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Executive Communications Briefing: Update on Coronavirus Business Continuity Strategies

March 13, 2020 | Executive Communications | Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) | By Jake Williams, IANS Faculty

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Right now, there are tons of experts saying where this coronavirus situation is heading and providing the latest updates on the outbreak. The updates are fast and furious, and we’re all getting them. But that’s not what this webcast is about. Instead, IANS Faculty Jake Williams provides a deep dive into three key issues organizations have to think about as they respond to the pandemic:

1. Businesses Continuity Planning: Businesses have similar continuity strategies, which means they have similar blind spots. A few issues they commonly miss include:

  • a) Documenting core functions and cross-training to avoid gaps. If you only have one or two workers capable of handling a process, you’re at risk and need to aggressively cross train.

  • b) Identifying if third-party vendors have a back-up plan if they’re hit hard by COVID-19: First, encourage your vendors to develop a plan. Second, shift into rapid procurement mode if they don’t have a plan. Third, obtain credentials so you can manage third-party systems yourself if your vendor lets you down.

  • c) Prepare for significant performance degradation as businesses, schools and other organizations go remote and depend on the same vendors.

2. Phishing & Malware: Attackers are ramping up phishing volume based on COVID-19:

  • a) Communicate how you will send updates about COVID-19 and company policies, and stick to that format so your users are less likely to click on phishing messages.

  • b) Avoid COVID-related phishing test campaigns -- they create excessive fear and can lead to users avoiding legitimate COVID-19 materials.

  • c) Be on the lookout for false advertisements for COVID-19 test kits that are being used to get malware onto user machines and build security awareness.

  • d) Don’t let security monitoring and administration slip: Hacking groups and nation-state actors will use this as an opportunity to target IP.

3. Privacy and Security for Remote Workers: When people are at home, they tend to let best practices slip. Counter this by:

  • a) Clarifying usage policies and expectations for corporate device and service use.

  • b) Providing alternative tools for communication and file sharing so users don’t revert to personal apps.

  • c) Look for vendors that are providing flexible licensing options to help you scale capacity for VPN, VDI and collaboration services.

  • d) Make sure users handling PII have corporate devices that let you track and audit data workflows. These users don’t normally work from home and need training and tools to ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

Jake goes into detail on all these issues, including a few vendor recommendations and warnings, and much more in the webinar. You can listen to it at the link above to get his full insights.

Any views or opinions presented in this document are solely those of the Faculty and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of IANS. Although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in our written reports, no liability can be accepted by IANS or our Faculty members for the results of any actions taken by the client in connection with such information, opinions, or advice.