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Invictus Insights

Remaining Unconquered During the Pandemic

By: Ric Humphries - Executive Director, Human Resources

Since its arrival in the United States, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has challenged families, communities, health care systems, and our government in unprecedented ways.  Travel restrictions, shelter-in-place orders, and school/business closures have affected our social stability and dominated news outlets for months.  Fortunately, technology has helped bridge the gap of the former in-person requirement, thus allowing Invictus personnel to work remotely.

This pandemic has emphasized the need for effective cybersecurity TTP’s, while also highlighting the outstanding work performed by Invictus’ cybersecurity professionals.  The unexpected and immediate transition to a teleworking status has forced companies and government entities to examine cybersecurity protocols regarding identity management, accessing sensitive or protected files and information, and collaborating securely; all were emerging issues prior to the pandemic, but shifting entire workforces instantly catapulted Invictus’ work to the foreground.  While some of our work has shifted, our team of Spartans continues improving the security of US Government unclassified networks and collaboration technologies, analyzing evolving cyber threats, developing penetration testing procedures, and conducting assessments, which identify new cyber vulnerabilities.  Invictus successfully transitioned every employee to a teleworking status, with minimal impact to mission support.

As we prepare to return to working in an office environment again, employee safety remains our primary concern.  Invictus will continue to practice social distancing requirements and maximize the use of collaboration technologies to minimize the spread of COVID-19.  In addition, the timeframe of returning to the workspace will be determined through multiple considerations:  1) Client requirements, 2) Identification of high-risk personnel, and 3) Space available to accommodate social distancing protocols.  As of this publication, a definitive return-to-work date has not been identified, in most cases.  With a workforce in 13 different US states supporting multiple different clients – each customer site and Invictus office location will most likely have their own timelines in compliance with state, local, and customer guidance.

Invictus offices will execute the same strategy as many of our clients; a slow and fluid process, to limit and minimize exposure to COVID-19.   We have taken the following actions, thus far, in preparation for returning to a safe work environment:

  • Our Crisis Management Team (CMT) continues to meet regularly, since activation in early March
  • Intensified cleaning/disinfection
  • Restricted use of shared items/spaces
  • Coordinated with building management on common area disinfecting, changes to previous building procedures, and enhanced efforts to clean air handling systems
  • Created an action plan if any staff member contracts COVID-19
  • Mechanisms to ensure all PII is protected, to include applicable HIPAA regulations
  • Increased communication channels for employees
  • Ensuring social distancing practices continue
  • Required the use of masks in all common areas
  • Canceled non-essential travel
  • Modifying work schedules to reduce physical exposure
  • Reviewed internal information technology procedures and collaboration tools settings to enhance cybersecurity

Transition and changing routines can be difficult to manage, both physically and mentally.  Invictus is committed to assisting and providing maximum support, where possible.  Our executive leadership applauds our team’s professionalism and resolve demonstrated throughout this crisis.  Client testimonials and mission accomplishments continued to highlight the critical expertise our team brings to each client daily.

We will remain unconquered and united as we continue to confront the challenges that lie ahead.