Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) should check the security and data protection of the technology they are using during COVID-19 lockdown, urges the MCA. Although there has been a rapid adoption of technology by firms, some have not been able to assess security quickly enough, risking exposure of confidential data and client information. The MCA has created a free checklist for SMEs to ensure that they ask the right questions about technology and how staff could use it before it is purchased.
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) said that businesses had moved quickly ahead of the UK lockdown but that some technology was not designed with sufficient security or privacy policies in place. Video conferencing in particular was not secure given the potential numbers involved and many small businesses are also struggling regarding which application they should use.
Responding to the issue, the MCA has created a checklist for businesses on areas that they need to consider. This includes security, assessing what they need the technology and new applications for and for how long. Questions are also suggested for when SMEs need to engage with suppliers as well as Commercial and Cloud services.
Questions across a number of areas include:
- Does the technology align with broader transformation and strategic plans?
- Do you need edit locks on documents?
- How aware are staff of cyber security?
- Can you limit who can join a virtual meeting?
- Can employees use their own devices and what are the risks?
- Which licensing models are available?
Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the MCA, said:
SMEs have had little time to consider these different platforms and their particular faults during this time of crisis and some employees are using technology that they would usually use in their private time. This checklist aims to ensure that SMEs are asking the right questions before they make significant investments in technology that may be not be the correct solution or even obsolete to their business. We would also urge small businesses especially to be vigilant and to check any unusual activity while they are working remotely. We are already seeing an increase in scam emails as fraudsters look to take advantage of the current upheaval.
The MCA Checklist for SMEs has been created using the expertise of key management consultancy firms who work with businesses on digital transformation. MCA member firms have been working with thousands of clients, as well as essential public services across the country. Setting up remote working, checking business continuity plans and helping with logistical operations and supply chains have all been crucial in supporting UK plc during the pandemic.
The MCA Checklist for SMEs is available for free as well as additional advice for businesses on the impact of COVID-19 at www.mca.org.uk
Media Contact: Caroline Florence (Caroline.firstname.lastname@example.org/Tel: 0207 645 7959 or 07973 400264)
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA):
The MCA is the representative body for the UK’s leading management consulting firms. For over 60 years, the MCA has been the voice of the consulting industry, promoting the value of consulting to business, the public sector, media commentators and the general public. The MCA’s mission is to promote the value of management consultancy for the economy and society as a whole. The MCA’s member companies comprise over 50% of the UK consulting industry work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector. The UK consulting industry is amongst the best in the world and a vital part of the business landscape. Click to see the full list of current MCA members see link.
Compliance with the MCA’s tough entry criteria and adherence to the principles of Consulting Excellence means that MCA member companies are widely acknowledged to provide high quality services to their clients. Many of their achievements are recognised in the annual MCA Awards.