Responding to International Events: Communication at all Levels
A quick glance at Fortune’s Global 500 map tells you just how global business has become. But as businesses become more global in nature, so do the incidents that target them—and companies need to be prepared to address international incidents – whether cyber events, terrorist attacks or even the impacts of a natural disaster.
International businesses are increasingly getting disrupted by incidents at a global scale. Ransomware —such as the infamous WannaCry — is increasingly become a global phenomenon; in 2017 actors backed by nation-states launched ransomware attacks that impacted organizations around the world. Business communications and travel can prove difficult in some countries that have reputations as places where industrial espionage is commonplace—and even encouraged as a way to promote the country’s economy. In fact, a 2018 survey found that more than half of European organizations surveyed were impacted by terrorist risks or travel disruptions. And in the Energy and Utilities industry, foreign nation-states, activists and hacktivists have increasingly targeted operational systems—whether through targeting critical infrastructure providers and suppliers to steal IP and trade secrets or through DDoS attacks in attempts to embarrass organizations for political purposes.
What all this means is that organizations need to be prepared to handle international communications and incidents. Organizations need to have a crisis response plan in place – and key to this plan is synchronized communications across borders and while traveling across borders. If an incident were to occur, organizations need to be able to reach out to staff quickly on a global level and through a manner that is not compromised. When global organizations respond to international incidents they need to work across business units and across offices, no matter their location. Working in silos inhibits information sharing and best practices; it is important during incident response that organizations can coordinate across all business functions including communications, legal, compliance and business operations (among others) to respond quickly and effectively to the incident. This requires reaching out to many different people in many different offices, often at international levels – and as quickly as possible. In such situations organizations not only have to contend with the hassle of reaching out through international spaces, but also with the potential of interception – whether through surveillance or data leaks. Organizations need a way to communicate securely and without fear. Considerations for international laws and privacy must also be considered.
In many situations—especially cases of international espionage or hostile nation-states, email and SMS simply doesn’t cut it security-wise, efficiency-wise and may not be available for usage during an outage or cyber-attack. Secure messaging platforms like Vaporstream allow organizations ongoing access to communications during an emergency or incident—locally and globally—and ensures that messages remain encrypted and protected from surveillance, screenshotting and data leaks during international incidents. Vaporstream also enables organizations to implement compliant texting in line with their policies to meet mandates for internationals laws and privacy per country. In situations where email and SMS are just not viable due to security gaps, secure messaging can step-in and help ensure that critical collaboration can occur, the necessary parties can be reached and the incident response can be put into action swiftly.
To find out more about how Vaporstream helps you communicate securely during international incidents or while traveling internationally, contact us.
Contributor: Kristi Perdue Hinkle