Remote Worker Cybersecurity Best Practices

Remote Worker Cybersecurity Best Practices

HP Development Company, L.P. wanted to reach out to let you know you, your safety and security are in our thoughts. Just like practicing good hygiene to ward off germs, which has included many organizations taking incredibly swift actions to help in the efforts to curtail the spread, this is a fantastic reminder to not overlook cybersecurity hygiene. One of the efforts to curtail the spread has included requesting individuals to work remotely, telework or work from home. This particular request to work remotely brings some very real cybersecurity hygiene issues.


Corporate Information Security Governance

Reviewing your current cybersecurity governance, which includes the information security policy and other similar policies to ensure established security guidelines for remote work and remote access to company information systems is adequately outlined for your employees. If your organization already has many remote workers, it is likely these already exist, or this may be covered in your resiliency plans or disaster recovery plans. This may also be addressed in your bring your own device policies, where employees have to opt into a set of corporate mandates and policies if they use their own device. If nothing exists or your cybersecurity governance is not adequate, this is the right time to establish a policy or at the very minimum to layout industry-recognized best practices and/or industry-recognized basic guidelines to address remote access to, and remote use of, company systems by employees, and to spell out if personal devices may be used to conduct company business, and under what constraints.


Formal Organization Security Communiqué

Managers should be very familiar with applicable security guidelines, security plans, and policies, and ensure that pertinent information is shared with their respective teams and throughout the organization, if they exist. It is critically important that all levels of the organization are aligned on implementation of cybersecurity and cybersecurity hygiene. It is essential to remind employees they are accountable and responsible for adhering to the company’s cybersecurity guidelines, policies, etc. Consequently, providing adequate cybersecurity guidance to all employees is critical, and it is recommended to send a companywide security communiqué to share the recommended cybersecurity guidance.


Security Event Preparation

Each organization should review their formal incident response plans to ensure each organization is prepared to respond to a cybersecurity event. Update the plans as necessary, and where, as a result of the global health crisis a requirement to work remotely has been introduced, include contact information for the (now) remote incident response team, which may include external advisors. Utilizing remote workers increases the security risk and increases the need to have a formal plan in place for when and if…READ MORE

Sign on and Tell Congress to Save Our Economy

As a member of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), AIBA has supported these initiatives that will benefit local business. It appears Washington is listening to the SAVE OUR ECONOMY NOW campaign organized by the American Sustainable Business Council and the American Independent Business Alliance and other business organizations in response to the health and economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports indicate Congressional leaders and the Administration may be near agreement on a fourth recovery package, widely known as CARES 2, to add another $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) for small businesses, which ran out of funds last week. The package could also include another $60 billion for emergency economic disaster loans under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, as well as $100 billion for COVID-19 testing and support for the health care system.

The package appears to respond to some of the demands we’ve made to SAVE OUR ECONOMY NOW! However, key issues appear to remain unresolved. Unclear is whether the additional health care money is sufficient to meet the need, especially for a comprehensive testing program that would enable businesses to reopen fully without fear that it would lead to a rebound of sickness.

There is also no indication that the problems that arose with the first tranche of PPP will be addressed in this new round. Purple items below are the areas where additional action is necessary.

  1. Implement a comprehensive healthcare strategy IMMEDIATELY that includes widespread testing along with other necessary medical protocols so that businesses can re-open safely and as soon as possible.
  2. Fund the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance NOW!
  3. Implement the new unemployment benefits NOW!
  4. Expand and Modify the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program (PPP)
    • Increase by at least $250 Billion
    • Make the origination date of a PPP loan be the first day that small businesses can legally fully open.
    • Expand to maximum payroll loan amounts to three months after businesses can legally fully open.
    • Provide support for new and smaller businesses in applying NOW! 
  1. Action is needed to meet the needs of 1099 and gig workers.
  2. Action is needed to provide support for people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities and business owners hard hit by the Pandemic
  3. Action is necessary to ensure the resilience of the small-scale and mid-sized farmers, fishers, and ranchers that feed our communities and provide the goods on which many local businesses depend.

Sign on to Save Our Economy Now!

That’s why we’re asking your support to keep the pressure on. Congressional leaders and the administration have indicated that even if CARES 2 passes this week, as expected, additional rounds of relief are likely.

Sign on to send these seven demands to all 535 members of Congress and the President and Vice President. If you’ve already signed, please forward to your networks and ask them to join our campaign.

If you’ve already signed, please call your Senators and Representative to demand they act immediately.

Save Small Business Grants for Your Business

Save Small Business Grants for Your Business

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.

Small businesses are the foundation of our communities and our economy. Employing nearly half the American workforce, companies like yours keep our neighborhoods running and make them feel like home.

We know you’re facing multiple challenges right now, and every dollar counts.

Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as we can. We hope these supplemental funds will help you get through the next days and weeks.   

Applications open on April 20. For more information, see savesmallbusiness.com

New Mandatory Face Covering Requirements

New Mandatory Face Covering Requirements

Austin Public Health has released new mandatory face covering requirements for essential businesses beginning Tuesday, April 14. This requirement does not mean employees of critical infrastructure or the general public need to wear medical grade masks. Please save medical grade masks for healthcare professionals providing direct care to those with COVID-19. Austin Public Health is requiring employees working for essential businesses, and all people when out in public, wear face coverings like bandanas, cloths, homemade masks, or other items that cover the entirety of the nose and mouth.

Face coverings should perform the following:
All employees are required to wear face coverings when working at an essential business.
All customers are required to wear face coverings when entering an essential business.
All workers are required to wear face coverings when working in critical infrastructure jobs.
All essential businesses are required to post mandatory face covering signage at their establishments (download sign).