Business preparedness in a time of pandemic

Actions to consider during a pandemic

There was a time when the word “virus” mostly occupied our minds due to the threat of malware, and cyber crime in general.

Now, with a global pandemic paralyzing much of our business and social lives, the word virus instantly, and naturally, directs our thoughts to the Coronavirus and Covid-19.

There’s no doubt that the devastating consequences of the pandemic will have a major impact on society, and the world’s economy as a whole, for a long-time to come.  But, as business leaders, are we sufficiently prepared and ready to tackle some of the threats posed by the knock-on effects of the pandemic?

Two major areas of concern, that are currently occupying us at VirtueSpark are whether businesses, big or small, are sufficiently prepared to maintain business continuity; and, also, whether these businesses are safe and secure from what we see as an alarming growth in cyber crime with criminals seeking to cash-in on the vulnerabilities posed by the pandemic.

It was only a few months ago, that the coronavirus appeared to be restricted to an area of China, and there’s no doubt that the subsequent tsunami-sweep of the pandemic has caught us all off guard.  Many businesses did not have plans in place to cope with this kind of crises and the effect that it would have on their workforce, and across the entire enterprise and the supply chain.

At the same time, unscrupulous opportunists are seizing on the severity of the situation and masquerading as legitimate sources of information to scam people and organizations for money. According to web security analysts, there has been a significant rise in the number of scam sites on the internet. One example was of a global map purportedly charting the number of cases in countries around the world but which, when clicked, activated a malware program.

So, what can we do as business leaders to help prepare and protect our organizations from the coronavirus fall-out and from fraudsters? Here are some suggestions:

Review crisis and risk management plans

Firstly, and immediately, review your crises and risk management plans, particularly with a focus on the impact of pandemic. If these plans are either not in place, or are not sufficiently robust… get help!

Relieve mental pressure

Focus on the well-being of employees. The situation is mental pressure for everyone. Be patient! Also, focus on home-working and utilizing digitization, such as video networking. But ensure that you use a reputable online networking service in order to protect the security of your data and systems.

Evaluate opportunities

Reach out to your suppliers and customers. Firstly, think of reaching your customers in different ways, possibly by providing the service through different means. For example many shops and outlets are now using the postal and courier services to delivery their products.
Make sure that you align with your suppliers. They are in a similar situation as you are. 

Consider impact of tactical decisions

Consider the long-term impact of tactical decisions. Although there is a need to act tactically, you will also need to take time out to think strategically and consider the long-terms implications of such actions. For instance, investments made in infrastructure and systems now will have an impact on the organization’s operations at least on a mid-term scope.

Address cyber risks

Remote work, and the increased demand for information on the Coronavirus, has led to a significant increase in cyber attacks. For most organizations, emloyees’ home networks are currently the weakest link in cyber defence. Make sure you assess and mitigate the risks of working at home and that you support your employees with awareness sessions and solutions to secure your communication and transactions.  

Ensure business sustainability

Invest efforts in “stay in business,” rather than focusing on growth at this time.

And please remember, we’re here to help.

VirtueSpark provides sophisticated software and consultancy for all aspects of governance, compliance and integrated risk management. Our key services include:

For a free demonstration please visit our website