Cybercrime is becoming one of the biggest threats facing international business, with one major survey showing that 43% of businesses had been affected by it and the global cost of cybercrime is projected to rise to $6 trillion by 2021. Naturally, with it posing such an intense threat to businesses, project managers cannot just ignore the necessity for security in project management.
For some project managers, especially in IT, project management security might come as second nature to them, but for others, security in project management is something that exists on a different plane to the day-to-day tasks and deliverables of a project. Unfortunately, the days of being able to completely ignore the risks posed to projects by cybercrime are over and all PMs need to start factoring project management security into their risk assessments and possible scenario outcomes.
While not expected to be experts, project managers should still factor security considerations into their work. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some tips for improving your project management security.
- Understanding what security in project management means
To understand security, you need to understand the threats and what cybercriminals are searching for. While ransomware (encrypting files and demanding money to get them back) and major frauds may grab the headlines, what most companies face is something far less obvious. Basically, the crooks want to steal your data and personal and business information. This can then be sold on to other criminals or used to construct a con, such as pretending to be a supplier, using all the right names and terminology, and illicitly diverting payments.
- 2. Including security in important project documents
Awareness can only grow if security is actively discussed and referred to at every level of a project’s preparation and execution. This means mentioning it in all of the relevant documents, such as your project plan, risk assessment, activity list and project charter, to ensure that it is a fully-appreciated element of the project framework.
- Ensuring buy-in from all stakeholders
Managing change is an essential part of making your projects both adaptable and ultimately successful. To make meaningful changes to how your team or organization approaches digital security, it’s necessary to really go after getting buy-in at all levels. If necessary, bring everyone together and explain why it’s necessary to change passwords so often or to highlight different privacy levels for documents.
- Cutting down on low-hanging fruit
The majority of security issues on your projects are easily avoidable. Cybercriminals, logically, go looking for the easiest option first, such as open, unsecured networks, lack of messaging and password encryption or lax firewall protection. A good place to start eliminating these “low-hanging fruit” and becoming a less attractive target is by drawing up a list of simple changes that need to be made and implementing them.
Using Clarizen, a cloud-based project management platform, means that all of your important documents and communications are stored remotely and are safe from any attacks on your organization’s networks. Get in touch with us to try it out today and make a move towards more secure projects.