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Chapter 1

Crisis management: Navigating uncertainty and ensuring business continuity

When the crisis strikes, it sweeps away all plans. Of course, back-up and business continuity procedures will have been put in place to save what can be saved and ensure core business gets done. But the challenge for a company is not to limit the damage, but to remain competitive, no matter what happens.

In this context, management has to make firm and fast decisions, show a calm and resolute face, instil unity and confidence, but above all they have to face up to their previous decisions. A crisis tests the solidity of the company’s existing foundations: strategy, culture, values. In an uncertain environment, these points – which must be reaffirmed without ambiguity – enable employees to act wisely, almost instinctively, and to make the right decisions. For this to happen, the stability of the strategic framework must be coupled with a significant level of tactical and operational autonomy. No one can claim to know with certainty how things will play out, and it is the people on the ground who will be best able to sense and react to a changing and unpredictable situation, as long as we can test and learn from it.

During a crisis, people are the true guardians of a company’s resilience and future, and that is why all efforts must be made to enable employees to show their extraordinary capacity to adapt. Above all, we must ensure their safety,
their physical and moral integrity, but also provide them with the appropriate framework and tools. Cybersecurity plays a key role in this context. Because in a fragile situation, it gives everyone the reflexes, tools and confidence needed
to reinvent the business – without exposing the company any further – therefore guaranteeing the company’s future. The more cybersecurity is embedded within formalized policies and best practices, the more efficiently it will be addressed in both regular times as well as in times of crisis.