The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled Halfaker and many other businesses into unprecedented territory and is testing the resolve of every organization’s disaster recovery and business continuity plans. In addition to standing up a coordinated crisis response plan and remote workforce capabilities, organizations must also be hyper-vigilant about cybersecurity given the uptick in online activity during the pandemic. As cyber criminals are quickly taking advantage of this, the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a COVID-19 Cyber Alert calling for individuals and organizations to exercise great caution as they move to conduct most of their business online. With a rapidly shifting cybersecurity landscape and guidelines changing by the hour, it is critical that organizations react quickly and prudently to ensure the safety of their people and to protect and defend company data, systems, and infrastructure.
Below are recommendations to help ensure business continuity and cybersecurity during this difficult time.
Coordinated Crisis Response
A coordinated crisis response is a key factor for success across all facets of an organization, including cybersecurity. Organizations should form crisis response teams to include cross-functional leaders with expertise across all business units to ensure a comprehensive response. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the globe, Halfaker immediately activated our crisis response with the formation of a Coronavirus Coordination Committee, which meets daily to monitor and assess the local, state, national, and global effects of the pandemic, with special consideration for our specific business infrastructure, employees, partners, and customers. The Committee includes senior leaders from our Information Security, Operations, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Legal, Contracts, and Communications teams who offer a holistic, company-wide perspective to ensure our crisis response considers the needs of every area of the company and our operations. This committee provides frequent updates to our senior leaders and all employees, recommending changes to our operating status, and ensuring that the business can continue to operate as we navigate the continually evolving challenges posed by the pandemic. While an early start is ideal, it’s never too late to form a crisis response team if one is not yet in place.
Cybersecurity Threats and Recommended Security Best Practices
Cyber criminals are known for using major events and crises to their advantage to attempt to steal sensitive corporate data, money, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), and more. To ensure both personal and corporate assets remain secure, organizations must educate their teams on how to identify and avoid scams and cyber threats. Below are some of the top threats arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.