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Case Study: “Assess the likelihood of youth violence among unemployed men in Riyadh and develop a plan for the Ministry of Interior that

• responds to this threat by covering prevention, mitigation and response,

utilizes international best practices, and•

Is consistent with the ethical and legal responsibilities of security officers.

MODEL ANSWER C
CAP S TO NE : CAS E S T UD Y ES S AY
Assess the likelihood of an Iranian-backed cyber security threat to the water supply
in Riyadh, and develop a plan for the Ministry of Interior that
•
responds to this threat by covering prevention, mitigation and response,
•
utilizes international best practices, and
•
is consistent with the ethical and legal responsibilities of security officers.
Definition
Open Source Intelligence shows that Riyadh is a large metropolitan city with over 7
million residents. (Macrotrends, 2019). The city is supplied with water through two main
sources:
1.
Treated underground water, and
2.
Desalinated water that is pumped via pipelines from 2 main desalination plants
located at the Arabian Gulf.
Due to its large population and hot climate, Riyadh uses 3.15 million cubic metres of water
a day (Argaam, 2018), with approximately one day’s worth kept in emergency storage
tanks (Ratcliffe, 2019).
So far there have not been any reported Iranian cyber-attacks on water-related
infrastructure (Baezner, 2019; Paganini, 2020). A PWC report stated that businesses in the
Middle East are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than other places, with 85 percent of
respondents to a survey claiming they were victims of an attack (Witt, 2020). Additionally,
there have been at least eight attacks on Saudi Arabian assets by Iran since 2012. Even
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
though those attacks were not on water-related facilities, the fact that Iran used drones to
target two Saudi oil refineries in 2019 (BBC, 2019) shows an escalation in hostilities and
suggests a high probability of an imminent attack, thus warranting a review of threat
assessments and security policies.
After establishing the likelihood of a threat, we need to identify the most likely target. As
previously described, the water supply of Riyadh consists of water treatment and storage
plants (shown in Figure 1), the pipeline distribution network, and two desalination plants
located on the Arabian Gulf. Of those the locations, the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks
are the water treatment and storage plants located in Riyadh and the desalination plants
located at the coast. An attack on the desalination plant at Jubail would be especially
devastating as it would force Riyadh to evacuate “within a week,” as the plant provides
over 90% of the city’s drinking water (Jones et al, 2019). The same report (by Jones et al,
2019) has noted that “every desalination plant built is a hostage to fortune; they are easily
sabotaged”.
Figure 1: Location of Water Treatment and Storage Plants in Riyadh (shown as
blue dots)
The threat assessment suggests that an attack on the water supply of Riyadh would have
devastating consequence and is likely given Iran’s recent aggression. A limitation of our
analysis of the threat is that it is based entirely on backward looking data; we have not
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
seen any forecasts or predictions of Iranian activity in the region that would let us know
whether to expect higher or lower levels of intervention. In addition, there is no historical
data on actual cyber-attacks on water-related facilities; the assessments of likelihood and
magnitude cannot therefore be benchmarked against actual incidents. Widening
research to include non-Saudi cases could help provide analogous benchmarks.
As a consequence of the question, we assumed that the incoming threat is a cyberattack. This made us dismiss pipelines as a likely site of attack. If, on the other hand, Iran
uses drones to target the water supply like they targeted the oil refineries in 2019, this
would change our working parameters significantly. It is highly recommended that a
separate investigation team is assigned to assess the likelihood of physical threats to the
water supply of Riyadh.
Innovation
The plan proposal consists of three parts: Prevention, Mitigation and Response.
Prevention
The first part of any plan is to prevent the attack from happening.
To do this, the first step should be to hire a cybersecurity consulting firm (such as
Flashpoint, FireEye or IBM). The firm must carry out a full review of current cyber security
practices at desalination plants as well as the as well as at water treatment and storage
facilities. The consulting firm will be tasked with updating all cyber security software and
firewalls with ones that meet industry standards wherever necessary. This will increase
the security of the facilities against brute force hacks from the outside.
Another common way for cyber-attack to start is with phishing attempts to steal
passwords and other access methods to the relevant computer systems. To prevent this,
the consulting firm will need to create and deliver a rigorous education and training
program that would be mandatory for all relevant personal (people who have access to
accounts that can compromise the security of the facility) at the desalination plants and
water treatment and storage facilities. Such training should be done regularly in order to
refresh and update knowledge with the most up to date best practice. Personnel should
also be discouraged from using the work computers for personal use, and their
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
computers should be routinely checked by the IT department in order to ensure that no
breaches have occurred.
Mitigation
The second part of the plan will discuss possible ways to reduce the severity of an attack if
one were to happen.
