Security Template Exception (part 1) – The Scenario

A Windows server administrator (SA) has contacted the Initech Novelty, Inc. Security Manager to get a formal security exception to modify the security template that allows the executable of a third party sales tracking application (3rdpartysalesapp.exe) to have write access to the “%systemroot%\system32” directory on a Windows 2003 server. The sales tracking application has been designed to create temporary files in the “%systemroot%\system32” directory. This server fulfills a “member server role” within the Initech Active Directory domain.


1.    The Windows servers runs a web-based intranet sales tracking application. It is accessed over TCP 443 (SSL) from the user segment. The application’s data actually resides on a separate database server in a separate data networksegment. The application is not considered a mission critical application.

2.    The Windows server sits on a dedicated network segment dedicated to Initech internal application servers. This segment is firewalled off from the user segments, the database servers as well as the network segments that have Internet facing servers. All firewall configurations are least privilege in nature. There are both logical and physical security controls that facilitate network segmentation.

3.    The servers on the internal application network server segment are centrally managed from an OS patching and Anti-Malware perspective (in other words, they do not make direct connections to the Internet).

4.    Initech, Inc. mandates via its information security policy that Windows server security templates be applied to all of its servers; specific to its role within the enterprise. In the case of this scenario, a default Microsoft provided Windows server 2003 “member server” security template has been applied to the Windows 2003 server.

5.    This particular sales tracking application server is not clustered or considered to be highly available. It is estimated that it would take Initech Novelty, Inc. IT personnel between 1-2 hours to restore the server from the most recent daily back-up and another 1-2 hours for application testing.

6.    The application is used by Initech Novelty, Inc. customer service representatives to get detailed information about a sales order that is not available within their regular CSR application. About one out of every 250 calls to the Initech Novelty, Inc. service center require access to the application in focus for this scenario.

7.    The Initech Novelty, Inc. service center is open seven days per week between the hours of 8 AM EST and 10 PM EST. Average daily volume of calls that are sales transaction related are 50.

8.    Initech Novelty, Inc. has calculated CSR employee costs to the organization (salary, benefits, etc.) to be $60 per hour. Information technology employees are listed as $85 per hour.

9.    Finally, the server in this scenario is not in scope for PCI-DSS compliance (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). Access to credit card “primary account number” (PAN) or any other card information is not possible in this application.

In the next post, we will perform the risk assessment using the RMI FAIR Basic Risk Assessment Guide (BRAG) as our guide.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: