In late February, I had a difficult but important meeting with my leadership team. The situation with the coronavirus was clearly getting worse. Our biggest annual partner event was scheduled for a date in early May at a location in Northern Italy. We needed to make a fast decision on whether it would be safe to proceed. And in the interest of protecting our customers, partners, and fellows, we decided to postpone the event. In hindsight, the decision was obvious. The situation in Italy started to escalate a few weeks later.
At the same meeting, we committed to implementing our business continuity processes, which dictated the creation of a formal crisis management team to guide our preparation and response to the developing pandemic. I have been leading this team’s daily efforts to support our stakeholders during this difficult time.
More and more governments around the world are implementing measures to slow the virus’ spread. We’re actively reinforcing these efforts, and for the past several weeks, have encouraged our fellows to work from home. Many of our offices are now closed, and as per local regulations in these areas, remote work is the only option. I’m happy to see that all the services we provide to customers have continued to work seamlessly 24/7. But for some companies, transitioning to remote work is a significant adjustment. IT departments at these organizations are under enormous pressure to deliver. Mistakes and cut corners are inevitable in these circumstances.
Threat actors thrive among such chaos. They’ve already shown a willingness to exploit the situation. Because of these adversaries, individuals and families now have the added burden of worrying about email scams and malware masquerading as information on how they can stay safe and healthy. Even medical institutions on the front lines of the world’s fight against the pandemic – which we’re all counting on to help us get through this – are targets for cyber attacks. In many cases we have created new service delivery models with our customers. We’re making sure we comply with healthcare regulations while continuing to help and protect our customers from threat actors, who unfortunately, remain active.
At F-Secure, the safety and health of our customers, partners, employees, and even society is our number one priority. This is not just part of our brand. It is entrenched in our culture. That’s why we’re giving back however we can, including providing some free licenses to our products, supporting consultants’ grassroots incident response initiatives, and more. And while it is too early to understand the full extent of the pandemic and its long-term implications, we are now following our extensive business continuity plans. These plans were created to secure our ongoing operations so that we can continue to support society for the duration of the crisis, and beyond.
Cyber security’s role in keeping society functional has never been more important. We are committed to protecting people and businesses and are doing everything to keep our services running reliably for our customers’ security.
We will keep you informed as the situation evolves, and we thank you for your continued trust.
CEO F-Secure Corporation