Voices on Project Management

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Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

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Wanda Curlee

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Hackers: A Safety Issue

Hackers: A Safety Issue

By Wanda Curlee

Recently, my doctor’s office was attacked with ransomware—potentially causing a major safety issue.

Think about it: What happens if you have a life-threatening illness? All the medical records, including any tests and results, are no longer available. How can the doctor treat or even advise patients without that information?

For instance, a relative of mine recently had blood clots. To diagnose the issue, doctors performed a special blood test with the results delivered to the doctor within an hour. Had the doctor’s office been hit with ransomware, the results would have been lost—and there would’ve been a high probability of death.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the number of devices that are now connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) heighten the risk of hacking—and the potential devastating effects.

So, how does this affect project management professionals? Project managers must understand that hackers are a reality and they must ensure that their team has the necessary training.

Program managers should establish the security protocols for all projects in the program. Each project will determine the security within the bounds of the program’s processes.

At times, the program manager may have to determine if security needs to be linked between the various projects. The program manager would need to monitor all protocols and make sure that program-level personnel coordinate the activities between the projects.

How does this affect the portfolio manager?

The portfolio manager needs to understand the company’s industry, the strategy objectives and the project/program landscape. At times, the portfolio manager may even have to present safety precautions as it relates to the industry’s IoT and AI to senior executives. By presenting the information, senior executives may alter a strategy or advise the portfolio manager to include security for IoT and AI in business cases.

And remember: In the future, project management tools may include IoT and AI. Can you imagine if a hacker were able to adjust settings, wipe out projects or use ransomware to block all access to project information that’s stored in the cloud?

This could be devastating. Let’s face it—a company without projects is a dead or dying company!

How are you ensuring hackers don’t devastate your projects or those of your customers?

Posted by Wanda Curlee on: June 12, 2017 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (22)
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