Category: COVID-19

How to Adjust Business Continuity Plans for COVID-19

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Published 06/18/2020

Your business continuity planning (BCP) and disaster recovery (DR) and response plans may not suffice for the COVID-19 pandemic—or for any pandemic. Let’s face it: Many organizations found themselves woefully unprepared to deal with the effects of the novel coronavirus’s rapid, devastating spread. Many are still struggling. One reason for their problems: They had not included pandemic planning in their BCP/DR planning process, and so had no back-up plan to deal with a widespread, serious health care emergency. As a result, many were unprepared for public health and business operations disruptions including Absenteeism due to illness of employees or their family members Increases in sick leave payments A rapid shift to a telecommuting business model Losses of service providers and…

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5 Strategies to Mitigate Business Risk During Coronavirus

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Published 05/28/2020

Business risk in the United States may be higher during the novel coronavirus pandemic than at any time in our generation, making risk management a must. What are your strategies for risk mitigation—not only in your enterprise but up and down your supply chain—amidst COVID-19 disease outbreaks? Business interruption is a growing concern right now.  The Risks Are High A recent Pew Research Center report finds that 43 percent of small businesses are closed, at least temporarily, because of pandemic risk. And among the U.S. businesses with paid employees, 40 percent are in high-risk industries, the report states. These enterprises, in particular, are more likely to face business continuity issues including supply chain disruptions, absenteeism, cybersecurity breaches, and other potential…

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Cybersecurity Hygiene Best Practices During COVID-19 and Beyond

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Published 05/26/2020

As cybercriminals continue to use the novel coronavirus pandemic to launch cybercrime scams and cyber attacks on teleworking applications, virtual private networks (VPN), and other technologies associated with remote work, many organizations find themselves in crisis mode, as well. Your enterprise may be scrambling daily to protect your sensitive data, reduce the likelihood of data breach, and guard against malware and ransomware attacks as well as other cyber threats. The situation is dire and urgent. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on April 8 issued a joint warning about the increased risk of a security breach that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about. The…

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COVID-19: Importance of Ethical Leadership During a Crisis

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Published 05/21/2020

Change is hard—and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s happening at breakneck speed. Your employees and business partners need to know now, more than ever before, that they can trust you to be honest and transparent with them. This is the essence of ethical leadership. We’re standing on shaky ground as the virus sweeps through our nation and upends our economy. People are losing their jobs, their health insurance, and perhaps even their savings. Some are losing loved ones to the novel coronavirus or worried that they, or others, will fall ill. Buffeted on all sides by calamity, your people need your steady hand. They need you to not only show your trustworthiness with reassuring words and honest assessments of where…

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COVID-19: User Access Management Best Practices

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Published 05/20/2020

As cybercriminals step up their efforts during the COVID-19 crisis to infiltrate your information systems, identity and access management (IAM) processes are more important for cybersecurity than ever. Aimed at preventing data breaches and unauthorized access to your systems, IAM becomes more critical as more of your employees perform their work from home. The firewalls that protected your system perimeter won’t suffice any longer, because there is no perimeter. Users are dispersed, and user accounts and your business applications are in the cloud. Identity and access management can be a complex process, especially if yours is a larger organization. But it’s a valuable component of risk management and required by many compliance frameworks. User access management should be a part…

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Coronavirus-Themed Cyberattacks To Watch Out For

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Published 05/06/2020

The novel coronavirus isn’t the only plague affecting businesses. Cyberattacks are spreading, too, as malicious actors take advantage of interest in COVID-19 news and coronavirus fears to trick people into clicking on phony links and attachments in social engineering and phishing scams. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned of a surge in cybercrime attempts in an April 8 joint statement. According to the agencies, these hackers’ phishing emails and social media posts purport to offer information about the virus—but the links and attachments they contain, when opened, install malware or ransomware. Malicious actors aim to gain access to systems and information or even to…

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7 Pandemic Risk Management Tips to Implement Now

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Published 05/04/2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, not only disrupting health and life but also business continuity up and down the supply chain, economic and cyber risk have taken on pandemic proportions, as well. Many enterprises are struggling just to keep essential services functioning as they send employees home to work with new, hastily procured technologies. At the same time, they’re battling a surge in cybercrime by threat actors seeking to take advantage of the chaos. Risk management right now can feel, to these organizations, like a frantic game of whack-a-mole: mitigate one risk, and another pops up. Add in the wild fluctuations in financial markets the pandemic has caused, and organizations in almost every sector—health care, banking, education, and more—find…

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What Compliance Lessons Can We Learn From Past Pandemics?

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Published 04/29/2020

COVID-19 has us reeling from health, social, and economic shocks, but this isn’t our first global crisis. It is, however, the first in which cybercrime plays a starring role. The world has faced several pandemics in the past 100 years—several influenza pandemics including swine flu (H1N1) and Avian, or bird, flu, and HIV/AIDS—as well as economic depression and a number of recessions. Life and business tend to suffer disruptions during crises, but at least one thing holds true: the need to comply with laws, regulations, and industry standards. This time, though, compliance is different. Regulations addressing cybersecurity and data privacy are now in the mix, and the rapid shift to work-at-home, telemedicine, and digitization of operational and consumer services have…

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COVID-19 Compliance Considerations for Remote Employees

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Published 04/17/2020

If the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused your enterprise to make a sudden, rapid switch from an on-premises-centered business model to a diverse, dispersed network of ad-hoc home offices, you may have let security and privacy measures slide a bit. Or perhaps cybersecurity has lapsed of its own accord while you’ve focused on matters that seem more urgent, such as getting laptops and mobile phones for your personnel and setting up teleconferencing and other work-at-home technologies. The bad news is, cybercriminals are standing by to slip into any holes you might leave open. If you’re breached, don’t expect regulators to look the other way: With the exception of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in very specific…

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COVID-19: Response and Preparedness through the lens of Risk Management

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Published 03/23/2020

Responding to a New, Global Threat The old adage warns “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The saying becomes even more pointed for threats that, unfortunately, do not yet have a cure. But the lessons of risk management offer a path forward, where prevention takes the form of avoiding, mitigating or reducing risks. As people and organizations confront COVID-19, the novel threat has inspired an array of new strategies to combat the pandemic. Social distancing, self-isolation, sheltering in place—efforts to stop the COVID-19’s spread leverage risk management principles to fight a public health threat. Applying Risk Management Principles During the COVID-19 Pandemic Some businesses have mature risk management programs and apply its principles to any new…

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