The challenges for technology after the pandemic

Managed Security Services

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This month we were delighted to be able to speak to Professor Lucy Easthope, one of the country’s top disaster response experts and advisor to the current administration, to talk about the challenges for the technology industry, as we emerge from the pandemic.

For over two decades Lucy has challenged others to think differently about what comes next, after a tragic event. She is a passionate and thought-provoking voice in an area that few know about: emergency planning. However, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, her work has become decidedly more mainstream. Alongside advising both the Prime Minister’s Office and many other government departments and charities during the pandemic, she has found time to reflect on a life in ‘disaster’.

Prof. Lucy Easthope

As businesses seek to transition back to a new ‘normal’ in 2021, what are three key areas of risk management that businesses should look to improve moving out of the pandemic?

The most important consideration at this time is security. In the immediate turbulence of life in a longer-term disaster response, we have seen hacking, fraud and scamming increase exponentially. 

The next thing is to really think about your staff and their needs in these strange times. Knowing that there is sufficient training and support in place for them is really important. This then leads to another major risk, investing in the wrong sort of technology, so really think about your procurement strategy and seek advice from the professionals.

The arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 forced people’s lives to move online, both at work and in their personal lives. To what extent would you say technology has helped or hindered businesses progression in this time period?

I am incredibly impressed with how well technology has worked. To be honest, it has outstripped any of my expectations and has enabled us to keep so much going. I am worried though, there is a lot of opportunity for online attacks and some sectors are already seeing increased attempts of scams such as the Education sector. I am also worried about the risks to children, who are being told to trust a lot more faces and screens than ever before.

Businesses must adopt long-term strategies and solutions that will enable them to maintain the 'work from anywhere' paradigm. With the impact of an increased skill gap, lack of funding and restructuring within businesses, what strategies would best help businesses achieve this goal?

Simple! Invest in your people and invest in technology. It’s interesting to see the data suggests that in some areas the pandemic has pushed innovations forward by 20 or 30 years. The workspace has changed forever but I am not sure that home working is the answer for everyone. There are some interesting times ahead and it will be interesting to see whether the internet and the technology can keep up with this global demand.  We are also all watching the situation closely with regard to places like India, which are huge players in the technology infrastructure world, but are suffering terribly at the moment.

How would you say using an MSP can help businesses improve their security posture and increase their digital transformation post pandemic?

The situation will stay turbulent for a long time, so now is a period when you need to be horizon scanning. An MSP can take away a lot of uncertainty. It’s also a great way to delegate risk and allow your own staff to focus in on their core functions. As the response draws on, we see increased levels of brain fog and fatigue, so giving an organisation one less thing to worry about is a great idea. Organisations need to know that their cyber security issues are in safe hands.

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