Chat with us, powered by LiveChat To complete this assignment, you will need the attached files and the the?Small Merchant Guide to Safe Payments documentation (click link to download) from the Payment Card Industry Data S | Wridemy

To complete this assignment, you will need the attached files and the the?Small Merchant Guide to Safe Payments documentation (click link to download) from the Payment Card Industry Data S

To complete this assignment, you will need the attached files and the the?Small Merchant Guide to Safe Payments documentation (click link to download) from the Payment Card Industry Data S

 Instructions

To complete this assignment, you will need the attached files and the the Small Merchant Guide to Safe Payments documentation (click link to download) from the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) organization.

Please read the instructions carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.  You must use the attached template to complete this assignment.  The PowerPoint presentation (PDF) Effective Professional Memo Writing provides other essential information to help guide your work on this assignment.

The ability to communicate effectively is a critical skill for all students and is required for success in the workplace.  UMGC has a variety of resources to help students.  The Effective Writing Center is available through the "Resources" link on the Navigation bar. You are strongly encouraged to avail yourself of these resources.  Your writing abilities will be graded as part of the assignment. 

Effective Professional Writing: The Memo

Adapted from a presentation by Xavier de Souza Briggs,

Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT

IFSM 201

Licensing Information This work “Effective Professional Writing: The Memo”, a derivative of Effective Professional Writing: The

Memo, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-

NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. “Effective Professional Writing: The Memo” by

UMGC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-

ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“To do our work, we all have to read a mass of papers. Nearly all of them are far too long. This wastes time, while energy has to be spent in looking for the essential points. I ask my colleagues and their staffs to see to

it that their Reports are shorter.”

– WINSTON CHURCHILL, AUGUST 9, 1940

– SOURCE (A ONE PAGE READ): CHURCHILL’S “BREVITY” MEMO

Writing Memos

The context of professional writing

Why write memos?

How to write them?

How to make them better?

3

The Context

The workplace or field:

◦ Time is precious.

◦ Information has substantive as well as political implications.

The decision-maker as reader:

◦ Busy and distracted (attention “spread thin”), not necessarily patient while you get to the point.

◦ Info needs are varied, unpredictable, fluid.

◦ Decision-maker sometimes offers vague instructions.

4

Academic vs. professional writing

Differences (when writing concisely)

◦ The academic reader often demands nuance and relevance to established lines of thinking, while the

professional reader wants the “so what’s” for their decision making emphasized (relevance to their

actions).

◦ An academic assignment assumes a small and benevolent audience, but professional documents can be

“leaked,” end up in the hands of unintended readers.

Similarities

◦ Strong essays and strong memos both start with your main ideas, but essays usually build toward

conclusion and synthesis. The memo’s conclusions are usually right up top.

◦ In both, persuasive argument = clear viewpoint + evidence

◦ In both, addressing counter-arguments tends to strengthen your case.

5

Top mistakes in memos

Content: ◦ off point or off task (major substantive

omissions, given the request);

◦ impolitic (risks political costs if leaked);

◦ inappropriate assumptions as to background knowledge;

◦ no evidence.

Organization: ◦ important info “buried,”

◦ no summary up top, format confusing, not “skim-able.”

◦ Sentences long and dense,

◦ headings an after-thought.

Style: ◦ language too academic, too “preachy,”

or too casual;

◦ sentences long and/or dense.

6

Why write memos?

Professional communication

◦ Efficient

◦ Persuasive

◦ Focused

Two types of memos:

◦ Informational (provide analytic background)

◦ Decision or “action” (analyze issues and also recommend actions)

7

Consider Your Message in Context

Purpose Audience

Message

8

Use a Clear Structure

Summary:

◦ Summarize the entire memo

◦ Highlight major points to consider

Background:

◦ State the context

Body:

◦ Prove it, analyze it, address counter arguments (if any)

Conclusion:

◦ Outline Next Steps or Next Questions

9

Action Memos: Recommend Decisions

Summary:

◦ Summarize the entire memo, clearly, but more importantly, concisely

◦ State the broad recommendation(s)

◦ If the decision-maker reads only this section/paragraph, will he/she know what the situation is/recommendation(s) is/are (without necessarily knowing specific action steps)

Background:

◦ Provide the context

Body:

◦ Prove it/Analyze it, perhaps with pros/cons by option (if there are multiple options)

Conclusion:

◦ Outline next steps, don’t merely restate recommendation(s)

10

Tip: Construct a Clear, Concise, Coherent Argument

In your opening summary, you may use more than one sentence to describe overall goals or

recommendations, however, as an exercise it typically helps to try to state your argument in one

sentence. Expand on the sentence as needed as your construct your opening summary.

Examples:

◦ In order to recreate the organization’s image and reorganize our internal structure in the next 6 months,

we should focus on X, Y and Z.

◦ While the company is in compliance with State of California Privacy laws with respect to X, Y and Z, there

are two areas that still need to be addressed to reach our goal of 100% compliance: A and B.

