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Pandemic Planning - Enabling a remote workforce

Pandemic planning guidelines for business and government organisations:

Enterprises have spent millions to provide business continuity in the face of unexpected disasters. Governments from around the world are delivering guidance to businesses on how to plan and respond to the upcoming influenza “flu” season particularly in light of the heighten concerns caused by H1N1 outbreaks.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that as many as 40% of the workforce might be unable to come into work at the peak of the pandemic due to the need for many healthy adults to stay home and care for an ill family member. The CDC also recommends that individuals and companies put measures in place should a workplace close down or a situation arises that requires working from home.

For many critical business applications, virtualisation solutions have been implemented in order to keep data centre environments safe. However, some enterprises have overlooked one of the most vital elements of their business continuity plans – their employees. Some questions need to be asked...

If their desktop, applications, and resources disappear, how can they work?
Is purchasing, migrating, or even replicating every employee desktop to a laptop a realistic or even financially viable solution?
Are there cost-effective desktop virtualisation solutions that can allow users to effectively work from home?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory

The CDC advises that persons in the workplace should stay home for seven days after getting the flu, or 24 hours after symptoms end, whichever is longer. Around the world, businesses are putting pandemic plans in place particularly in response to the winter's flu season.

BII's layered infrastructure

  • Ensure that you have the information technology and infrastructure needed to support multiple workers who may be able to work from home (e.g. desktop virtualisation solution). 
     
  • Be prepared to implement multiple measures to protect workers and ensure business continuity. A layered approach will likely work better than using just one measure (e.g. remote access VPN, virtual desktops, VoIP, collaboration software, etc). 
     
  • Identify essential business functions, essential jobs or roles, and critical elements within your supply chains required to maintain business operations. (e.g. secondary site for office workers, when primary office must be closed) 
     
  • Allow employees to stay home if they are ill, have to care for ill family members, or must watch their children if schools or childcare facilities close. (e.g. at-home worker solution) 

Relying on BII as your CSP for pandemic preperation and response

In order to mitigate a pandemic crisis (or most other types of natural or human-made disasters) a business must act on two primary dimensions: comprehensiveness of planning and preparation and time of mobilisation and response.

BII define a Network-Centric approach as one in which leaders and managers utilise information and communication technologies as a hub to share information and content across boundaries, to realise situational awareness, and to plan for and respond to a crisis.

Having responded reactively to clients to engage the pandemic influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as "bird flu" in 2007-8. BII Compliance delivered integrated technology solutions to tackle the exponential increase in surge capacity from home workers. Identity management, authentication and encryption all played multiple layer roles in solving the remote worker security problem.

Meet with BII your future Cyber Security Partner

Appointing BII as your cyber security partner (CSP) adds additional layers of intelligence which an on-premise team of experts dedicated to protecting your organisation simply could not.

BII have the ability to maintain policy whilst adding additional layers of security to your network at short notice. Our dedicated team of technical experts can remotely implement a number of tools at very short notice to enable your workforce in varied environments.