As the number of infected by the Coronavirus grows in the US, more local governments and businesses are taking action to prevent contracting the virus. Eight states, including Utah, have declared a state of emergency. Governor Herbert said about declaring a state of emergency: “Making this declaration simply opens up resources for Utahns and allows us in government to focus as seriously as possible on being prepared.”

Meanwhile Individuals are taking to the internet, preparing by doing their own research and watching Contagion (it’s okay, we did it, too) and buying face masks (even though the CDC says only the sick need to wear them). But what are businesses doing to prepare for the virus and how will it affect them?

Quarantined Consumers Versus the Internet

For businesses, the effect of the virus goes beyond employees asking for sick leave or working from home. Some companies such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Microsoft (all together 75,000 employees working from home in the US) have already asked employees to work from home. Meetings and conferences are already being cancelled or delayed until the summer, like Rubrik Forward, which just made the decision to cancel all physical events and instead to make the conference digital. 

However, a more drastic change for businesses will be customer preferences as their customers work from home. As more customers begin to use services from home, they will be more reliant on internet services, and connectivity will become more important to them. Security incidents will be harshly critiqued, and loss of service, even for short periods of time, will be enough to convince customers to look for more stable options. 

“Businesses who are inadequately prepared won’t be able to live through cyber breaches as consumers become more dependant on reliable internet services while working from home,” says Lane Livingston, CTO of Trinsio. “Businesses need to prepare now for the shift in consumer preferences forced by the Coronavirus.”

And to add an extra challenge, as customers become more intolerant of service interruptions, scammers and spammers are taking advantage of the ignorance, misinformation, and fear of citizens. The internet has seen an increase in scams related to the Coronavirus, asking people to donate, buy supplies, or click on links to see updated lists of infected cities, etc., some even impersonating the CDC to add legitimacy to their messages. So while your customers are on you for service interruptions, malware operators are working double time to wreak havoc on your business and provide your customers with more reasons to leave. 

Steps Your Business Should Take

While problems seem to be coming at you from both sides, what can you be doing to protect your business from the consequences? Here’s five things you can do now to keep your consumers happy and the hackers at bay. 

1. Use a good spam filter. A good spam filter will prevent a lot of the malicious mail from even getting to your mailbox, giving you a lower chance of clicking on something malicious. 

2. Train employees. A spam filter will not catch everything, so it is important that employees are aware of what to look for in malicious email. 

3. Set up antivirus software and a firewall. In information security, the more layers between your company’s information and the hacker, the better. 

4. Keep software and hardware up to date. Updated software and hardware will have the least amount of known bugs, giving hackers less opportunities to worm their way into your systems. 

5. Back up, Back up, Back up. Having a good backup system is a crucial part of any IT infrastructure, so that when the other parts of your system fail, your business has something to lean back on. And with customer tolerances of down time decreasing, it is also crucial to have a backup system that you can recover from quickly, preventing unnecessary down time. 

To learn how you can try a state-of-the-art backup solution for free, visit our website, or call (385) 283 – 1810.