In this week’s bulletin, Charlie discusses how you can be prepared for the Christmas break.
With some of us finishing up either today or early next week, you need to make sure that you are prepared for any incidents over the festive period. These are my top ten tasks to carry out before the Christmas break.
- Make sure you have got people’s contact numbers. Many of us use Teams, internal message systems, or email to contact people. On holiday, people will purposely not look at these means of communication. Make sure you have an actual phone number and perhaps people’s home telephone numbers if they have one.
- Know where people are. If your CEO is spending the holiday season at a remote cottage in the highlands or on a cruise with no mobile coverage, agree on how they can be contacted, or at least agree that they will be uncontactable.
- Some major ransomware attacks have occurred over the festive period, such as the attack on SEPA and Travelex, so make sure you know how to call out key IT staff as well as senior managers.
- Print off copies of your plans and take them home with you, or wherever you are spending the Christmas period.
- After this cold spell there are likely to be burst pipes. We have had one and I know of others who have had the same. You don’t want to come back in the new year and find there has been water pouring through your building for two weeks. If there has been a freeze-thaw over the holiday, get someone to check your buildings periodically. This happened a few years ago with lots of organisations that closed over the holiday coming back to flooded offices.
- Electricity supply could be an issue over the Christmas period, so perhaps power down and turn off all electrical items.
- Make sure that standby generators’ fuel tanks are topped up and that you know how to get hold of additional fuel if required. Most standby generators only have fuel for 24-72 hours.
- Check what strikes are on when you return and perhaps plan the first week’s return.
- Perhaps remind staff about their personal preparedness for any power cuts and check that they have means of light, know how to keep warm, and advise them to keep their tech fully charged.
- In a similar vein, remind them of precautions they should take if travelling over the holiday. Make sure they check the weather before they go and are prepared if they get stuck in the snow.