KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, is used by more than 41,000 organizations around the globe.
Ensuring Employees are Informed and Safe During Hurricane Season and Beyond
to emergency alerts
Implementation and testing
alerts to entire workforce
As Director of Physical Security at KnowBe4, Kevin Popovich and his team have a two-fold responsibility: ensure the physical security of the building and maximize employee safety. In 2018, KnowBe4 began evaluating alerting technology that would enable fast, two-way communications with U.S.-based staff (~1,000 employees). The immediate need was for hurricane season—and the ability to relay live instructions to potentially affected employees before, during and after every storm.
KnowBe4 investigated an initial alerting technology, but after downloading the product, the user experience was lacking even at the initial testing phase
"In the event of an emergency, I have seconds to send an alert,” said Popovich. “There’s no time to get to an office or call someone else to get the alert out. OnSolve’s ease of use enables us to communicate with employees and specific groups quickly, even from a smartphone."
OnSolve® Critical Communications provided KnowBe4 with a product that was fast and easy to use, and most importantly, met their needs for an increasingly active annual hurricane season.
“When we saw the demo, we knew this is exactly what we needed,” said Popovich. “The implementation was really fast. We tested it a few times and had 100% response rates. At that point, we were convinced it was right for us.”
Fast, Easy Communication with Employees via Smartphone
The KnowBe4 security team can quickly send an alert to a specific group of employees via a smartphone — there’s no need to try to find a computer. The employees receive the alert on their smartphone as well, and can then take the necessary action to stay safe. Employees can also reply to the alert via their smartphone and mark themselves as “safe” or request assistance.
KnowBe4’s human resources database houses live, accurate information for the entire workforce to ensure all employees can be reached. This data is imported into OnSolve Critical Communications in under five minutes on a routine basis to ensure only active employees receive alerts.
Keeping Everyone on the Same Page During an Emergency
KnowBe4 constantly monitors the weather forecast during hurricane season and sends updates to employees accordingly. The security team keeps a library of pre-prepared alerts for the most common communications — i.e., the building is closed today due to hazardous road conditions, a power outage has affected the office, etc.
The company has also begun to expand the use of OnSolve Critical Communications beyond hurricane-related alerts.
"We had the opportunity to have a SWAT train KnowBe4 employees on an active assailant scenario,” said Popovich. “We realized we can easily expand the use case for any disaster that could happen here — a city-wide blackout, major flooding, damage to the building from a lightning strike, etc. So, it can be used literally for any emergency at any moment to give our employees clear instructions and information on staying safe.”
Valuable Insights into Post-Crisis Impact on Employee Safety
After a hurricane, employees receive alerts, such as: Are you safe? Do you need assistance? Two-way communications capabilities give KnowBe4 a fast, accurate picture of the status of its workforce — the number of people who are safe and sheltering in place, which employees are able to come into the office or who may need help. Using the “get word back” feature, KnowBe4 was able to see who successfully received the alert and who did not.
OnSolve Critical Communications has enabled KnowBe4 to open the lines of communication with employees to help keep them safe, informed, assured and productive, specifically:
- During unpredictable crises that can occur at any time
- A good example, Popovich said, is a freon leak that happened at KnowBe4 headquarters that necessitated an evacuation of three floors to avoid potentially sickening employees.
- During predictable emergency situations (such as a hurricane or other forecasted storm) using a smartphone with instructions on actions to take to stay safe
- On a daily basis, providing an enhanced sense of team cohesiveness across the organization, as employees feel their safety is valued both in and outside the office