Digital security is arguably the most pressing issue facing the business world of today. It seems stories of security breaches are never far away from the mainstream media, and the need for sufficient security protection is now greater than ever. Through the sharing of data across various online channels, vital documents can be accessed by those without permission and valuable information can be leaked. For any project manager in this day and age, a coherent digital security strategy must be incorporated into any project in order for it to succeed.
Incidents such as the Heartbleed bug’s attacks on internet passwords have caused fresh concern over whether the major industries have enough prevention strategies in place. There is a belief that while the skill and persistence of criminals has developed dramatically over the last few years, internet security has been relatively stagnant. As a result, we have seen digital security strategies evolve rapidly among project managers in order to ensure their data remains safe.
Not doing so has proven costly for some of the most prominent CEOs in the world. Gregg Steinhafel, CEO of the multi-billion dollar US retailer Target, learnt this the hard way. It was coming up to Christmas 2013, and Target was bracing itself for another busy period, but the store’s digital security was breached in dramatic fashion. Hackers got into Target’s main network and accessed the credit and debit card details of around 40 million people.
Without a suitable contingency plan, Target remained as sitting ducks for cyber criminals. Less than a month later, hackers managed to gain access to the personal details – names, phone numbers, emails and addresses – of around 70 million customers. The sheer scale of the digital security breach was unprecedented and was a serious wake up call for businesses all over the world. The fact that there was such a short period of time between the two breaches highlighted just how unprepared people were. If this was happening at the top, how on earth were smaller companies meant to protect themselves?
Since then, companies have taken the issue of digital security extremely seriously. When embarking on a project, managers must ensure that first and foremost their data is protected to a suitable standard. Documents and information must be tightly guarded against intrusion, but should a breach occur there should be measures in place that guarantee that the situation is resolved swiftly and securely. Without doing so, it is inevitable that reputations will be damaged, and client bases will be lost due to dwindling trust in the competence of the team in charge of the project.
The importance of being up to date with current digital security methods is crucial if project managers wish to guarantee the safety of their information. Hackers are always aiming to be one step ahead of new systems and as a result the way we approach digital security is constantly changing. Many now operate in well-organised, well-funded criminal organisations that are able to select targets after months of research into their digital protocol.
It is no longer acceptable to treat digital security as a secondary priority. Project managers need to ensure they are trained to deal with these very real problems sufficiently, or they could risk serious consequences to both the project and their reputation. For more information the way digital security should be approached and which methodologies are suited to handling these potential problems, contact us today. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and it is important you don’t get left behind.