An interesting article was published yesterday in the Harvard Business Review on the increased risk for businesses of a Cyber Security attack due to the current Russia threat on Ukraine. The recent Russian cyber-attack on many of the Ukranian Government websites highlights the very real risk to US and European business and one which will not likely go away anytime soon. The article argues that any conflict in Ukraine would be the most significant cyber risk Western corporations have ever faced. It also went onto argue about the importance of looking at cyber risk not in silos but together with geopolitical and physical security. You can check out the article here.
Very real threat of a cyber-attack
A cyber-attack is a very real threat in our industry, to both service providers and their institutional clients. As Iain Pickard, the managing director of Strategia Worldwide, a leading consultancy in Crisis Management says, ‘a cyber-attack is a major risk, I think it is a truism that any significant organisation that has said it has not had a cyber intrusion either does not know it yet or is not being truthful.’ A cyber-attack should be regarded as an inevitability that has to be accounted for in any financial organisation’s business continuity plan.
The effect of a cyber-intrusion can be mitigated through thorough planning and the preparation of a Crisis Management plan. The military adage of ‘no plan survives the first enemy contact’ is what military commanders know all too well and one which we have adopted into our thinking surrounding Crisis Management. Because no crisis is identical to the one you have planned for, there is a need to develop resilient adaptation for a crisis situation. This can be developed through scenario planning, war gaming and crisis management simulations, all of which are lessons also developed through military thinking. People react more effectively to crises once they have experienced a crisis (simulation) before. It makes them more resilient, because they build up intellectual ‘muscle memory’ that will help recognise a potential crisis and act effectively when a crisis occurs.
The Working from Home (WFH) situation, which will likely continue in some form, adds an additional layer of risk to those that already exist for all of our organisations. The response to a cyber-attack is affected by the WFH situation since, among other reasons, an organisation’s IT system becomes decentralised from one place (the Office). We at Avida International have developed a workshop together with Strategia Worldwide focusing specifically on the very real crisis issues that can be experienced in the WFH situation. This program will raise awareness within your team of potential crises that can occur in such an environment and provide the opportunity to learn how to mitigate them before they occur. Your people will also benefit from an exercise designed to promote team building and bonding, which is so vitally important in the current flexible working environment.
We can also help test your current Crisis Management plan through our Crisis Management Radar (CMR) tool which evaluates the effectiveness of your current plan and following on from this we can upgrade and adapt your plan based on the tool's analysis.