26 March 2020

What to do about Covid-19 if you’re a regulated business

As a business, you’ll be looking at all areas of your operations to see how you stand. We’ve written guidance on commercial contracts and insurance that you might find useful. But if you’re a regulated business, there are some specific things you should be taking into account.

Governance as a regulated business in relation to Covid-19

It is important to make sure you have a robust crisis management policy in place. As part of this, you should identify all internal personnel who carry out key governance functions. You should consider preparing for the risk that Senior Managers approved by your regulatory body could be personally affected by Covid-19. In this case, their roles may need to be temporarily carried out by others who may need to be pre-approved by your regulatory body. You might also need to consider the impact of the Covid-19 on the running of your board (with any contingency arrangements made if necessary).

Systems and controls as a regulated business in relation to Covid-19

To make sure you continue to meet your regulatory obligations, you should think about employees who are working from home during the pandemic. If their activities are usually subject to oversight in the workplace, how are you carrying out this monitoring when they are working remotely?

The increased risk of cyber attacks

We have genuine concern that the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to lead to an increase in cyber-attacks (such as phishing emails, or similar), as criminals seek to take advantage of the vulnerability of both individuals and businesses. You should consider whether you need to take any additional steps to protect your clients, as well as checking that your own IT systems are robust. If you don’t already have it, you might also like to consider cyber insurance for your business. With your staff working remotely, it creates vulernabilities that hackers will take advantage of. Carefully audit your systems to ascertain whether you have any vulnerabilities.

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About the Author
Adam Finch, Partner

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