Cyber security has been a grave matter of global concern for businesses over the last few years. Since businesses have mostly gone online after the digital transformation, there is a bigger emphasis on securing online resources and protecting data from infiltrators.
The effort businesses put into protecting their data increases with every passing year. Statistics achieved through research at Gartner suggested that investments toward cyber security will reach a staggering $133.7 billion at the end of 2022.
Business owners, however, shouldn’t be the only ones focusing on cyber security and investing in the cause. All employees and team members should also share this responsibility and ensure that the threats and trends of the industry are monitored and reduced in a proper manner. Project managers should especially pay more attention to security threats and trends and should look to minimize them as much as they can.
In this article we look at some of the most important cyber security essentials that project managers should be aware of online. A project manager has to deal with a number of essential parts of project implementation and planning. As part of their job, they’re also exposed to threat actors with malicious intentions. Hence, it is only justified that they improve the quality of their cyber security measures where they can.
Integrate Security across all Stages
For a project to succeed without any malicious cyber security attack or hindrance, it is necessary for project managers to outline and integrate security measures across all stages of the project lifecycle. The project lifecycle consists of a number of stages, and by integrating security schedules on all checkpoints, businesses can ensure optimal results.
· Define project security requirements: Project managers today are responsible for not only identifying but documenting and managing the needs and requirements of different clients. Projects can only be fulfilled and completed in time when these needs are properly understood, and action is taken toward the implementation of requirements. During this planning phase, project managers should also write down and understand the security requirements of the project. These security requirements will help project managers understand some of the steps they have to take at different stages of the process.
· The Technical Stage: The project manager usually sits down with all team members working on a project to determine the cycle that they should follow and the items they should prioritize. These priorities are ranked to give employees and team members an understanding of what’s more important and what should be prioritized before anything else. Once these priorities are determined, project managers should also highlight and talk about the importance of security in the organization. Security across the digital sphere today is just as important as any other measure, and steps should be taken to implement it.
· Resources: Project managers should also study resources to prepare an outline for a security plan. The security outline should include measures to be taken to uphold strict cyber security standards across the project lifecycle.
· Final estimates: Finally, the project planning phase should note down specific estimates on how the project is expected to phase out and the cost/time estimates that the project manager can predict for completion.
It is the project managers’ responsibility to ensure that all of their team members are trained in cyber security measures as well. The team members should know of the major risk points facing the organization and should also be capable of taking a hands-on approach than a reactive one.
· Security training should be incorporated into the list of onboarding activities. Project managers should put every new team member through strict protocols that require them to train for security processes before they can be hired. Managers should talk about security in the greater context.
· Security policies should be updated and standardized. Team members should be made accustomed to using a specific security policy at the workplace. The security policy should include a set of rules that describes activities to be performed in the workplace. The policy should direct VPN usage, internal communication patterns and authentication measures.
· Finally, a learning management system should be incorporated for employee learning and competency. A digital learning system can be developed to keep track of these practices.
Security Threats to Be Aware of
Cyber security is all about minimizing the risk of security problems online and always staying ahead of the threats businesses face online. Half of this approach is focused on the type of threat in play, which can be done through an understanding of these common security threats:
1. Cloud Vulnerability: Cloud vulnerability was the biggest cyber security challenge faced by organizations in 2019 and is expected to remain a potent force for years to come. This is because enterprises are storing sensitive data on the cloud, without any extensive security measures.
2. AI Fuzzing: AI fuzzing is a tool that integrates with traditional artificial intelligence to offer a hacking tool that can detect all vulnerabilities inside a system. While AI fuzzing is used by in-house teams to detect problems in their security protocols, once in the wrong hands, it can also be used by threat actors and cybercriminals to target organizations.
3. Social Engineering Attacks: Social engineering attacks such as phishing have been around for ages and have only become even more potent and dangerous. These attacks trick victims into surrendering sensitive information like company login details and card info. While project managers have enhanced email security to block email phishing attacks, threat actors have come up with sophisticated kits to find a way through.
Cyber security is an ever-changing field, but project managers looking to successfully start and complete projects should always keep an eye on the trends. The essentials mentioned in this article will go a long way toward amping up your security measures.