Cyber security tips for project managers

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The threat of cyber issues is a very real one and it is growing. Information security is becoming even more important and is becoming an important feature of any project. When you make big changes to your project, you risk the introduction of additional security vulnerabilities that were not available before. These are things that a project manager needs to address in order to ensure that there are no major breaches.

Here are some simple tips to help you focus on the information security of your projects, because this is something that your project management training course may not have covered in enough detail.

Identify, record and address any information security requirements of the project

For the success of any project, the project manager needs to do everything necessary to identify the security requirements of a project from the start to the finish. These need to be put in place and when aspects of the project change, checked to ensure they change as well. 

If these requirements are not addressed promptly enough, they may have an impact on the project as it progresses. Ensure that checking your information security is a scheduled part of your work and forms an ongoing process.

Security must be achievable, measurable and managed

Project security goals must be achievable and have objectives that are measurable and integrated within any project plan that is made. A good way of achieving the right level of engagement is to ensure that key milestones to the project are included with your project plan. This will serve to remind you when you should be looking at your security and checking that you are still on track. 

Get advice from professionals and create a project security role

Add a role for project security within your project and give one person the responsibility for ensuring that security is delivered. In the case of larger projects, this could well end up being a full-time role all on its own and will require the relevant team member to work with the project manager advising them about security requirements as the project continues. In many ways the definition of project management is exactly this. Use the resources you do have but accept that you might need to get an external expert in for some things.

Normally it would be the responsibility of the project manager to mitigate low probability / impact threats but someone who is more of an expert in the subject matter is better suited for handling anything more significant than that. It may well be that there is already someone within the company who has the relevant skills, and these can be utilised, if not then it can be a good idea to get an external expert in to assist. 

Test it

It really is a good idea to ensure that any security elements you put in place are subjected to the relevant testing and where appropriate certification. There are external companies that can assist you with this. Testing can take up a lot of time and can be somewhat costly, but it is vital if you want to ensure the security of your project.