“May you live in interesting times” is an English expression which purports to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. While seemingly a blessing, the expression is normally used ironically; life is better in “uninteresting times” of peace and tranquillity than in “interesting” ones, which are usually times of trouble.
It appears that we are indeed living in “interesting times”.
Since I wrote the small article “How to keep your business secure during a crisis” on 12th February, a lot has happened. At that time there were 45,204 Coronavirus cases worldwide and most of those were in China. Today, there are 121,098. Whilst over 80,000 of those are in China, the rest of the world is seeing rapidly accelerating numbers as the pandemic gets a foothold pretty much everywhere. The numbers are going to get worse before they start to improve.
If previous pandemics have anything to teach us, then it is these three things:
- Quarantine really works, especially if it is adopted early enough;
- It can take a long time to get through a pandemic;
- Don’t completely rely upon medicine and the powers-that-be to save you.
We can do very little about the second or third points other than change our habits to become less sociable beings and hope that the virus does not mutate into something even worse. The first point however, is still in our control.
When a business decides to instruct its staff to work from home, it is a pretty big step but one which could very well be far better all round than the alternative. How many businesses are properly set up to do this? My guess is not many.
How can you, the Brigantia Partner, help your clients to prepare for what could be such an imminent course of action? The previous article recommended that the following services were provided to your clients:
- Ensure that your staff have been trained with KnowBe4 so that they can spot when they are being socially engineered, phished etc. Such training will work just as well at home as it does in the office;
- Provide ISL Online so that your staff are not processing your data at home but rather are accessing everything remotely on their work PCs which still sit on your network, behind all the protection that you normally have in place;
- Protect all of your email traffic with the Email Laundry. This way regardless of what devices your staff are using to pick up their email, you know that it has been scanned and is therefore much safer than normal;
- This is the common sense one that most businesses seem to forget about: Ensure that the computers that your staff use at home are safe. To put this simply, add the home PCs onto your business Heimdal license.
The only addition that I would like to make to that list would be Mi Crow which provides online Microsoft Office training. The reason for that is that many employees only make the minimum usage of the Office suite, often missing out such great tools as MS Teams: which can host chat, share documents, work collaboratively and host meetings. If your clients knew what these products can do, then the prospect of having staff working from home would not be as daunting.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Brigantia on 020 3358 0090 for more information. It would be a good idea to not put this off for another day as we may be running out of those pretty soon…