By Dom Chorafakis, P.Eng, CISSP – May 27, 2020
Reopening your business successfully requires more than a return to normal. The sudden widespread closures found many businesses scrambling to adapt and sadly some of them have not survived.
Organizations with Business Continuity Plans found themselves a step ahead of those who had little to no planning, and now as Canadians grapple with managing life during the covid19 pandemic, some things are coming to light about what we can do as individuals and as business to resume working and living within the new restrictions.
Resources like those from the Ontario Government provide details around workplace and worker safety, and although many practices are consistent among all provinces, business should explore their specific provincial website for what is required in each province.
So how do you begin?
- Put People First: Returning employees will have some fears and questions about their safety in the workplace. Ensure that your organization has clearly defined workplace safety procedures and protocol and communicate those procedures clearly and often with your staff. Creating a safe work environment for staff and clients is key to a successful re-opening.
- Check Health & Safety Equipment: Perform maintenance on health and safety equipment (e.g. smoke detectors, fire alarms, security and PA systems) that may have been missed during the shutdown and confirm they are working as expected.
- Complete Software Updates: Computers that have been powered off for some time have not been receiving Windows updates. You should:
- Make sure you back up important data before applying updates as they sometimes may cause problems
- Manually go through the update process to ensure the PC is fully up- to-date before using it to access email or the Internet
- Perform Laptop Checks: Computers that were being used at home in a less controlled environment may be infected and spread malware on the corporate network.
- Make sure all systems in the office are up-to-date with software and anti-virus updates
- Perform a full scan of any systems that were used outside of the office during the shutdown
- Inspect Battery Backups: UPS and backup batteries may not have been checked or maintained during office closures. Inspect battery backups to verify that charge levels and expected duration in the event of a power outage are in accordance with battery capacity and load.
- Re-Train Staff: Your employees are your best resource for identifying and resolving issues. Some things may have fallen through the cracks so be sure that staff are refreshed on critical business protocol, which should include cyber safety. 60% of all security breaches come from internal staff, so reminding your staff about cyber safe practices like password management and email threats is critical to the safe re-opening of your company.
Re-opening your business will take special care and planning, especially as it relates to cyber security requirements so we’ve created a list of free resources to help you build your plan. To receive the list and to learn more click here.