New business tackles cybersecurity – The Royal Gazette

Created: May 21, 2021 08:00 AM
Caroline Rance of Rance Consulting – All Things Cyber (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Caroline Rance is passionate about cybersecurity, whether it be business continuity planning, reviewing security policies or making sure vulnerable people surf the web safely.

After 25 years in information technology Ms Rance opened Rance Consulting – All Things Cyber, in March.

“I help companies with their business and IT projects, with a risk management, and cyber safety approach,” Ms Rance said.

Much of her work involves helping companies to write or review cybersecurity policies, and planning company responses to various disaster scenarios.

“The recommendation is to update and test your business continuity plan regularly, but when the pandemic hit last year many companies had no BCP at all,” Ms Rance said.

She said most mid-sized companies can’t afford a full-time resource to create IT and cyber programmes or BCPs.

“This is where I can add value to these companies,” she said.

The F5 Labs’ 2020 Phishing and Fraud Report revealed that after the pandemic began, cyber attacks on businesses of all sizes increased by 220 per cent.

“The consequences of successful attacks can ruin small and medium sized businesses,” Ms Rance said. “It is not just about the loss of data but also extended delivery times due to the downtime of their systems and possibly not having full-time IT resources to immediately address the resolution.”

She said falling for a phishing scam can damage customer trust, and ruin a company’s reputation.

Ms Rance is originally from Germany, and came to the island to work for Bermuda Microsystems in 1997.

Over the years she has worked in various local companies including XL Bermuda Ltd and Ernst & Young, and is former vice-president of information technology at Ascendant Group Ltd.

“At the island’s only energy provider, I was responsible for IT strategy and IT operations, creating IT governance, policies, and procedures,” she said. “This included the implementation of a project and change management office and creating their cybersecurity strategy and programme. This led me to become part of the government’s Cybersecurity Working Group in which we created a cybersecurity strategy for Bermuda’s critical infrastructure companies.”

Rance Consulting also has a family and community arm. Ms Rance is very concerned about keeping vulnerable people safe on the internet.

She lectures in schools, churches and other community organisations about cybersecurity.

“I help families to keep their loved ones safe while they are moving in the cyber world,” she said.

Ms Rance started thinking about technology and its importance to older people in January 2020 when her mother fell ill.

One morning she received a strange Skype call. Her mother in Germany was trying to get through but without audio or video.

Worried, Ms Rance contacted her mother’s neighbours and asked them to check on her. She later learnt her mother had experienced a stroke.

“Skype saved her life,” Ms Rance said. “If she had been there for hours the outcome would have been very different.”

Ms Rance flew out to care for her mother just before the pandemic hit, and soon found herself stuck in Germany for several months during lockdown.

While there, Ms Rance helped get some of her mother’s church friends onto WhatsApp so they could communicate with each other during pandemic lockdown and social distancing.

“It gave me joy to see them succeed and no longer feel so isolated during the pandemic,” she said.

She said a lot of people are busy with their jobs and do not have time to field technology questions from older relatives.

“That gave me the idea to offer this as a service,” she said. “As a trainer, I know where to start and how to teach them the use of the devices in a way that will work for them. I can come to their home as I am fully vaccinated or teach them virtually.”

She is also concerned about keeping young children safe on the internet.

“There have been incidences in Bermuda where a paedophile overseas was able to get a child on a plane,” Ms Rance said. “Fortunately, her friend spoke up and police were able to deal with it and bring her to safety. She was still in Bermuda. If she had landed in New York it would have been over.”

For more information call 735-0404, e-mail [email protected] or see her on Facebook.

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