If there is one thing that people don’t want to be thinking about as Christmas approaches, it is managing a crisis. Everyone wants to be focused on the good things in life, spending time with friends, relaxing and finding fun. The challenges of this year and the potential for further issues is an unwelcome addition to the festive period.
But we can’t let our guard down, and as communicators we must be ready to face the problem whenever it occurs. This is when being crisis ready can save you from additional stress and headaches. One of the big challenges at any time of the year is a cyber-attack. I spend a lot of time talking to businesses and communication teams about the importance of having a plan ready to go.
The risk of a cyber-attack remains even when we are putting the decorations up, going to the Christmas party or sending out the cards. So much more of our lives happen online now especially after the enforced working from home during the pandemic. All this adds to the risks. Human error is one of the biggest threats as people are often the weak link allowing an attacker to get into systems.
I asked a cyber and business continuity expert for his suggestions of what we should do. That video will be shared this week. So, what are the key things to remember amid the tinsel and fairy lights?
- Keep talking to staff about the risks and make them aware of any threats or new issues that arise during the festive period. Check out the national cyber centre updates on the threats they are tracking.
- Check your crisis communication plan is ready to respond to a cyber threat. IT experts will be dealing with the operational problem but they can’t do the communicaion.
- Ensure you have staff available throughout the festive period so that any issues can be addressed quickly.
- Speak to your IT team so that you understand the risks and what they mean. Don’t try to understand the language the IT experts use when a crisis is underway do the learning before anything happens.
- Consider how you would manage if a cyber-attack disabled your systems and frustrated your ability to communicate.
This is a good time to check you are ready, that the business is ready, and that you are able to respond quickly if a cyber-attack in any form hits.
Check out my social media Twitter @amandacomms or LinkedIn Amanda Coleman to see the #10minswith interview with Charlie Maclean-Bristol later this week.