Business Continuity: CIOs Pandemic Readiness Plan

11 MAR 2020 | JOSHUA KNIGHT

Business continuity management is well underway at most organisations. Whether COVID-19 Coronavirus officially becomes a pandemic or not, critical planning and policy updates are needed. Leaders universally agree health and safety must be their top priority, taking all precautions to keep staff, families and colleagues safe. In many cases, requesting staff to work from home.

COVID-19 will have prolonged effects on the continuity of operations, modes of working, and growth patterns. Organisations face challenges with business operations as employees are stranded in various locations with uncertain return dates. And if you didn’t have enough to worry about, cyber threats are on the rise.

It’s common for threat actors to take advantage of emergencies like COVID-19 and the ongoing global outbreak. Unfortunately, the leaders attempting to manage the crisis need to be aware of this increased risk as they are the primary targets for such cyber-attacks. The most probable method of dissemination, a phishing campaign, threat actors mix malware lures among the legitimate information that promise to provide Coronavirus safety measures.

CIOs need to respond to the crisis with a comprehensive action plan to increase resilience against future disruptions and prepare for rebound and growth. CIOs need to:

Short-term

  • Assess risks and treatment plans that support crisis objectives, minimising the impact of disruption.
  • Evaluate and define who can and cannot work remotely.
  • Source interim digital collaboration tools to enable employees to work remotely and guarantee security controls are in place
  • Provide vital business and government leaders with defence-grade mobility apps.

Mid-term

  • Continually assess risks and refine risk treatment plans that minimise the likelihood of disruption.
  • Perform Business Impact Analysis that helps leadership identify critical processes, their dependencies and recovery requirements
  • Conduct business continuity tests and audit cybersecurity preparedness.
  • Perform penetration testing on existing systems, proactively correcting identified weaknesses.
  • Be prepared with incident response and forensic services, lowering the risk of pandemic-related cybersecurity attacks.

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