What is the role of a Project Manger in Cyber Security?

Cyber Security Project Manger

Job Title – Cyber Security Project Manager

Project management is normally thought of in relation to building or construction projects, given the complexity of the overall process, and the obvious need for someone to coordinate all the various elements of the project.

This is far from the truth however. Project management is used in virtually all businesses and companies to some degree, big or small, and often has different job titles, but the nature of the work is essentially the same.

Description / Responsibilities

The role of a Cyber Security Project Manager has become increasingly important and relevant in all areas of industry and government, and especially in small businesses.

Cyber Security used to be thought of as something that could be left to the tech guys, but the nature and scale of cybercrime and the threat it represents to everyone has made people rethink this quite seriously.

Most companies and organizations will have a specific security operations center that oversees the potential risk of cybercrime to their business, where these threats come from, how best to contain or minimize them and what to do in the event of a cyber breach in terms of containment and rebuilding.

A cyber security operations center will have a number of specific individuals tasked with certain responsibilities, and will involve different elements of the company or business in terms of risk analysis assessment and cyber security prevention.

All of this is project management and a Cyber Security Project Manager will be the person who has overall responsibility for making sure that this work is initiated, implemented and consistently maintained to the highest security level.

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Below is a list of some of the specific responsibilities that the lead inside the security center is likely to oversee, and be expected to carry through with his specific team of project management staff.

  • Initiate a complete risk analysis of threats to the company organization, both internal and external.
  • Identify which of these threats realistically need to be managed in some way, and which can be safely ignored.
  • Design some type of cyber security plan that specifies how these risks are managed and by whom, and in what way.
  • Make sure this plan can be continually updated and monitored, and any technical flaws seen and corrected in real time, on a 24/7 basis.
  • Be specific about costs –  budgets are always under pressure within a company, the project management team needs to make sure that budgets are stable and realistic to provide funding forever is necessary to maintain this security of the business.
  • Be responsible for making sure that training is available and mandatory for all staff regarding cyber security, and any specific threats that are likely to pertain to the business itself
  • Have a specific team responsible for dealing with any type of data breach – normally known as an Incident Response Team.
  • Make sure the Incident Response Team has a plan in place for dealing with any data breach, and that such plan is thoroughly tested as many times as needed to make sure everyone is fully compliant with it.
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, critical thinking and skills and problems holding skills.

Cyber Security Project Manger – Qualification / Experience

Probably the most important element for anyone wanting to enter Cyber Security Project Management is experience in project management itself.

In additional, a candidate will be expected to have good grounding in all the above areas, and a thorough understanding of IT systems and architecture and commonly used software packages in the relevant industry.

The more qualifications a candidate has in technology, the more this will help them in the role.

This can include a bachelors degree in any type of computer science or computer related subject, as well as any certifications in cybersecurity, networking, data analytics or data science, penetration testing, etc.

Salary / Benefits

Skills in this field are highly transferable and with the growing threat of cybercrime, suitable applicants are highly sought after and normally well paid.

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Online job agencies estimate that salary range should be somewhere between $95,000 and $200,000., as well as a significant benefits package.

Salaries can vary as companies will sometimes define the role of project management differently in terms of roles and responsibilities within the business.

Hours / Shift Work

Cyber Security Project Management is no different to other types of project management in that the hours can be long and stress levels can be unforgiving at times.

The nature of cyber security is that it operates 24/7, and the nature of cyber incidents mean that response times often need to be very quick, and this can be reflected in the work hours of the project management team.

Most of this is understood by people who work in the industry, but it is important that any employment contract specifies what the actual hours are, whether shift work is involved or not and what compensation if any is offered by way of overtime or extra hours payment.