Power Factors COVID-19 FAQ
By Gary Meyers, President at Power Factors
Will the level of Power Factors support change as a result of COVID-19?
Power Factors is committed to the health and well-being of our employees, our customers and our communities, and is taking preventative measures seriously. We are following the guidance of the local and national governments in the areas in which we operate. Our employees are now working from home, but they have the access and capability necessary to support our platform from anywhere in the world. We have contingency plans in place for 100% business continuity and no interruption or change in service is anticipated. Furthermore, we have a robust internal communication platform and are sharing information with our employees on a continuous basis. We will update this bulletin as circumstances evolve.
Do you foresee any issues with support of your underlying critical infrastructure?
We do not anticipate any service interruptions. The infrastructure for our Drive platform is located at an Azure data center location in the West coast of the United States, and we have the capability to transition to an alternative data center with less than a 24-hour recovery point. For more information on Microsoft’s response, please see https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/05/our-commitment-to-customers-during-covid-19/.
Our internal helpdesk system and field service management application run on Salesforce and we have the same confidence in that underlying infrastructure. For more information on Salesforce’s response, please see https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2020/03/safety-and-wellbeing-those-around-you.html. For Salesforce’s general business continuity plans, which are audited as a part of their SOC 2 compliance, see also https://compliance.salesforce.com/en/soc-2.
Should we anticipate interruptions or changes to your service with your employees working 100% from home?
No, we have a long history with employees working remotely. As an example, our support center in the Philippines recently experienced a volcanic eruption. The team followed the procedures in place and continued to support our customers from home in conjunction with our other offices. Because of procedures already in place and the nature of our platform being offered from the cloud, all Power Factors employees are able to work with no interruption and at full capacity from their remote locations.
Is your technology infrastructure at a greater risk due to remote employee work?
Regarding the technology infrastructure used to support our development and day-to-day operations, all employees can work securely from home by connecting remotely. Power Factors has three primary offices, but many employees work from home generally, and the company is accustomed to remote operations. For employees working from home, VPNs, whitelisting, and two-factor authentication are used to create secure connections to any cloud infrastructure needed to support Drive and FSM. Additionally, all employee workstations used from home can be monitored remotely for malware and updates through the Microsoft Enterprise Security + Mobility just as they would be in the office.
How is Power Factors responding to the Level 2 NERC alert issued on March 10, 2020?
NERC issued a Level 2 alert as documented here: https://www.nerc.com/pa/rrm/bpsa/Alerts%20DL/NERC_Alert_R-2020-03-10-01_COVID-19_Pandemic_Contingency_Planning.pdf
We have reviewed the alert and are acting based on NERC’s recommendations which align with Power Factors’ existing general disaster response protocols and as well as with our specific internal plans initiated due to COVID-19.
We would like to highlight Recommendation #6 in the document which notes an increased risk of coronavirus-themed social engineering attacks. Please be careful with communications which may appear to be from us or our personnel. See the NERC alert for further information.