If you are studying information security at a university, or you have completed your studies and looking to do some projects based on cyber security to build your portfolio, having a look at the possible topics of such projects is a good idea.
It is almost certain that you will be required to complete a project as part of your degree program, or maybe a cybersecurity course you are taking requires you to work on a cyber security project. Therefore, we have tried to list some easy yet challenging and learning-focused ideas for cyber security projects for you to choose from. But first,
Skills needed for cyber security projects
A project provides you an opportunity to demonstrate that you can apply learning in a project environment, which is a skill that can get you hired quickly. There are certain skills that you will need to hone, regardless of which cyber security projects you do. So let’s have a look at these essential skills:
All projects would require you to have documentation skills. As a cyber security professional, you may be required to document policies and procedures or be tasked to evaluate their completeness and effectiveness. Therefore, as part of the project, you will need to learn documentation skills and apply these to document your project. This will require you to produce technical documentation and user manuals as part of the project.
Most cyber security projects will involve some coding in a programming language that you will use to detect vulnerabilities, analyze malware or build controls for risk remediation. Coding skills can really help advance the careers of mid-level cyber security professionals. Therefore, learning as part of cyber security projects will be very useful. At least master one programming language of your choice.
One of the domains of cyber security is ensuring confidentiality. Many projects focus on cryptography because it is used to secure confidential information. To learn cryptography, you need to have a practical understanding of cryptographic algorithms and how these can be used to protect confidential and sensitive information.
Cyber security professionals also work to ensure the network’s security, including hardware and software network protocols and devices, to ensure that only authorized traffic passes through. Therefore, it is an important skill to learn as part of cyber security projects.
Cyber security profession is all about understanding risks, evaluating control against these risks, and implementing information security controls to mitigate and plug security vulnerabilities. Therefore, identifying threats and testing against vulnerabilities, and finally being able to make recommendations to patch the vulnerabilities, is a core skill that you should try to learn as part of cyber security projects.
Best Cyber Security Projects in 2023
Here are a few top cyber security projects you might consider for your cyber security requirements. Some of these projects are easier, whereas some may require coding or other specialized skills like cryptography. We will start with the easier ones:
Cyber Security Tools Guide
One of the easiest cyber security projects that will help you gain an understanding of the diverse range of tools used for securing systems. The project will also help build your technical writing skills. Some of the categories of tools you may like to discuss as part of your project are Encryption tools, password managers, antivirus tools, penetration testing software, network monitoring tools, vulnerability management tools, etc.
Password strength tester
This is one of the easier projects. Password strength is one of the basic cyber security controls. You can create a project that tests password strength according to best practices. You can also include the datasets of leaked passwords, and the application can test against these leaked passwords, too, and warn the users.
Writing a Cyber Security Policy
Information security policies are technical documents that set an organization’s overall security governance structure. You will learn across the spectrum of information security domains. This is a good project for those who are good at documentation skills. The security policy will be written from scratch and outline the governance level statements to safeguard entity assets and how the controls will be used to neutralize the risks and vulnerabilities.
Analysis of recent cybersecurity attacks
Another of the easier cyber security projects for those with good technical writing and research skills is an analysis of a recent and big cyber attack. Examples may be state-sponsored and persistent actor compromise of systems and big ransomware cases.
You can discuss the context of the attack, the mode of attack, the security posture of the entity at the time of the attack, and the target’s response when the attack was set in motion. The report may also include lessons learned section.
You can create a log analyzer in which logged events generated by a system are filtered and analyzed based on conditions. This will help the management look at exceptional events and unfold how an event happened in the systems.
Caesar Cipher Decrypter
One of the earliest known encryption algorithms is Caesar Cipher. This cyber security project involves creating software that decrypts encrypted data using Caseasr Cipher. This is a beginner-friendly project for cyber security graduates, but you would need expertise in programming language and a good understanding of encryption.
A keylogger is a software that steals people’s credentials when they type in. You can create a keylogging software and record every keystroke that is typed. The other advanced variations of the project may include developing detection software for keylogger or developing software to log keystrokes on a virtual keyboard.
This is a popular one that is well-suited for you if you are interested in networking. This project is related to network traffic analysis, where you will create software that monitors and tracks incoming and outgoing traffic from a network perimeter. You may use any programming language.
For example, Java and Python have powerful network libraries that will help you analyze data packets. The tool also generates a report after packet analysis with highlighted anomalies and possible vulnerabilities detected by the packet sniffing tool you will develop.
Another of the popular cyber security projects is an image encrypted. Just like text, images can also be encrypted. You can use encryption algorithms like AES, RSA or DES. As an advanced option, you may create a web-based version that also ensures the encryption of transferred images while in transit. It is a good project if you want to show and get validated for your cryptography knowledge.
Web Application Firewall
This is one of the best projects for cyber security that will inspect and filter inbound HTTP traffic to a web-based application from the internet. This project will demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of web application security.
This may be considered among advanced cyber security projects. Data retrieval is critical as part of an incident response to a cyber security incident, as malware may corrupt or encrypt the user data. As part of the project, you can focus on known ransomware and practical data retrieval steps for that ransomware-compromised system. The project may also include a plan to use data recovery tools to recover corrupted or deleted data.
As you can see, projects on cyber security can be on various levels. You should build your capacity and expertise on at least one general-purpose programming language, and then you will have more options.