11

,

MEMORANDUM

to:

Chief executive, anne arundel County

from:

Your Name

Re:

Enter Subject

dATE:

ENTER DATE

Risk Assessment Summary

This is only placeholder text, be sure to read the Assignment Instructions for specific details about what should be included in this section and the sections that follow. To get started right away, just select any placeholder text (such as this) and start typing to replace it with your own. Be sure to remove any placeholder text before submitting your assignment. Do not change font size, type or page margins. Text should be single spaced, with one ‘hard return’ at the end of each paragraph which will add a blank line between paragraphs. There should also be one hard return after the subtitles.

Background

To get started right away, just select any placeholder text (such as this) and start typing to replace it with your own. Text should be single spaced, with one ‘hard return’ at the end of each paragraph which will add a blank line between paragraphs. There should also be one hard return after the subtitles.

Concerns, Standards, Best Practices

To get started right away, just select any placeholder text (such as this) and start typing to replace it with your own.

Example of a second paragraph: Text should be single spaced, with one ‘hard return’ at the end of each paragraph which will add a blank line between paragraphs. There should also be one hard return after the subtitles.

Action Steps

To get started right away, just select any placeholder text (such as this) and start typing to replace it with your own. Text should be single spaced, with one ‘hard return’ at the end of each paragraph which will add a blank line between paragraphs. There should also be one hard return after the subtitles.

5

2

,

Professional Memo 1

IFSM 201 Professional Memo

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the Small Merchant Guide to Safe

Payments documentation from the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)

organization. PCI Data Security Standards are established to protect payment account data

throughout the payment lifecycle, and to protect individuals and entities from the criminals who

attempt to steal sensitive data. The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to all entities

that store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data, including merchants, service providers, and

financial institutions.

Purpose of this Assignment

You work as an Information Technology Consultant for the Greater Washington Risk Associates

(GWRA) and have been asked to write a professional memo to one of your clients as a follow-up

to their recent risk assessment (RA). GWRA specializes in enterprise risk management for state

agencies and municipalities. The county of Anne Arundel, Maryland (the client) hired GWRA to

conduct a risk assessment of Odenton, Maryland (a community within the Anne Arundel

County), with a focus on business operations within the municipality.

This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcome to enable you to:

• Identify ethical, security, and privacy considerations in conducting data and information

analysis and selecting and using information technology.

Assignment

Your supervisor has asked that the memo focus on Odenton’s information systems, and

specifically, securing the processes for payments of services. Currently, the Odenton Township

offices accept cash or credit card payment for the services of sanitation (sewer and refuse),

water, and property taxes. Residents can pay either in-person at township offices or over the

phone with a major credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa). Over the

phone payment involves with speaking to an employee and giving the credit card information.

Once payment is received, the Accounting Department is responsible for manually entering it

into the township database system and making daily deposits to the bank.

The purpose of the professional memo is to identify a minimum of three current controls

(e.g., tools, practices, policies) in Odenton Township (either a control specific to Odenton

Township or a control provided by Anne Arundel county) that can be considered best

practices in safe payment/data protection. Furthermore, beyond what measures are

currently in place, you should highlight the need to focus on insider threats and provide a

minimum of three additional recommendations. Below are the findings from the Risk

Assessment:

• The IT department for Anne Arundel County requires strong passwords for users to

access and use information systems.

Professional Memo 2

• The IT department for Anne Arundel County is meticulous about keeping payment

terminal software, operating systems and other software (including anti-virus software)

updated.

• Assessment of protection from remote access and breaches to the Anne Arundel network:

Odenton Township accesses the database system for the County when updating resident’s

accounts for services. It is not clear whether a secure remote connection (VPN) is

standard policy.

• Assessment of physical security at the Odenton Township hall: the only current form of

physical security are locks on the two outer doors; however, the facility is unlocked

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm (EST), excluding federal holidays.

• Employee awareness training on data security and secure practices for handling sensitive

data (e.g., credit card information) are not in place.

• The overarching conclusion of the risk assessment was that Odenton Township is not

fully compliant with the PCI Data Security Standards (v3.2).

Note: The Chief Executive for Anne Arundel County has asked for specific attention be paid

to insider threats, citing a recent article about an administrator from San Francisco (see

Resources). Anne Arundel County wants to understand insider threats and ways to mitigate

so that they protect their resident’s personal data as well as the County’s sensitive

information. These are threats to information systems, including malware and insider threats

(negligent or inadvertent users, criminal or malicious insiders, and user credential theft).

Expectations and Format

Using the resources listed below, you are to write a 2-page Professional Informational Memo to

the Chief Executive for Anne Arundel County that addresses the following:

• Risk Assessment Summary: Provide an overview of your concerns from the risk

assessment report. Include broad ‘goal’ of the memo, as a result of the risk assessment,

the broad recommendations. Specific Action Steps will come later. The summary should

be no more than one paragraph.

