The danger of sacrificing standards

There is a very healthy sense of urgency about ensuring that return-to-work conditions are safe and hygienic as we begin to reopen the economy following the initial wave of the COVID pandemic. Businesses are looking at ways to begin the long journey to recovering financial losses, provide livelihoods for their staff, and offer a degree of normalcy after so much upheaval.

While this urgency is welcomed, there is a very real danger of compromise when it comes to implementing strategies and security measures for addressing the overall safety goals of the organization when returning to the office or welcoming customers back into the fold. While this is understandable given the challenges these organizations must overcome, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account to prevent serious problems further down the line:


Right now, technology is a big focus. How it’s used, the issues it can address and the goals it is meeting. But more importantly, the speed at which it is implemented. In more “normal” periods of time, larger enterprise organizations take technology acquisitions and investments rather slowly, taking time to fully test and vet each solution and how it works within the overall security ecosystem. Now, however, many decisions are made in haste to quickly get “up and running” amidst the added pressure of making up lost revenue from closures and getting people back to work. At times, not executing due diligence in technology investments can be more dangerous than not having any technology in place at all.


Ensuring cyber/data standards are met is another critical element that may be overlooked given current conditions. Getting this right is vital, since you are managing highly sensitive information with a number of privacy requirements that may have serious repercussions if breached. For example, workplace exposure tracing programs likely require compliance with various privacy regulations since the information being collected is related to an individual’s health. Even the data collected as part of self-reporting programs must be protected.


Setting up a supply chain may not seem like a big deal, but amidst the growing concern over sourcing the right products that are safe and FDA approved, it’s essential. We discussed the role that the supply chain plays in an organization’s return-to-work strategy, but the focus around ensuring these supplies meeting basic requirements is essential. Whether you’re looking to locate personal protective equipment (PPE), purchase hand sanitizer or cleaners that meet safety standards, or need to be able to identify FDA-approved COVID-19 testing sites, ensuring each level of the supply chain is in place is an integral part of decision-making in today’s threat landscape.


Finally, setting proper safety standards is essential. The speed factor comes into play here when rushing to get people back to work; but use caution. Skipping steps or neglecting to identify all of the issues that may arise – and how to address them – can set you up for failure in the long run. Rushing through protocols to speed up the process can have a detrimental effect. 


For those wishing to enact the old cliché of less speed and more haste, one of the advantages of outsourcing some of these technology and safety programs to a managed security provider is the countless times that we’ve created, implemented and successfully delivered these programs before. Our familiarity with compliance, regulation and the systems surrounding them enables us to help you deliver a rapid, stable and comprehensive solution – especially as you focus your efforts on helping employees safely return to work. 


Contact us to learn more about how we can put together a customized plan for your return-to-work goals.

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