A big issue that Riyadh faces is its high-water consumption as well as low storage
capacity. Currently there is only 2.87 million cubic meters of water stored for emergencies
(Ratcliffe, V, 2019) within Riyadh’s storage facilities. At the current consumption rate of 3.15
million cubic metres of water per day (Argaam, 2018), this will only be enough to provide
water to the city for one day. If a cyber-attack were to happen that cripples all or most
incoming water in the city. the Ministry will have a hard time putting a response effort in
such a short timeframe. In order to mitigate this, the Ministry should build more storage
facilities that will increase the water storage capacity to at least a week. The extra storage
will add additional redundancy in the system and will provide a bigger time buffer for the
MOI to act in the event of sabotage of the incoming water. The extra facilities should also
be dispersed throughout the city. That way they will be harder to target with physical
attacks.
Response
The last part of the plan will discuss what steps the MOI should take if an attack was to
succeed.
In the event of a successful attack on Riyadh’s water supply the Ministry should institute
immediate water rationing. The amount and period of rationing will depend on the
severity of the attack and the amount of time required to restore normal function of the
water supply network. All reserve water should be distributed via designated distribution
centers within each neighborhood and should be overseen by police presence in order to
reduce unrest from the citizens. This will need to be combined with an information
campaign that would inform the citizens of the situation and stressing the importance of
using the water only for essential needs such as cooking and drinking.
In the case of a severe attack where water supply cannot be reestablished in short order,
citizens should be evacuated from the city. This can be done by organizing car and bus
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
transportation for those that do not have access to them and setting up refugee camps
near coastal cities who still have functioning water desalination plants. The refugee
camps can be supplied with water via water trucks. The distribution of water should be
overseen by police in order to reduce unrest from the citizens.
Application
This section will address the ethical and legal considerations that need to be taken into
account for each portion of the proposed plan.
Prevention
Brining in external consulting companies can raise cultural challenges that can impede
the effectiveness of any advisory or consulting services. Western IT firms may not be
aware of Saudi specific cultural norms, such as the separation of men and women in
training, or the need for female trainers to interact with female Saudi staff. Some venues
in Riyadh may not even have female toilets on site. Proper site inspections and close
coordination with the Western consultants are needed to ensure that the right
consultants arrive properly prepared.
When creating protocols for checking work computers against security breaches,
consideration must be given to acceptable levels of employee privacy. Unless there is a
formal ban on any personal use of any company computer, inspecting an employee’s
internet browsing history or other personal files could raise ethical issues that could
undermine trust between employees and management, negatively affecting adherence
to IT security procedures.
Mitigation
There are numerous legal considerations around the development of additional water
storage facilities. Where government-owned land in suitable areas is not available, the
owners of appropriate “white land” may need to be identified and incentivized to support
the development. This should be supported by the “Realty in Kind Registration Law”,
issued by Royal Decree No. 6 on 9/21423H; however, much land may not be fully processed
under the requirements of the decree, and additional search measures may be needed,
such as identifying contracts and notary publics and reviewing Ministry of Justice
registers.
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
Response
Any response plan that involves evacuation or rationing raises ethical and legal issues.
Numerous people may be reluctant to be evacuated from their homes. Forcible removals
could foment civil unrest and should be avoided; equally, workers with expired iqamas or
invalid visas will be reluctant to engage with authorities for fear or deportation. However,
failure to evacuate populations in the event of water disruptions could lead to disease and
fatalities, in turn creating a public health issue. For the benefit of limiting the
consequences of an attack, water rations, medical support and evacuation and rehousing
support should be made available regardless of immigration status.
Justification
This section will discuss contingencies for plan proposal.
Prevention
Training is not always 100% effective and workers can still compromise their credentials
for several reasons such as growing lax, or simply not following the training. To reduce the
risk of this access to crucial parts of the software systems should be restricted to higher
level personal. All personal (and especially higher level personal) should have their work
computers checked by IT on regular basis and should also change their log in passwords
weekly.
Mitigation
A simultaneous cyber attack on multiple water treatment plants and storage facilities as
well as the desalination plants would be truly devastating. If that were to happen having
more water storage facilities within Riyadh would not necessarily be helpful if they all end
up compromised. In order to reduce the risk of such an attack the security protocols in
the different plants could be slightly altered. That way, if one place is compromised, the
hackers will not be able to use the exact same method to hack the other locations.
Response
One weakness to this plan is that it may lead to unrest, maybe even looting, from the
citizens if the duration of the rationing continues for too long. This can be mitigated by
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
keeping citizens informed and calm, as well as by increasing police presence throughout
the city (or refugee centers for the evacuated citizens).
Conclusion
The overall plan is not perfect and does require the investment of money and resources,
some of which will not produce a monetary return. But our duty as MOI officers is to
ensure the safety and wellbeing of our citizens thus the investment in their security is well
worth the money. The plan outlined in this report will increase the safety of our citizens by
increasing our prevention methods against the identified threat and will also help the
MOI mitigate and respond to the threat in the unlikely event that we are unable to
prevent it.
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
MODEL ANSWER C
References
•
Argaam Special (2018, August 26). Saudi Arabia consumed 3 bln cubic meters of
drinking water in 2017. Argaam.
https://www.argaam.com/en/article/articledetail/id/567200.
•
Baezner, M. (2019, May). Iranian Cyber-activities in the Context of Regional Rivalries
and International Tensions. Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich.
https://css.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/center-for-securitiesstudies/pdfs/20190507_MB_HS_IRN%20V1_rev.pdf.
•
BBC (2019, September 17). Saudi oil attacks: Drones and missiles launched from Iran –
US. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49733558.
•
Jones, S., Harington, N. and Bermudez Jr., J. S. (2019, August 5). Iran’s Threat to Saudi
Critical Infrastructure: The Implications of U.S.-Iranian Escalation. Center for Startegic
and International Studies. www.csis.org/analysis/irans-threat-saudi-criticalinfrastructure-implications-us-iranian-escalation.
•
Macrotrends (2020). Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Metro Area Population 1950-2020.
Macrotrends.
https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/22432/riyadh/population#:~:text=The%20current%
20metro%20area%20population,a%203.57%25%20increase%20from%202017.
•
Paganini, P (2020, February 9). The number of cyber-attacks on Saudi Aramco is
increasing. Security Affairs. https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/97527/breakingnews/saudi-aramco-under-attack.html.
•
Ratcliffe, V. (2019, November 18). Attacks on Aramco Plants Expose Risks to Saudi
Water Supply. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-1118/attacks-on-aramco-plants-highlight-risk-to-saudi-water-supply.
•
Witt, R (2020). Countries in the Middle-east Highly Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, says
PWC Study. Naseba. https://naseba.com/content-hub/topic/cyber-securitytopic/companies-middle-east-highly-vulnerable-cyber-attacks-says-pwcstudy/#:~:text=There%20has%20recently%20been%20a,activity%20in%20the%20Middl
e%20East.&text=The%20report%20also%20found%20that,global%20average%20of%20
nine%20percent.
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CAPSTONE: CASE STUDY ESSAY
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RESPOND
TO YOUR CAPSTONE CASE STUDY
ESSAY PROMPT
C APST ONE – S ES31 1
Introduction
Students are expected to respond to the prompt by bringing together knowledge and
skills from across the entire BSS program. Answers must be in English, contain properly
analyzed data, display critical thinking, and incorporate knowledge and theories relating
to ethics, the law and security sciences.
The Prompt
All prompts follow the same basic pattern.
“Assess the likelihood of [specific security threat] to the [specific location] and develop a
plan for the Ministry of Interior that
•
responds to the threat by covering prevention, mitigation and response,
•
utilizes international best practice, and
•
is consistent with the ethical and legal responsibilities of security officers.”
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CAPSTONE – SES311
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUR CAPSTONE CASE STUDY ESSAY PROMPT
Marking Your Answer
There is no one correct way of writing a Capstone Extended Essay, in terms of either
format or answer. Student responses will be marked according to the following five
criteria drawn from the BSS Program Intended Learning Outcomes. Students should take
care that their answer covers all aspects of the prompt.
More information on the Program Intended Learning Outcomes can be found in the
Student Handbook: SH03 Program Intended Learning Outcomes. All parts of the
Student Handbook are available in English and Arabic.
The Definition Criterion
The Definition criterion (PILOs 2.1.1 and 2.2.1) is used to evaluate the student’s ability to
“assess the likelihood” of the given threat.
Based on standard intelligence practices, we are looking for an appreciation of the
magnitude and likelihood/probability of the threat, but also acceptance that our ability to
estimate the magnitude and likelihood is not perfect.
Table 1: Definition Criterion Annotation
Unsatisfactory
Baseline
Developing
Good
Exemplary
Problem not
identified.
One aspect of
the problem
identified.
Multiple aspects
of the problem
identified
…and outlines
associated
constraints
…and sets an
overall
framework for
the investigation.
The student does
not assess the
security threat
The student
describes the
size/seriousness
or likelihood of
the threat (stated
in qualitative or
quantitative
terms).
The student
describes the
size/ seriousness
and likelihood of
the threat (stated
in qualitative or
quantitative
terms).
The student
explains the
limits,
assumptions, or
weaknesses of
his threat
assessment.
The student
places his threat
assessment
within a clearly
explained
method/model
that is based on
industry/
intelligence
standards or
international
best practice.
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CAPSTONE – SES311
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUR CAPSTONE CASE STUDY ESSAY PROMPT
The Innovation Criterion
The Innovation criterion (PILO 2.2.3) is used to evaluate the student’s ability to “develop a
plan for the Ministry of Interior that responds to the threat by covering prevention,
mitigation and response”.
