Analysis of Alternatives Exercise

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This week, we begin the Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) exercise. This evaluation methodology is used extensively in business and government. The purpose of our AoA is to evaluate a number of candidate cybersecurity-focused technology evaluation proposals for emerging technologies and/or emerging applications of technology. Each proposal includes two documents: (a) a technology selection recommendation paper and (b) a technology study plan.

The AoA exercise has been broken into 3 parts which you will deliver incrementally over the next three weeks. These parts are:

  1. Technology Selection Paper: each student’s Tech Selection paper is an alternative that will be considered and evaluated as part of the AoA.You will submit this paper twice, first as a draft in the Week 6 conference and then as a final paper submitted for grading via your assignment folder.
  2. Technology Down Select: Your draft Technology Selection paper will be posted in the Week 6 conference. The class will then vote as a whole as to which technologies should move forward as formal “alternatives” for the third and final part of this AoA exercise. At the completion of the Technology Down Select, your instructor will post the selected technologies in the Week 6 conference.
  3. Technology Evaluation Study Plan: using one of the selected technologies from Part 2, each student will design and submit a formal plan for a small scale evaluation study using one of the four approved design approaches (Case Study, Delphi Study, Pilot Implementation, Quasi-Experimental Study). These designs were introduced in the Week 2 conference.

Technology Selection Paper

This assignment is Part 1 of a three-part Analysis of Alternatives evaluation exercise. You will post your draft of this paper no later than Friday of Week 6 in the weekly conference for review and evaluation by your peers. Your final paper should incorporate feedback from your peers and will be submitted for grading via your assignment folder. Follow the instructions posted by your instructor regarding peer review and “best paper” voting.

For this paper, you will construct a recommendation to study and evaluate a specific technology. To support your recommendation you will use information from either your Technology Review #1 or Technology Review #2. By the time you are finished with your recommendation, you will have performed all four stages of the technology scan.


Choose one of your technology reviews (#1 or #2) and rewrite the paper to serve as a background paper for a decision briefing for senior executives. These executives will be meeting to decide which emerging technologies or emerging applications of technologies will become part of one or more security-focused Internal Research & Development projects during the next budget cycle.

Write down your thoughts and ideas about the security implications of this technology using (a) the Five Pillars of Information Assurance and/or (b) the Five Pillars of Information Security. For your paper, you do not need to include all ten “pillars” but you should address a minimum of three. If you are targeting an “A” on your paper, address at least five of the pillars.

Throughout your recommendation (see below), you must keep your focus upon the security posture of this technology and its applications (e.g. products or services built upon this technology or which incorporate this technology).

Note: If you had deficiencies in your survey of the professional literature for your chosen technology, you should correct that problem now. You may also add sources and, if necessary, remove inappropriate sources from your survey. Refer back to the original Detailed Project Description for your selected paper (TR1 or TR2).


This assignment builds upon the technology scan which you performed for your three technology review papers and incorporates the final stage: recommending. Your focus in this paper must be upon identifying and presenting information from authoritative sources which supports a recommendation to select this technology for further study as part of an Internal Research & Development project (IR&D). Your recommendation should be based upon the following (at a minimum):

  • characteristics (features and capabilities) of the technology
  • interactions among the selected technology, people, environments, and processes (how will it be used; use cases if known)
  • risks or vulnerabilities associated with adoption of this technology
  • costs and benefits associated with adoption of this technology

Addressing Costs and Benefits: Do not tell the reader how much the technology will cost. Discuss instead how much it might cost to SECURE this technology against cyber-attacks and/or how difficult it will be to deny criminals and terrorists the use of this technology.


Your paper must provide the reader with an overview of the technology followed by information about the potential security risks and/or benefits of its use (the security posture ).You MUST use information paraphrased from the papers found during your Survey of the Professional Literature (with appropriate in-text citations).

Revise the original paper then add the recommendation section.

Your Technology Selection Paper should be at least three pages in length but no more than five pages (excluding the title page and references page). This means that you may need to shorten your original paper (cut out material) so that you can incorporate the additional information required for this assignment.


Grading Rubric: Consult the grading rubric for specific content and formatting requirements for this assignment.

APA Format: See the resources posted under Content > Course Documents > APA Resources.

Additional Requirements: Your papers must comply with the formatting guidance provided by your instructor. All papers in this course must also comply with APA Style for references and citations.


This week’s readings focus on the ways that our institutions and social structures effect gender identity, gender performance, and even our health in gendered ways. When we combine gender with other identity categories (intersectionality), we find that those institutions and social structures act in different ways.

As a response to this topic, and using direct references to the readings for this week,

  1. Define the relationship between institutions and social structures and gender identity. This should be a couple of sentences that ties together much of the reading for this week — what does it tell us when we look at the reaction of individuals to these institutions in terms of gender?
  2. Explain why you believe Gender and Health is included as a topic in the “Gender and Institutions” reading module.
  3. Discuss how a single individual might encounter several (at least three) of these institutions and gender expectations, and how that person’s gender identity might interact with those institutions and expectations to produce different expressions of that identity or gender performances.
  4. Then,try your hand at gender theory. Judith Butler’s theory of performative gender is designed to explain why a binary, male/female gender category system does not work to explain the variety of human gender identities. Use it to instead explain how a single individual might perform multiple gender identities (hint: you should have listed some of these as part of the answer to #3 above).
  5. This last part is optional: Briefly reflect on what you believe forms the core of an individual’s gender identity (if there is one), considering the variation in gender performance that you have discussed in this post. Some people call themselves “gender fluid.” What do you think this means, and how does it connect to this discussion?

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