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  • Dave Kennedy

Have you considered how #coronavirus might impact you, your #business or your customers. Are you in a position to have staff work from home? Have you thought how to plan for it. Heres a few quick thoughts...





Get informed. Look at your IT Systems establish the remote working options you have in place, which are staff using and how they are using them. Use Microsoft Forms in Office 365 (https://forms.office.com/) as a quick way to query staff, get a summary of the position.


Make sure staff are equipped suitably to work from home. If that means laptops. Pick a brand you know is reliable and can be serviced with an onsite warranty. Brands like Lenovo ThinkPad & ThinkBook are my go to for reliability.


Communication is critical:

Do staff need to connect into the office? Is your Infrastructure secure and capable of handling the resource required? Do Staff have tools allowing them to maintain their usual communication channels?

  • VPN services can usually be enabled quite easily but its important to make sure the device and internet connection is capable of handling the number of remote connections.

  • If staff work a great deal from telephones within the office, consider looking a Softphone option to replace desk phones. Great options are available from companies such as Counterpath (https://www.counterpath.com/).

  • Communication is critical: When staff work remotely its important to keep in touch with them frequently, make it as easy as possible to keep in touch. Telephones are great but an instant messaging medium such as Microsoft Teams is a very efficient (https://products.office.com/en-ca/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software).


This post isn't aimed to be alarmist, just promote consideration of being prepared. If you don't directly manage your IT, speak to your IT Department or your IT Service provider for advice on possible contingency plans for remote work.


  • Dave Kennedy

To trust or not to trust

Tech news abounds right now with information about NordVPN being compromised.

TechCrunch Article

* https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/21/nordvpn-confirms-it-was-hacked/

Register Article

* https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/21/nordvpn_security_issue/

NordVPN Official Response

* https://nordvpn.com/blog/official-response-datacenter-breach/


Lets start with the some critical points.

  • This incident occurred in March 2018

  • Impacted systems were compromised for around 2 months

  • Breach is now closed

  • It is unlikely specific personal information for users was accessed.

  • Network Snooping and content that could have facilitated man in the middle attacks could have been taken.


The point of compromise in this incident was a poorly secured server management interfaces. These common hardware interfaces (Such as iDRAC & iLO) are built in to most major brands of servers today.


My concern is not so much about the breach itself but more the way in which NordVPN have addressed the situation.

  • The speed of response concerns me. It should not take months to secure the internet connections used by these servers or the servers themselves. To me it suggests a weakness in their infrastructure planning for resilience and security.

  • It does not feel like they would have had the transparency to self-report this issue had they not been forced to.

  • Rather than taking ownership of a lapse or failure their comments feel like they are pushing blame onto the server hosting company.

  • If these were new servers which had this security hole it indicates little proactive penetration testing, for a security product / service doesn't sit well with me.

From my perception the failures of Customer Service, PR, Planning, Incident Management, and Testing are greater than that of the compromise itself. I won't be recommending NordVPN until I feel they have shown a proactive effort to be ready to address such situations in the future.








  • Dave Kennedy


"Day 1 "Interesting" morning so far, a quick surgery and now 7 days of no speaking .... So yeah... There's that 🤐 - Also rumors started by my wife that I'm having my first round of gender reassignment surgery are not true!"



"Day 2 of not speaking: Yesterday I learned I suck at miming, it is important to keep a writing method with me at all times and that I can scribble faster than I can thumb type on a phone keyboard. Today my goals are my first solid food in 36 hours and to master the emphatic eye role. #recovery"



"Day 3 of not speaking: Yesterday I got a real idea of involuntary noises we all make to acknowledge other people and general day to day activities. These sounds sting and are to be avoided! Today I realize giving up caffeine was a mistake and I'm back to work with no speech but aiming to productively typing to communicate"



"Day 4 of no voice. Yesterday I got to practice the universal language of point for our children with reasonable success. Today's lofty goal is finding good ways of attracting their attention from a distance."



"Day 5 of no voice: Slip ups and accidentally making vocal sounds have been kept to a minimum. My mime skills are not improving but my ability to flail my arms wildly is first class. #TheStruggleIsReal"



"Day 6 of no voice. Our children are a constant test. Popping involuntary questions on all topics and opinions relentlessly and sometimes just to see if I will try and answer! Also I'm beginning to suspect my wife is purposefully mistranslating some of my communications"


"Day 7 of no voice. Consider this. How do you attract the attention of someone who is not facing you when you can't use your voice and apparently throwing objects is likely to offend. Also writing emphatically is not the same as shouting no matter how emphatic you are!"