We are looking for a well specified, effective and realistic proposal that attempts to
prevent the threat from occurring, can reduce/mitigate the severity of any consequences
if it does occur, and can enable an adequate response if it does occur.
Table 2: Innovation Criterion Annotation
Unsatisfactory
Baseline
Developing
Good
Exemplary
No approach
recommended.
Uni-dimensional
approach
recommended.
Multidimensional
approach
recommended
…with realistic
design
specifications
…and that are
appropriate for
context (e.g.
technology,
policy, customs).
The student does
not provide a
plan.
The student
describes how to
prevent or
mitigate or
respond to the
threat.
The student
describes two or
more of how to
prevent or
mitigate or
respond to the
threat.
The student’s
descriptions
contain enough
detail that its
feasibility and
effectiveness are
clear.
The student’s
detailed
specifications
clearly
incorporate
international
best practice.
The Application Criterion
The Application criterion (PILO 2.3.3) is used to evaluate the student’s ability to develop a
plan that “is consistent with the ethical and legal responsibilities of security officers” in
Saudi Arabia.
We are looking for the knowledge and critical thinking skills developed through the Law,
Ethics and Responsibility cluster (for details, see your Student Handbook: SH04 Course
Catalogue). Students must clearly explain how their plan takes account of Saudi Arabia’s
special religious, social and cultural context, and how its requirements are consistent with
ethical and legal norms.
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CAPSTONE – SES311
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUR CAPSTONE CASE STUDY ESSAY PROMPT
Table 3: Application Criterion Annotation
Unsatisfactory
Baseline
Developing
Good
Exemplary
No application
attempted.
Single finding
applied to
specific context
within Saudi
Arabia.
Multiple findings
applied to
specific context
within Saudi
Arabia
…and
generalisations
drawn about
how to apply the
concepts
…and describe
extrapolations to
other security
challenges.
The student does
not identify any
ethical, legal, or
cultural
considerations
relevant to his
plan.
The student
describes one
ethical, legal, or
cultural
consideration
relevant to his
plan.
The student
describes two or
more ethical,
legal, or cultural
considerations
relevant to his
plan.
The student
details credible
ways to address
the identified
ethical, legal and
cultural
considerations.
The student
describes how
these
considerations
have been
addressed in
other referenced
security
operations.
The Justification Criterion
The Justification criterion (PILO 2.2.4) is used to evaluate the student’s ability to prepare
contingency plans.
We are looking for weaknesses and potential problems in the proposal to be identified,
and for workarounds or alternative approaches that can still deliver the most important
aspects of the original plan.
Table 4: Justification Criterion Annotation
Unsatisfactory
Baseline
Developing
Good
Exemplary
No justification
provided.
One
shortcoming of
the solution/
method
described.
Multiple
shortcomings of
the solution/
method
described
…with an
explanation of
why
shortcomings
are not serious
…and identifies
areas for future
research to
improve
outcomes.
The student does
not identify any
weaknesses in
his plan.
The student
describes one
thing that could
go wrong with
the plan.
The student
describes
multiple things
that could go
wrong with the
plan.
The student
proposes
credible
alternatives that
preserve
outcomes should
the identified
parts of the plan
go wrong.
The student
discusses other
named cases,
scenarios or
international
best practice
that explain the
effectiveness of
his contingency
plan.
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CAPSTONE – SES311
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUR CAPSTONE CASE STUDY ESSAY PROMPT
The Evidence Criterion
The Evidence criterion (PILOs 2.1.2 and 2.2.2) is used to evaluate the student’s ability to
support claims with clearly referenced facts, figures and data.
We are looking for a range of quantitative and qualitative evidence. Student opinions or
experiences are not acceptable as evidence; demonstrable or measurable facts and
figures are acceptable, as are clearly referenced expert interpretations. Evidence must be
unambiguously used to support claims made within the student’s response. This
evidence can be drawn from any BSS course or from your own independent research.
Table 5: Evidence Criterion Annotation
Unsatisfactory
Baseline
Developing
Good
Exemplary
No evidence
gathered.
One piece of
evidence
gathered.
Multiple pieces of
evidence
gathered
…that are of
different types
and sources
…and with their
quality explicitly
assessed.
The student does
not provide any
facts or figures to
support any
claims.
The student
provides one
fact, figure,
dataset or
graphic in
support of one
claim.
The student
provides facts,
figures, datasets
or graphics in
support of two or
more different
claims.
The student
presents
evidence in
multiple formats
such as written
sentences, data
tables, graphs,
statistical output
or maps.
The student
discusses the
reliability and
credibility of any
evidence
presented in
terms of data
completeness,
collection
methods,
accuracy of
measurement or
source authority
etc.
Clear referencing
must be present
to demonstrate
multiple sources.
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CAPSTONE – SES311

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