COVID19 update: business as usual for VMGroup

As the COVID19 Coronavirus continues to spread globally and the situation changes by the day, we want to update all our clients and stakeholders about the measures we have put in place to address VMGroup’s employee and business risks. Whilst the safety of our clients and staff is of paramount concern, we are and will remain open for business as usual to serve the needs of all our clients. We are however taking measures to ensure that there will be as little disruption as possible to our firm’s operations and services we provide during this difficult time.

We take the health and wellbeing of all our staff very seriously and our firm continues to be responsive to the information being provided by the Government and by all other relevant agencies. As a company aligned to the ISO 27001:2013 Information Security standard, we also have a business continuity plan (BCP) in place that we have recently put into action.

Business continuity planning for COVID19

The first part of our BCP implementation was to ensure all our staff were briefed on how best our organisation could respond to the crisis and to our customers. As a company, our employees already practice three ways of working – on site with clients, on site in the office, or from home. All employees have now tested that the collaborative tools that we use from home, and broadband, mobile phone hotspots etc all work effectively.

All VMGroup staff are assigned with laptops and mobile phones. Our primary systems are based in the cloud. We have decided that all our staff are to work remotely from home. Over the past 3 days we have implemented this change, and all staff can access the systems required to complete their day to day work activities via their home broadband or via their company assigned mobile phones which have unlimited data access plans.

By implementing a work from home strategy, it allows a member of staff to self-isolate where required, or assist a member of their family if required. If a member of staff becomes sick, our contingency is to have another member of staff take over their work. By our staff working from home, the likelihood of transmitting the virus to the rest of the team is unlikely therefore it will ensure that VMGroup can continue to provide uninterrupted service to our gold partner clients.

Staff contingency planning

In addition, we are implementing daily updates on projects which will be managed and coordinated by our Operations Manager. This way, we have visibility on status across all projects with key clients.

Should key personnel working on a particular client account become ill, we will inform that client in as timely a manner as possible. We will also provide contact details of the replacement consultant who will be looking after this account until the primary consultant recovers.

Finally, as a cybersecurity company, we also advise people to be on the lookout for malware campaigns exploiting the Coronavirus situation. This is a classic tactic for scammers and cybercriminals, and it works by preying on people’s natural curiosity about major global events in the news. Researchers at Malwarebytes discovered several examples of phishing emails and infected Word documents that pretend to contain updates, information about preventing the spread of the virus, and even pages supposedly for donating money to help research into the virus.

Instead, we recommend you visit only trusted news sources for health and safety information about Coronavirus, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) website and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control page. Ireland’s Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has published information for employers and employers which you can find at this page. Ongoing updates from the Department of Health are available here.

If you are expecting a team member to be on site today, your team will be contacted by the consultant advising how they can be contacted via our Teams and remote working tools. Video conferencing will also be accommodated where required. The team member will reach out to the individuals on what projects they are currently working on and give regular updates as if working on site.

VMGroup will be reviewing our plans on a daily basis, and will keep all our gold partner clients up to date with any security concerns or news we are encountering to ensure you remain cybersecurity safe.

We would like to wish all our clients the very best, and hope you stay safe and healthy in this unprecedented time,

From all the Team at VMGroup

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