of purchasing, installing, and/or using cybersecurity products or services.

6. A summary and conclusions section in which you present a summary of your findings including the reasons why product liability (risk transfer) is a problem that must be addressed by both suppliers and purchasers of cybersecurity related products and services.

Submit For Grading

Submit your work in MS Word format (.docx or .doc file) using the Project #4 Assignment in your assignment folder. (Attach the file.)

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