IT Project Management: Why include Cyber Security from the Start

IT Project Management: Why include Cyber Security from the Start

Cybersecurity risks continue to grow each year and are a billion dollar industry.  Project Managers that include cybersecurity throughout the project lifecycle can save their organization money, time, and better align projects to the overall cybersecurity strategy of the organization.  When an organizations' system is compromised they can lose productivity, shut-down operations, erode consumer confidence, and cost millions to repair the damage.  Hacks over the past few years to include Saudi Aramco, Target, and Sony, highlight that this is a global issue.
    Include cybersecurity from the initiating phase (Shutterstock)

    Cost Savings

    Cybersecurity as often bolted on to projects after the fact and this can be expensive and leave vulnerabilities.  Including cybersecurity experts from the inception of your project ensures that source coding, software, and hardware are scrutinized to meet the organizations' security standards from the beginning.  When Project Managers bring cybersecurity into the project late in the planning phase or the execution phase, it often drives costs up.  The security team may be required hardware or software hardening or may not allow certain programs or hardware on the network.  If hardware or software is already purchased there may be sunk costs that cannot be recouped. 

    Cost Savings (Shutterstock)

      Time Savings

      Integrating cybersecurity into your project from the initiating phase allows for a holistic approach to IT. When cybersecurity members are brought in late into the project cycle, the project plan may require rework. Rework is wasteful and it is better to include cybersecurity experts from the start. Staff time once used can never be regained, time is a finite resource.  Telling your boss that you have to slip your project timeline to the right because you didn't include cyber security, is never pleasant.

      Staff Time is your Most Limited Resource (Shutterstock)
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      Cyber Security Strategy

      The cybersecurity team should have an overall strategy for the organization. Integrating your IT project early will ensure that it is aligned with the vision.  The top executives need to be aware of potential vulnerabilities that a new IT project is exposing and accept the risk to the organization.  As a project manager, you need to add cybersecurity milestones to your project plan. 
      • Strategic Alignment is Critical (Shutterstock)


        Including cybersecurity throughout your project will save your organization money and time.  In addition, IT projects will be aligned with the business and cybersecurity strategies to protect the data that is valuable to your organization.  It is never too early to integrate your cybersecurity team into your project team.  By including cybersecurity early, you will build your reputation as a farsighted and successful project manager.  Today's organizations realize the cost of not including cybersecurity and discovering a vulnerability after the project is in production can cost your organization millions.


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