With a work-from-home model likely to continue into the foreseeable future, small business lender Prospa has urged advisers to get their cybersecurity sorted, and to invest in “creative ways” to stay in touch with clients while social distancing.
Prospa New Zealand GM Adrienne Church says that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a different way of working onto many who were not used to it, and that for many, dealing with things like cybersecurity will be “brand new territory.” She says drawing on the various tools available from the Government is a good starting point for building a cybersecurity resilience plan.
“The constantly changing environment has forced advisers and their small business clients to switch to remote working, without much warning at all,” Church said.
“It has been a steep learning curve for many, but what insights can we all take from this strange experience and how can advisers use them to improve their business for the future?”
“If anything cybersecurity-related is brand new territory,” she continued.
“If you just don’t know where to start, a good first point of call is the Government’s website on protecting business data. You can complete the Connect Smart questionnaire, which gives you an action plan to help identify potential vulnerabilities and download a toolkit specifically for SMEs.”
Church says that even as restrictions ease, remote working will still remain the norm for many people, and getting your cybersecurity sorter sooner rather than later will hugely benefit advisers in the long-term.
She also encourages advisers to get very comfortable with the use of online social tools, as a certain level of social distancing is also unlikely to disappear.
“While social distancing restrictions have been tough on the industry, many have found new and creative ways to keep connected to clients and peers,” Church said.
“Videoconferencing, instant messaging platforms, webinars, and social media have all helped to maintain communication over the last couple of months and advisers should consider which tools and platforms they want to invest time and money in for the long-term.”
“While New Zealand is starting to slowly ease some restrictions, there is likely to be a ‘new normal’ when it comes to the way we all live and work,” Church concluded.
“The advisers that thrive in this environment will be the ones that learn from this experience and use it to build a stronger, more agile, and more digitally savvy business.”