As the COVID19 Coronavirus situation develops and in light of latest Government recommendations we want to update and reassure all our clients about our commitment to keeping your business, you, our staff and our businesses safe and secure. We also want to reassure you about our plans for providing continuity of services to you and our commitment to help you with your needs as the situation develops
Ward Solutions have been servicing clients nationally and internationally remotely, on client sites and from our offices as a normal part of our standard operations, since our foundation in 1999. Therefore we are expecting little change to our services and service levels to you as a result of our adherence to latest Government recommendations.
We always take the health and wellbeing of all our staff very seriously and have been keeping a close track of developments relating to COVID19. Ward are a certified ISO 27001:2013 Information Security standard. We have a fully developed business continuity plan (BCP) in place, which is continuously reviewed, updated and ISO certified, which we have put into action in light of recent Government requests to allow where possible staff to work from remotely.
Business continuity planning for COVID19 and Government guidance
All our staff are briefed on how Ward Solutions plan to respond to the crisis and to our customers. All employees routinely test that the collaborative tools that we use remotely, broadband access, and mobile phone hotspots etc. all work effectively. We continuously capacity monitor and test our services in anticipation of greater volumes of staff working remotely and have significantly upgraded our facilities over the last 24 months to cater for increased volumes of staff, customers and services. Where client site remote access is required and agreed we use secure remote access to these customer sites. Staff can access these systems via their home broadband or via their company assigned mobile phones.
If a member of staff needs to self-isolate, or a member of their family requires assistance, they generally can still work remotely. If a member of staff becomes sick, our contingency is to have another member of staff take over their work. Our service delivery office works with our project and service delivery management systems, our staff and clients to make sure projects and services continue as normal.
In response to Government requests where possible we are working to increase the number of our staff working remotely. We are liaising with our clients to facilitate this request where BAU would normally be on client site. If on site is absolutely required then we are liaising with our clients to ensure that the appropriate controls and measures are in place to protect our staff, our clients staff, services and facilities.
Should key personnel working on a particular client account become ill, we will inform that client in as timely a manner as possible. We will also provide contact details of the replacement consultant or engineer who will be looking after this account until the primary consultant recovers.
Ward recommends some or all of the following
Finally, as one of Ireland’s leading full service cybersecurity companys’, we also advise people to be on the lookout for some or all of the following:
- Phishing, social engineering, invoice redirection and payment campaigns and scams designed to exploit the COVID-19 circumstances and exploit urgency, confusion, changes or weakness in controls that are occurring due to rapid change and evolution.
- Malware campaigns exploiting the Coronavirus situation, e.g. malware laden emails, malware laden coronavirus web sites etc.
- Vulnerabilities and exploits introduced through poor implementation or due diligence of rapid changes or the rapid introduction of new users, endpoints, networks, systems, cloud migrations etc.
- Overload of detection, monitoring and response services resulting in missed incidents, offences or delayed response to incident and offenses resulting from changed user behavior and access patterns
- Weakened physical security of buildings, facilities and services resulting from remote working, staff illness, normal staff turnover/replacement etc.
From our experience we would recommend our customers and organisations to do the following:
- Increase your user security awareness and training at this time and adapting it specifically for the changed circumstances you find yourself in
- Ensure you only use trusted news sources for health and safety information about Coronavirus, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) website and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control page and Ireland’s Department of Health.
- Test and revise your business continuity plan – particularly with respect to availability to and performance of services and to ensure that secure (remote) access is provided and maintained to protect your and your client’s data.
- Prioritise capacity, resources and quality of services for known critical services.
- Perform appropriate security due diligence, security design and verification of any changes or new systems you introduce.
- Ensure your security operations continue and are fully aware of, prepared for monitoring, adjust to changes that are occurring and are in a position to respond appropriately. This may require extra capacity and resources.
- Augment or supplement your cyber and physical security staff, resources and services if necessary for temporary work and protection until business returns to a more normal state
- Increase communication with staff, customers and suppliers and having appropriate collaboration, communication tools available to all staff, customers and partners to ensure BAU and to ensure that tools and protocols are in place and known for critical incident response
In summary, despite being in uncertain times, Ward Solutions will continue to Assess, Protect, Detect & Respond to your cyber security needs. If you need to contact Ward Solution on any matter, then:
- Contact your normal account manager for sales or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact our orders department at email@example.com
- Contact our service delivery office at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact our Security Operations centre at SOC@ward.ie
- Contact our Network Operation centre at NOC@ward.ie
- Contact our finance department at Finance@ward.ie