Many years ago, as a young soldier and before I began my journey in cybersecurity, I was introduced to friends that would, through the years, demonstrate their willingness to defend my life at risk to their own. Along with them, I had two further companions who fulfilled this role, and that would remain by my side throughout my soldiering years; my rifle (weapon system) and my entrenching tool, a kind of foldable shovel.
As a young soldier, when hearing the command to ‘DIG IN,’ a soldier was filled with mixed feelings; joy and sorrow! This term essentially communicated the need for an enhanced defensive position but equally signalled that we were staying in this location for some time, allowing us to administrate ourselves, clean our weapons, take on food and perhaps even a few moments sleep – Hooray! The sorrow came in the knowledge that we would need to dig a hole a few feet deep that would fit in two soldiers ‘side-by-side’, the length of the tallest soldier in the Platoon plus two feet for good measure. Looking back, this was probably the only time 6ft 7 Inch ‘Lofty’ Hannam was ever an unpopular man!
To further compound the issue, time was against you. The enemy, or a simulated one (exercise; yes, we even practised digging holes when training), was either approaching or already amongst us. A casual, Sunday afternoon gardening dig wasn’t an option here, instead, a fully-laden soldier frantically digging a massive hole in stony, sun-scorched, hardened soil while Cam-Cream (face paints) sweat from every pore. The result was always blisters, exhaustion, dehydration and, of course, the worst case of ‘red-eye’ you’ve ever seen. On many occasions, we lived in our ‘shell scrapes but for a few moments before the order to fill them back in and move out, only to repeat the cycle all over again in a few short minutes or hours. GOOD TIMES, and for any of my brethren deployed to desert locations, there’s a whole new dynamic to this scenario. Amen for Sandbags!
So why does my walk down memory lane benefit you, fine people? Other than giving a logical explanation as to why I opted for a career in cybersecurity and business resilience, it is equally the same position that many of you are now in. COVID placed you into an economic war zone, and to quote a Military expression, the need to ‘improvise and adapt’ was certainly prevalent for you all. Many of you had to rebalance expectations and overhaul ways of working at pace; the comforts and familiar surroundings of the usual office environment were for many replaced with home environments, home-schooling and home security. You all deserve medals! But now, things are coming back online. Sanctions are lifting and expectations are realigning to those held pre-COVID.
So what do you do? DIG IN or MOVE OUT?
Do you return to the office premises, re-establish pre-COVID operations or keep with the place you now are? I have spoken with many business owners who have ‘adapted’ to the New World and now view their offices as an unnecessary cost. Others cannot wait to return to previous operations. Regardless of whichever position you feel best represents your predicament, consider the alternate options and scenarios before committing.
If you have elected to go back to your previous operating model to please consider the perils of changing over and read our other blog titled; ‘Return to normal; whatever that looks like!’, and consider how you approach the need to realign and re-educate your staff on their working behaviours and redefine their use of technologies.
If you have chosen to stick with your ‘new’ operating model, you must, if you already haven’t, elect to DIG IN and fortify the defensive positions you established in haste to consolidate what you have achieved and equally provide a firm basis for onward business growth. The model you were forced to adopt may not be suitable for a more extended period of habitation, understand its frailties, understand your business risks and close the gaps. Your new operating model may be robust enough for what you need, but you must validate it through independent assessment to be confident it serves your business strategy.
As for us at Cyber Savvy, we ‘adapted’ we ‘overcame’ and helped many others along the way. We changed our operating model and are now a ‘virtual’ coaching and consulting business, which allows us to keep our costs lower than competitors while still offering the same high standards. We still work on client sites but don’t have the additional costs associated with oversized business premises. It is ultimately a very personal business choice, but I challenge you to assess yourself and assess where your business is now and where you want to take it in the future.
If you need help defining your new norm, returning to existing infrastructure or consolidating your current operating model, get in touch. Securing your business is our business. Our services are; Affordable; Accessible; Adaptable, and Applicable to you and your business.
For many businesses, going back may prevent their business from moving forward.
Will you decide to dig in or move out?
I would love to hear about your journey.
(Toby Rees – CEO & Strategic Lead, Cyber Savvy)