Under the realm of “Better to be prepared for the Worst” we’ve been watching events in China and abroad and thinking of how this may affect our business customers, partners, and others.

And, yes, this is centered on COVID-19 (the Corona Virus) and steps all organizations should be thinking about and acting upon not only for this specific situation… But also for the upcoming Midwest Tornado season, etc.

Noteably, the CDC has updated their guidance for businesses about COVID-19.  

Here’s a link to the guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Beyond the things mentioned in the CDC guidance, we wanted to suggest a few other steps that you should take inside of your organization to prepare for all possibilities (from “ho hum” to “this is bad”):

  1. Please review your business continuity plans, and make updates where needed.
  2. Now is a good time to review the list of people who have the ability to work remotely.  If your office needs to be closed from a few days to possibly a couple weeks, make sure that everyone who needs remote access has it available.
  3. If your staff occasionally works remotely, have them test their remote connectivity sometime this week.  
  4. We’d recommend having a discussion with your staff now to make sure that your plans are complete.  The scenario you should be planning for is a 2+ week closure, which hopefully is a worst case scenario.
  5. Make sure that your contact list of cell phone numbers and home phone numbers is up to date in case you’re unable to reach people via email and need to urgently communicate something.  
  6. Review the web conferencing tools that you use and make sure your subscription is large enough to handle your whole team, if needed.
  7. Consider stocking up on soap, hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks (which are already in very short supply).
  8. If your employees don’t have laptops but may be expected to work from home, now is the time to consider getting them company-issued laptops.  IF you will need to rely on employees using their own personal computers, ensure that each of these systems are properly “vetted” for security and included in your monitoring platforms. Security can easily be compromised by letting employees use personal computers that bypass all of your cybersecurity measures. So, including your own AntiVirus, Monitoring, etc. for these systems is essential.
  9. Supply lines for technology products produced in China are already being disrupted, we may start to see shortages (and the resulting price increases).  If you’re planning any critical technology purchases in 2020, consider expediting them.  
  10. As with any world news, there are already corona virus phishing messages making the rounds.  Remind your staff to be extra careful about clicking on links or opening attachments in emails about corona virus (COVID-19) even if they appear to come from inside the company.