Nobody was prepared for the pandemic, but at the same time, having followed the trend in the last four months, what is confronting most nations now is that there is a lot of debates, and there is no single agreement among nations on the parameters or basics of returning to work. But there is a basic scientific requirement or framework that is incumbent upon any organization that wishes to return to work under this circumstance and context such that, for organization to resume operations as it were, there are some imperatives that are required and indeed demanded to ensure safety of operations.
These requirements are now fundamental as COVID 19 has now placed heavier demand on businesses’ enterprise risks management. Focused enforcement of enterprise security risk management strategy, practices and infrastructure has become critical to ensuring business preservation, resilience and sustainability. Most importantly, the corona virus pandemic has also tested the hearts of who we are as humanity because this has taught us that the most important thing in life is actually the air that we breathe as human beings.
All governments across the globe have been ill prepared for this pandemic. It is no longer news that our world has changed; our world is no longer what it is; nobody is mixing freely, people are not travelling out there, which is the new normal. This has made people to now understand the depth and the seriousness of what is confronting us. Interestingly, a core element of our transformation programme at Halogen Group has been the recognition that the world is becoming more and more open and borderless and volatile and that human interactions and myriads of work and business processes are bound to migrate more and more from the tangible, physical plane to the virtual plane, thereby redefining security risks and placing emerging technologies at the heart of everyday life and security risk solutions.
This comprehensive transformation journey which started about 4 years ago and which had seen us embark on significant investment in building cutting edge digital infrastructure and in-depth redesigning of our security risk management approaches, seem to have preemptively prepared us at Halogen group for stronger and quicker response to exigencies of Covid 19 disruptions. Similarly, and importantly, it has placed us in a very strong position to assist our diverse clientele to tackle enterprise security risk management compliant with the new demands of covid 19 disruptions. What we have basically done at Halogen Group is that we have developed a business segment assessment framework that is comprehensive; We are confident that it fits any best practice anywhere in the world.
It looks at everything, that confronts our health, security and safety and the issues that COVID 19 has thrown up into seven clear headings. And for any organization that wants to go back (to work)now, there has to be solid understanding of what regulatory requirements of compliance for any executive that wants to go back to work. So what are the regulatory considerations? There are several Acts: The Nigeria Data Protection and Services Regulations Law. There are some provisions there that will compel organizations to do certain things. Business leaders, especially their security risk responsible officers need to understand what that Act says; and, of course, the NCDC guidelines that are also given. But beyond that, there is a lot in relation to what the professionals need to understand. Secondly, in that same framework, there is change of what we used to know as Health, Safety and Environment; HSE. In the new order, there is a C advantage to that: that is why at Halogen, we have come up with what we call HSE plus C – the C standing for Covid 19 compliance. Thus, within the new Halogen framework, Health, Safety, Environment and COVID Imperatives are rigorously examined.
Fourthly, the notion of security risk management itself has moved. Now; there are imperatives upon the way you acted on some facilities and the way you change the arrangement around the facilities.
Five, the people. So managing people’s risks has got to come to the fore. Without the people , no business or company can exist. Most organizations are underestimating the imperatives around the risks, health , safety of their human capital assets and what it means for their people as they return to work.
Similarly, there is the matter of school work. How do we, government, educational institutions, teachers and students bring sustainability to learning in a disrupted environment where physical contiguity and mass gathering is no longer feasible?
And, further on returning to work, how can the people travel to work? Must they begin to trek to that organisation? How does he travels to work from home to office? How is the individual employee’s home condition itself? Is there a risk that careless individuals can get exposed even at home, making the newly reopened work place an endangered zone brimming with deadly contagion? These are the few dynamics that we build a lot of parameters around for that organization to understand what it is. What they need to do to return to work. Number six is the mobility. How the organisation now ensures the people move. So there are quite a lot of imperatives that are critical to a sustainable and safe return to work. It is far more complex than government just asking people to return to work at 50 per cent capacity. Social distancing and streamlined work place density as prescribed is just the beginning. Government can only give the basic framework. Enterprises, relying, where possible on professional counsel from security risk management experts, need to marshal a comprehensive safety regime that will help them optimize protection through and beyond Covid 19. These are the resons why Halogen helped to developed a business readiness and resilience framework to assist more structured organizations in processing their thoughts for effective risk mitigation through and beyond this pandemic.
The last one is technology. We have to now understand that technology has come to be. And thankfully it is an affirmation of the messages which Halogen has been preaching in the last few years. If you remember, sometimes, last year, in June, when we unveiled our new brands and our new operating companies, we did say that operations of some of our businesses have changed because it is now a digitally connected and open world that is daily becoming more volatile. The world is open; the world is borderless. Technology has come to the centre. And technology will drive the way the world goes now. This pandemic has come to underscore that. So we keep on looking up to technology. But we have to come to understand that technology itself is a risk on its own, but there are ways we now understand and build technology and plan and mitigate risks around that. So those seven domains represent the assessment framework we have developed, and it is a huge process which we also automated to help clients that want to return to work, understand what the imperatives are. And it is quite robust and very compelling for this task
In those days, when you talked of crime, we talked of the crime triangle. They are those things that make the criminals to commit offence. Number one is the desire of the criminals to commit the offence. But the desire will not come until he has a target; the target of the criminal desire. That is something that is there. Then thirdly is the opportunity. Opportunity means that there is value that he needs, and there is soft point, the vulnerability that he can easily access. You have a desire, you have a target and you then seize the opportunity. Few years ago, in When last did you hear of people going to anybody’s house to go and rob him at home? This is because value has moved from physical to virtual space. And therefore, cyber crime is going to increase significantly. So there is a desire for criminally minded people to come to that domain because there would be easy target there. Thirdly, in the crime triangle, is the opportunity. Once the opportunity is there, and riches are stored, they can look for ways and penetrate. So you can break the crime triangle by not giving the criminals opportunity. So we need to look at investment in cyber security. That has to come to be the norm. it is no longer for big operators that are driven by regulators, no longer just for the banks and the telcos but small and medium businesses, SMEs, faith organizations and public agencies must now begin to focus on cyber security. Now all companies must begin to understand what it means. Most criminals connect to your server with foreign devices from home. You are not able to control the devices. In most cases, they look for the soft belly which is the vulnerability that those rogue staff require. So we must recognize that it is a new order; it is a new day; the world is open; the world is vulnerable; the world is volatile; nobody is safe anymore; the boundaries are down; it is a borderless world.
Most of the banks have invested in cyber security, though it is not at equal level, some more than the others. But there are minimum standards. But is it adequate? It may not be adequate for most of them in the new post covid 19 dispensation . But the key thing in crime triangle is that it is still man that is at the other end to ensure that what to be done is being done. So man is still at the heart of mitigating; man is part of the equation. So a lot still needs to be done on enhancement scale. Do we have a constant data of various ways that people have been breached? The banks need to invest more on enhancement in exposing ways and means at which people are coming to make attempts to access people’s accounts.