Threats come in many sizes and forms, including geopolitical instability, crime, natural disasters and, most recently, global pandemics. The Deloitte Global Security Office (GSO) works with Deloitte firms worldwide to help keep Deloitte professionals safe, particularly during times of emergency or when Deloitte firms are called upon by clients to work in higher-risk areas.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of effective business continuity planning. The GSO’s primary focus throughout FY2021 continued to be on our COVID-19 response, providing guidance to Deloitte firms in supporting their professionals, and implementing appropriate travel guidance and return-to-work strategies. In turn, Deloitte firms were able to demonstrate these capabilities to their clients.
The GSO team supported Deloitte Global leadership through daily monitoring of COVID-19 cases—both in general and among Deloitte people—and the pandemic’s impact on our professionals around the world. Regular calls were held with the Global Security Council, made up of Deloitte firm security officers, to review virus developments and travel guidance, and share best practices to support consistent response approaches across the organization. These calls featured one of Deloitte’s medical experts, who would review the latest public health recommendations.
Deloitte was awarded the 2021 Business Continuity Institute (BCI) America’s Award in the “Collaboration in Resilience” category for its global efforts in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The award recognized the coordinated response between Deloitte Global and Deloitte firms.
Keeping Deloitte safe
The GSO team tracks world events for potential impacts on Deloitte professionals and offices. Whenever a crisis occurs, the GSO responds swiftly to help Deloitte firms account for the safety of their people, provide necessary relief and resume normal business operations as soon as possible.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the GSO team responded to multiple other crisis events including natural disasters—such as earthquakes and hurricanes/typhoons—and incidents of geopolitical instability potentially impacting Deloitte professionals around the world.
Health emergencies can also affect Deloitte professionals who are traveling or assigned overseas. Deloitte maintains 24-hour resources, delivered by a leading emergency medical and security provider, to respond in such situations. Although travel was significantly reduced during the year, the GSO team responded to more than 200 requests for medical assistance, including emergency evacuations, when required.
Additional highlights for FY2021:
- As part of our continuous improvement process, the GSO coordinated with Deloitte firms to review lessons learned during the COVID-19 response.
- The GSO completed eight virtual webinars and training programs for Deloitte internal security and resilience professionals to raise the awareness and understanding of business continuity planning.
- The GSO and Deloitte firms implemented additional capabilities of the Deloitte Global Emergency Communications system, which is used to quickly locate and account for the safety of Deloitte professionals during times of emergency. During FY2021, the system was used during five major events to reach nearly 16,500 professionals in potentially impacted areas.