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Published: 16th March 2020 | In: News

Friday the 13th of March 2020 saw the Quorum Cyber team implement new ways of working, adapting to the very new environment where remote-working is increasingly necessary – and less of a ‘luxury’. The focus: bringing us closer together, so that we are not only better at our work, but also healthier and happier members of a community. Managing Director, Federico Charosky, captured his thoughts in review as a letter to inspire more teams throughout our wider communities.

Today we had a meeting in each other’s Livingroom

Crises are a strange thing – people take extreme positions on otherwise regular situations. Tommy Lee Jones’s Agent Kay said it best in Men in Black “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

And wow was he right. This week has been a confusing mess of world leaders seemingly prioritising political point-scoring over the wellbeing of the people they are supposed to protect, organisations oblivious to the fear that is setting in amongst their own people while they keep forcing people to attend meetings they don’t want to go or jump on flights they don’t want to board. And people buying toilet paper. So. Much. Toilet. Paper.

But this week has also seen beauty appear. In the middle of all this chaos, we’ve seen isolated Sicilians singing from their balconies, classes being delivered on-line to keep children and communities safe, and even Countries helping each other, like China donating 31 tons of emergency material such as respirators and hazmat suits to Italy.

Prioritising Health & Community

In the midst of all this, speaking about cyber security feels… mundane, almost pointless. We don’t expect many people (outside of us) to really care about a new technology, a new bug, or a new exploit. As a society, our minds are busy digesting really serious information, and we have little if any capacity left to focus on this stuff.

So, we want to extend an invitation. The invitation is to create a space to talk about positive experiences, life hacks that make our current days better, and things that make us smile and take comfort in the middle of what is an otherwise pretty grim situation.

The Quorum Cyber team isolated itself several days ago and our Cloud Cyber Security Operations Centre continues to defend organisations throughout the world without a glitch. Our operations don’t depend on a physical office. Don’t get me wrong, we love our office. It provides a space for us to meet, collaborate, and have really intense nerf wars. But operationally, it provides literally no advantage. Our entire operation is cloud-based, so we are able to deliver our services from everywhere by leveraging incredible technologies such as Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Teams.

We are here if you need us and will continue to defend organisations throughout this crisis, so that they can safely pursue their objectives without fear of cyber-attacks.

But as we settled in this new “normal”, I experienced a really incredible moment that I wanted to share.

Working exclusively remotely, one of my key priorities is making sure people don’t forget that they are part of a team, a community. Working from home can be a pretty lonely experience for some, and regular human contact becomes paramount.

Adapting to Change, Together

So, we changed the configuration of our regular meetings. All teams (not just the SOC) now have a daily Video Conference stand-up where they plan their day and discuss problems or challenges they need help with, and I rescheduled our fortnightly all-hands team meeting (which usually takes place every other Friday over drinks in our office and slides into our Quorum Cyber Academy sessions) into weekly Friday lunch-time Video Conference.

This Friday was our first one in this new configuration. By 13:05 everyone had connected to our Teams room and the meeting kicked off. And as I started the debrief on the week’s updates and we covered operational priorities, something amazing happened. I realised we were all inside each other’s homes.

We were all sitting in our preferred chair, in comfy clothes, surrounded by the things that make us feel safe, and protected. While each team gave their update, and people started swarming each other’s challenges (a habit we love and encourage beyond almost every other team dynamic) I stood back, admiring what was happening in front of my eyes. We were all doing our jobs, embodying the best of our values, fighting the bullies threatening our customers, from each other’s Living-rooms. This was, by far, the most intimate experience we’d shared as a team – everyone spying each other’s bookshelves, wall art, and geek memorabilia that surrounded our working spaces.

The meeting eventually drew to a close, and the team went back to their roles. And as it did, I thanked technology not only for allowing us to pursue our own vision of a safer world for everyone, but also for giving me this personal glimpse into homes of the most incredible collection of humans I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.

At Quorum Cyber we believe everyone has a right to safely pursue their vision. We defend teams and organisations that are overwhelmed by the risk of cyber security breaches and attacks. #WeFightBullies

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