• Background: Provide a background for your concerns. Briefly highlight why the

concerns are critical to the County of Anne Arundel and Odenton Township. Clearly

state the importance of data security and insider threats when dealing with personal credit

cards. Be sure to establish the magnitude of the problem of insider threats.

• Concerns, Standards, Best Practices: The body of the memo needs to justify your

concerns and clarify standards, based on the resources listed below, at minimum. The

PCI DSS standards are well respected and used globally to protect entities and

individual’s sensitive data. The body of the memo should also highlight three current

controls that are considered best practice; that is, you should highlight the positive,

what is currently in place, based on the risk assessment.

• Action Steps: Provide a conclusion establishing why it is important for Anne Arundel

County to take steps to protect residents and county infrastructure from insider threats

based on your concerns. Recommend a minimum of three (3) practical action steps,

including new security controls, best practices and/or user policies that will mitigate the

concerns in this memo. Be sure to include cost considerations so that the County is

Professional Memo 3

getting the biggest bang for the buck. The expectations are not for you to research and

quote actual costs, but to generalize potential costs. For instance, under the category of

physical security, door locks are typically less expensive than CCTV cameras.

• Be sure to review the PowerPoint presentation (in pdf format) Effective Professional

Memo Writing that accompanies these instructions.

• Use the Professional Memo template that accompanies these instructions.

o Use four section subtitles, in bold.

▪ Risk Assessment Summary

▪ Background

▪ Concerns, Standards, Best Practices

▪ Action Steps

o Do not change the font size or type or page margins.

o Do not include any graphics, images or ‘snips’ of any content from copyrighted

sources. The PCI Standards (PCI DSS) document is copyrighted material.

o Paragraph text should be single spaced with ONE ‘hard return’ (Enter) after each

paragraph and after each section subtitle. Note: Do not create a new ‘paragraph’

after each sentence. A single sentence is not a paragraph.

o ‘Subject’ is the subject of your memo, not the course name or number.

o Be sure to remove any remaining ‘placeholder’ text in the template file before

submitting.

o The length of the template when you download it is NOT the intended length of

the entire memo. Your completed memo should be between 1.5 pages and 2

pages (total document, including the To:/From:/Re:/Subject header).

*Note: the Professional Memo is to be in a MS Word file and all work is to be in the

student’s own words (no direct quotes from external sources or the instructions) *

APA documentation requirements:

• As this is a professional memo, as long as you use resources provided with or linked

from these instructions, APA documentation is NOT required.

• Citing material or resources beyond what is provided here is NOT required.

• However, you should use basic attribution and mention the source of any data, ideas

or policies that you mention, which will help establish the credibility and authority of

the memo.

o For example, mentioning that the Payment Card Industry Data Security

Standards (PCI DSS) identify a certain control as best practice holds more

weight than simply stating the control is a best practice without basic

attribution.

o Mentioning that Wired Magazine reported that a City of San Francisco IT

technician effectively hijacked and locked 60% of the city’s network capacity,

is more effective than saying “I read somewhere that…”

Professional Memo 4

Resources

1. Examples of Security Breaches Due to Insider Threats

San Francisco Admin Charged With Hijacking City's Network Microsoft database leaked because of employee negligence

General Electric employees stole trade secrets to gain a business advantage

Former Cisco employee purposely damaged cloud infrastructure

Twitter users scammed because of phished employees

2. PCI DSS Goals:

(source: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/merchants/process)

Professional Memo 5

3. References

FBI. (2021). The Insider Threat: An Introduction to Detecting and Deterring an Insider Spy.

https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/insider_threat_brochure.pdf/view

PCI DSS. (2021, Feb. 12). Payment Card Industry Security Standards.

Official PCI Security Standards Council Site

Jingguo Wang, Gupta, M., & Rao, H. R. (2015). Insider threats in a financial institution: Analysis

of attack-proneness of information systems applications. MIS Quarterly, 39(1), 91-A7.

https://search-ebscohost-

com.ezproxy.umgc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=100717560&site=ehost-

live&scope=site

Professor Messer. (2014). Authorization and access control [Video file]. YouTube.

U.S. DHS. (2021). Insider Threat. https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/cybersecurity-

insider-threat

Wizuda. (2017). Data anonymisation simplified [Video file]. YouTube.

Yuan, S., & Wu, X. (2021). Deep learning for insider threat detection: Review, challenges and

opportunities. Computers & Security. https://doi-

org.ezproxy.umgc.edu/10.1016/j.cose.2021.102221

Keywords: risk assessment, insider threats, data security

Submitting Your Assignment

Submit your document via your Assignment Folder as Microsoft Word document, or a document that can

be ready using MS Word, with your last name included in the filename. Use the Grading Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects of the assignment.

Professional Memo 6

GRADING RUBRIC:

Criteria

Far Above

Standards

Abov

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