Life will go on – there is a future
FULL DISCLOSURE - Fidel Abalos (The Freeman) - March 27, 2020 - 12:00am

Challenges are always opportunities:

* Crises as big as the present ones always contain messages and lessons about past failures and future possibilities;

* Why not regard the COVID-19 crisis as a kind of involuntary social experiment that may change society? In my view, it has the potential to change society for the better!

* Can we – please - accept that there is life beyond the daily Death Toll live ticker?

* Beyond the endless dismay reports, can we develop more focus on opportunities in the business environment we are faced with? I promise you, there are opportunities.

It's not often that businesses face a pandemic, but natural disasters, man-made disasters, security threats (such as cyberattacks, data breaches, etc.), are a reality, and if businesses want to ensure a smooth recovery process and continuity of operations, it is critical that they do a risk assessment and develop a recovery strategy with disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

 How can an organization ensure that business processes will recover? How can businesses ensure data backup plans or recover lost data? What safeguards and safety procedures can they implement for their employees – those that will continue working from home and those that will come back to their offices and plants?

 Further, during and after a major disaster, maintenance need to be reviewed, and more importantly supply chains to receive parts or materials may have to be re-established.

Businesses may also face other business disruptions such as network outages, revenue loss, data loss, security vulnerabilities and threats, and stifled productivity, to name a few examples.

But this doesn't have to happen when a proper disaster recovery and business continuity plan is in place. If you don’t have one, use the lockdown time to establish one!

Business continuity plans should include provisions for workers as well as systems. To prepare, companies should invest money and time in the following resources to help ensure a smooth recovery process following any type of natural or man-made disaster:

* Continuity of business operations: Implement remote access infrastructure that are capable of supporting the entire workforce with virtual private network (VPN) devices, high-speed internet lines to the organization, laptops and/or on-site servers to host user connections).

* Ensure resources are available: Ensure proper access to necessary resources at the office even when workers are remote (this may mean needing additional firewall rules to permit VPN users to get to the systems; often these rules are separate from what exists on-site).

* Keep employees online: Offer mobile hotspots for remote internet access in case employees lose power or don't have available connectivity.

* Ensure constant communication: Educate users on how to access resources and make available the instructions and contact information for them to request technology assistance. This material should be accessible offline, as well, in case they can't connect to the company networks.

   Given the prevailing disaster we are dealing with, companies should – in future when this disaster is over - plan in advance for a possible disaster by establishing the following best practices:

* Maintain the opportunity to work from home.

* Routine, periodic testing of remote access.

* The habit of changing passwords as needed and ensuring these are stored securely via a password, because nothing hampers remote work efforts like a forgotten or expired password.

  If you need assistance in establishing disaster recovery and business continuity plans, let me know – contact me at Schumacher@eitsc.com

COVID-19
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