Here are our top 10 bulletins from 2022! We hope you have enjoyed reading these as much as we have.
Charlie shares his thoughts on the recent CYBERUK 2022 conference.
“The NCSC was heavily pushing incident management, exercising, and developing plans. What I thought was interesting was that the cyber industry, in terms of incident response, seems to be where the emergency planning profession was 20 years ago. One of the items talked about was incident management teams, and the need to keep rotating people in and out of the response role to prevent them from becoming burnt out and ineffective. They were all talking about the need to look after those affected by an incident. These things are already well known to the resilience community, but are being rediscovered by the cyber community.”
Charlie discusses why it is so important to look after your staff after a cyber incident.
“The old adage is that people are our greatest asset, and if this is true then we should ensure that within our cyber response plans and playbooks there are procedures for looking after people. Similar to what we would find in hazard and natural disaster response plans.”
Charlie comments on the lessons we can all learn from the crisis in Ukraine.
“Most disasters are actually responded to by civilians and not disaster professionals. Civilians respond quickly, rescue people and dig the bodies out of the rubble immediately after the disaster, and before the cameras arrive. The professionals usually arrive days later when most of the unseen rescuing has already been carried out. We can see in Ukraine, civilians are taking up arms and building fortifications. Do not underestimate the power and determination of ‘ordinary people’ to respond and rise to the occasion when required.”
Charlie talks about the highlights from BCI World Hybrid 2022 and discusses the growth in the Business Continuity community.
“The face-to-face conference was sold out weeks prior to the event, so there is still a strong demand to learn more about business continuity and an interest in bringing back face-to-face meetings. There was lots of hope for next year that we would go back to a bigger venue and a two-day conference.”
Charlie discusses his experience with power cuts in Johannesburg, and previous famous power cuts, such as in Auckland.
“The situation in South Africa and the Auckland incident, reminded me of the importance of power and that it is not always rural areas which can be affected. One thing I did notice when driving back from the class, was that all the traffic lights were out and many didn’t have police to direct traffic. Contrary to what you see in the movies, the loss of traffic lights didn’t cause cars to crash into each other or huge traffic jams. Maybe the movies are wrong, or it’s just that South Africans have gotten used to driving with the traffic lights out.”
Charlie looks at reputation, court cases, and how to manage targeted abuse.
“As with the earlier accusations against James Watt, I think he has had good advice and handled the situation well. As soon as you become successful and you have courted publicity to achieve that success, there will always be people who resent it and want you ‘cut you down to size’, or see you fail. You need to monitor what people are saying about you and make a judgement call on when to do something about it, or whether to ignore what they are saying.”
Charlie discusses the three biggest headlines dominating the news in early February! He covers topics from Boris to BrewDog and football.
“I also believe that as business continuity professionals, we should be learning from contemporary incidents and thinking through the situation as if we were advisors to the company or the individual, and as the incident unfolds, do they take the action we would suggest? I think we should always remember that during incidents we are dealing with people; they don’t always behave rationally, and don’t do what we think is the right or obvious course. In the end, we can only advise, but we hope that we have the gravitas and trust from the senior manager who listens to our advice.”
Charlie comments on how Raith Rovers and West Ham have handled their recent PR incidents, and what we as business continuity professionals can take away from that.
“In both cases, there seems to be genuine surprise at the backlash and naivety of the board and management of both clubs, because neither club anticipated how their actions would be perceived by the public. With many PR disasters, it is not the initial action that condemns you, it’s how you respond which defines how you’ll be perceived, and whether the incident will do long term damage to your brand and alienate your supporters.”
After witnessing a near miss incident during a fishing competition, Charlie reiterates the importance of health and safety checks, risk assessments, and great response plans.
“The root cause of the incident was the failure of the skipper to wear a kill cord, which would have turned the engine off as he fell into the water. Like all accidents, there were a number of lessons to be learnt, especially for the management who had set up the event. As it was a small local event there was no risk assessment, safety brief, inspection, no first aid cover, no designated communications channels, or someone in charge of the event. I wrote a report to the committee covering the event and suggested a number of improvements.”
And the number 1 spot goes to…
Charlie brought the TMF music festival to us! After seeing a band carry on without their lead singer, Charlie has written some great business continuity takeaways from this event.
“My inspiration is not the demise of Boris Johnson and his resignation, but the band Jam Sandwich, who struggled last night as their lead singer could not get onto the island, due to mist affecting the plane. The band plays indie rock and belts out all the classics, they are real crowd-pleasers! The lead singer, Matt McGrail, is a very charismatic frontman bouncing around the stage connecting with the audience, and leading the band.
The rest of the band do their thing and support him, however, last night they were all a bit lost..”