RESEARCH AND BRIEFINGS

COVID-19 Update: Risks and Resources – Communications, Media and Technology

 


The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for communications, media and technology companies. As governments usher in containment measures to manage the risks of the pandemic, our clients must contend with the business interruption and risk exposures that have arisen as a result.  

As this pandemic continues to evolve, we are committed to working with you to address your questions, concerns, and provide responsive customer service. We have developed resources and guidance on several key risks affecting your industry to support you.

Working from home and maintaining productivity

Much like the rest of Canada, the technology sector were forced to face a rapid shift and change of pace in the face of COVID-19. In order to maintain operations and productivity, many staff members shifted to working remotely. It is predicted to remain that way in the near future. This has a long-term potential to save money on operating costs, but in the short-term is a hurried exercise putting exorbitant stress on IT support teams to maintain uptime, connectivity and production. 

Cyber risk and remote working

This remote shift comes at a potential price as well. As we pivot to a home-based office solution, the inherent security of a corporate office begins to erode. Formerly secured connections are suddenly insecure – relying on the strength of cloud-based security, VPNs and localized software to protect production machines across residential access points. As workers become more relaxed in their home environment, the potential for phishing, social engineering and blunt-force access attempts increase along with them and during times of stress, anxiety and concern, best practices quickly become part-time ones. Conversely, staff concerned about their health, families and job security are more likely to ignore the signs of intrusion attempts. 

Infrastructure stress

The shift to a remote workforce and home-based lifestyle also poses additional concerns felt most strongly in the telecommunications space. Bandwidth, data usage and uptime demands are at an all-time high, across both wired and wireless verticals. Now one of the most precious resources in commerce and society, data & communication delivery is at the forefront for Telcos, forcing many to impose throttling and roving caps in order to maintain connectivity for all. 

The digital supply chain 

The onus does not solely rest on Telcos to maintain the digital supply chain. The technology industry as a community needs to work in unison to ensure each step along the chain is maintained and capable of carrying the load – from IT solutions to cloud hosting, security and hardware to social and digital media offerings – the latter whom carry the conversations we need to be having. 

Privacy violations – libel, slander and beyond

Those conversations however also offer their own unique risks as media coverage – both social and corporate – continues to shift towards near 24/7 COVID-19-oriented news and updates. In a time of high stress and frequent changes, digital and social media companies need to remain vigilant about protecting the privacy and legal rights of individuals and corporations while maintaining the flow of relevant and accurate information. 

Providing access when people need it most

It can be a lot to digest, but there is good news as well. Many companies have already transitioned to a remote-work environment successfully. Also, the technology community has banded together in multiple instances for the betterment of society – offering computing power, software licenses, network access and media catalogues at reduced or removed rates to ease the pressure and contribute to the fight against COVID-19. 

We are here to support you

You have a dedicated team available to work with you to discuss the right solutions and provide guidance and support. Please contact us to learn more.