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Because companies are often segmented into departments based on discipline, it’s easy to assume that the IT department bears sole responsibility for cyber safety on a company-wide scale. Unfortunately, IT specialists aren’t the only ones logging into systems and utilizing networks. Every employee bears some level of responsibility for cyber security in this day and age. Even if you’re not specifically involved in IT project management, your behavior or lack of knowledge could increase the risk for hacking if you’re not aware and informed. This is especially important since an estimated 40% of recorded crimes are now attributed to cyber-crime.

As a project manager, you should also take responsibility for how your team members behave in relation to cyber safety. In other words, cyber security should be within your purview. From integrating security at every level to training employees, here are a few things every project manager should know about cyber security.

Assess Potential Risks

In managing a project, there are a variety of risks you could face, particularly in regard to password protection, communications and so on. Any time information is stored or shared, there is potential for breach.

As a project manager, you must work with IT specialists to assess potential risks at the outset of any project so that you can mitigate known and suspected risk factors. This could include implementing appropriate software solutions, specifying authorizations to access data, setting up 2-step verification processes, banning the use of personal devices for work purposes (or installing mandatory security software), offering training to team members and creating backups.

Once you understand the risks you could face when it comes to cyber security, you can begin to create an appropriate plan to mitigate risk factors and ensure the safety of confidential data.

Integrate Security at Every Level

You can reasonably rely on software to incorporate some level of security, but this might not be enough to protect your sensitive data. If security is a top priority, you need to make sure you integrate and maintain security at every level, whether you limit access to data to only authorized parties, encrypt files and communications or upgrade networks periodically to enhance safety features.

Compartmentalize Data

Password protection provides the most basic form of security against intrusion by unwanted parties, and stolen credentials are the primary means of breaking through otherwise robust defenses. What does this mean for project managers? Secure password policies are a must, and should include the creation of strong passwords, frequent password updates, the use of 2-step verification and permissions that allow only authorized users to access certain data.

Secure Communications

In planning for secure communication throughout a project, it’s important to adhere to company security policies, as well as integrate client security preferences. Project managers should also consider whether further safety measures are advisable, depending on the nature of the data being shared. Password protection, encryption and clear policies regarding the sharing of information can all help to keep communication secure and reduce risks for breach.

Train Employees

Whether you’re involved in IT project management or you’re responsible for other types of projects, it is imperative to ensure that all team members are aware of risks and their own responsibilities when it comes to security. With proper training and understanding of how Clarizen and other software solutions work, every team member can effectively act as the first line of defense against possible intrusion.