Should I run a crisis exercise during a Pandemic?

As we move our focus from our new working at home normal, towards a return to the office (in some form), we need to consider many areas of recovery and business resumption – including our crisis and incident preparedness.

Many would argue that the current pandemic situation is not a crisis itself. Perhaps the impact on our businesses could be one but overall there is a strong argument that this COVID-19 was a slow-burn, known and somewhat controlled move away from offices to working from home and lock down – and therefore not a crisis event. Whether this holds true or not depends on your business and how prepared you were. Regardless though, the central question remains: Is your company ready for a crisis?

We recently ran a cyber-based incident exercise with a company who were all remote – their service desk, their management team, their incident response. Many other clients have argued that there is no need to exercise now as this full-remote situation is only relevant now and in reality, at least some of the response teams would be in the office and therefore running an exercise wouldn’t be worthwhile.

I say – well done to those who give it a go. There was so much the company learnt from the exercise and the feedback from the staff involved was super-positive.

Exercising your preparedness when things are not as expected adds a lot of value to those involved – and will help you to respond better in any situation. Yes, it is challenging. Yes, things will go wrong. Yes, it will be difficult. But the benefits far out-weigh the negatives.

Go on, give it a go!