How has UKCloud adapted to this new way of working?

Following our recent news about our Business Continuity Plans and our readiness to support public services with their response to the Coronavirus Outbreak, a few of our department heads wanted to share with you how UKCloud is continuing to adapt and overcome the challenges that this crisis brings.

Update from John Godwin – Compliance and IA

UKCloud’s Compliance Team has continued to provide the organisation with its full range of services, including risk management, data protection assessments, document management and personnel vetting applications. The management of security incidents and GDPR-related data subject rights requests are progressing as normal. The Compliance Team had regularly rehearsed remote working, and the majority of our GRC tooling requirements are secure cloud services that are performing as normal.

We have continued to deliver internal audit services virtually, using the video call and screen sharing features of Microsoft Teams to assess functions and processes and review documentation and records. We have also concluded planning work with our assessment body, Lloyds Register, to ensure that our portfolio of ISO certifications can still be subject to their six-monthly surveillance audits by agreeing a secure method of remote engagement with their assessors.

We are pleased to be supporting our Professional Services colleagues with the provision of expert information security and data protection advice to several UKCloud customers who are at the forefront of research into COVID-19, to ensure that the risks posed by large-scale collaboration between NHS organisations are identified and effectively mitigated.

Update from Andy Yap – Service Management 

UKCloud’s Service Management team works tirelessly using our ITIL-based framework, to manage and improve the services we deliver to our customers.  We’ve stepped up our focus to ensure we support our customers, particularly those who are combatting the effects and impact of COVID 19 in the UK.

We have increased our diligence on Change Management and Change Deployment. UKCloud delivers thousands of changes a year, achieving world class success rates. COVID-19 has changed the way our teams collaborate on changes and we’ve needed to adapt to maintain agility.  Furthermore the volume of change has increased: in providing support to our customers, delivering additional new capacity and enhancing the security of our multi cloud platforms. And with increased change comes increased risk. To mitigate this we’ve enhanced our reviews and approvals, and at the same time increased internal communications to make sure we minimise negative impacts whilst ultimately keeping up our pace of delivery.

Continual Service Improvement.

At any given point we have a rolling programme of improvement. Work that is essential to providing better, more reliable services to our customers allowing them to achieve the outcomes they are seeking. COVID-19 doesn’t mean our programme stops; if anything it has increased our resolve to deliver the best service we can. We continue to proactively identify problems and implement fixes before they impact our customers. The current situation has focused our efforts to prioritise improvement actions across Customer Operations and Platform teams that deliver reliability.

Our improvement initiatives are broader than the existing services we provide today. We are working to deliver new ways which reduce the friction between our customers and key service providers who support our Managed Service portfolio. Additionally, as our Product Management and Professional Service teams accelerate to bring new offerings to meet demand brought about by COVID-19, we are developing Service Models which will allow us to deliver a great customer experience.

Update from Nick Stobbart – Networks

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the UKCloud Network team has faced both internal and external increases on capacity.

Externally we have seen 3 separate DDoS attacks over the course of 5 days. These ranged from a relatively small 1.3Gbps attack, but later attacks saw up to 8.5Gbps. In each case our free UKCloud DDoS protection service engaged to automatically protect the customer under attack as well as the wider platform.

Our third-party DDoS supplier has reported an increase of 15% in the amount of attacks over recent days, including a 462Gbps attack against one of their global customers.

Internally we have seen an obvious spike in employees working from home and connecting to our corporate VPNs. While both capacity and performance have been in acceptable levels, we have taken this as an opportunity to upgrade our VPN firewalls to higher specification devices with increased capacity using spare hardware.

As ever, the team here at UKCloud are ready to assist with any challenges that your organisation is facing – read more on how we can help here.

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