The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper



Degree Name

Information Assurance: M.S.


Information Assurance and Information Systems


Herberger School of Business

First Advisor

Jieyu Wang

Second Advisor

Erich Rice

Third Advisor

Susantha Herath

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Cybersecurity, Risk Management, Professional Services, Information Technology, Client Trust, Vulnerabilities


Professional services organizations face growing risks related to cybersecurity in the connected digital world of today, which could seriously jeopardize their business operations and clientele. To minimize evolving cyber risks, professional services organizations must implement strong cybersecurity safeguards. This study highlights the significance of taking proactive actions in this regard. This study establishes the main obstacles that professional services organizations must overcome through an exhaustive examination of the literature and an analysis of cybersecurity risks such as ransomware, malware, phishing, and social engineering.

Proactive cybersecurity measures are suggested by the research, such as team collaboration, clear client communication, and strategic alignment with business objectives. The influence of improved cybersecurity measures on client trust and the general integrity of professional services organizations is also examined in this study. Results show that increasing cybersecurity protocols is positively correlated with increased client trust, underscoring the significance of cybersecurity as a strategic enabler.

The study's conclusion emphasizes the necessity of adopting cutting-edge technologies to improve threat detection and response capabilities, as well as ongoing cybersecurity practice adaption to handle new threats. In summary, this paper is a call to action for professional services organizations to include cybersecurity into their organizational culture to protect confidential data and build client confidence in an ever-more complicated digital landscape.


I would like to take a moment to thank God for giving me everything I have ever desired. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to my family, especially my mother, whose steadfast support and many sacrifices have paved the way for my achievements. I am also grateful to my fiancée, whose steadfast encouragement and prayers helped propel me on my path to success. I likewise owe a great deal to my grandparents, who selflessly came back from Canada to raise and support me and my family after my father passed away. Finally, I want to express my gratitude to all my wonderful teachers and committee members, especially Professor Wang, whose advice and help were crucial to finishing my Starred Paper on time.