Concern over the scale and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is growing, leading organizations to consider their response and the actions they need to take now to maintain their business. The CIO and CISO have vital roles in making sure the organization can function as pandemic containment measures are implemented.
You need to ensure your business can work remotely and flexibly and that employees are confident in being able to do so. This may require you to revisit decisions on access rights, entitlements and risk posture. Questions to consider:
Restrictions on travel and the spread of the virus may lead to new patterns of demand and higher traffic on digital channels.
Sadly employees may be infected or may find themselves unable to travel or to have to meet family caring commitments; you should plan for a significant level of absenteeism.
Data centers may be impacted by the virus too. A positive test may result in an evacuation and deep clean of the building; transport infrastructure disruption may prevent access, and data center staff may be unable to work.
There may be additional demands on cloud-based services, requiring you to scale the available computing power, which may incur additional costs. Other services may show reduced demand.
Your suppliers and partners will also be under pressure and their operations disrupted too.
Organized crime groups are using the fear of COVID-19 to carry out highly targeted spear-phishing campaigns and set up fake websites, leading to an increased risk of a cybersecurity incident.
While COVID-19 dominates the news, you should still be aware of the possibility of an IT failure given the changing demands on your infrastructure or an opportunistic cyber-attack.
You'll need to be able to function with limited employee numbers and be clear on the priority tasks your team needs to be able to complete.
Amongst all of these organizational considerations, you're still a senior manager and your team will look to you for leadership and support.