Making Tabletops Work for You

Cyber security is a complex beast, as to be successful attacks have to be prevented. To do this it’s important to pre-empt the cyber criminals as well as knowing the processes for countering the attack. One way of modelling this is via incident response tabletop exercises to recreate an attack before it happens, to work out how to fight it, and therefore how to prevent it.

How do they work?

Incident response tabletop exercises are interactive discussion groups with different team members from the organisation, where their roles in the case of various cyber attack scenarios are discussed.

The facilitator of the exercises challenges the participants, by presenting different scenarios (from real-life experiences) to see how they would react, as well as present the results of those actions.

These discussion groups not only identify gaps and weaknesses within the organisation and their preparedness for a series of attacks but will also make suggestions which will improve security within the business, increase the knowledge and skill set of the staff as well as their confidence when it comes to preventing an attack and knowing how to handle it should the worst happen. 

How can they benefit your business?

Incident response tabletop exercises can offer a great number of benefits to a business and should be considered an ongoing part of cyber security processes.

·        Forewarned is forearmed – If your IT network was victim to ransomware, would your team know what to do? Or would there be an element of panic whilst everyone worked out a plan? Through an incident response tabletop exercise, the process in place for dealing with a ransomware attack would be tested meaning everyone would knos what to do, so the situation could be dealt with efficiently with minimum downtime.

·        Fail Safely – If you do have a process in place for how to deal with a cyberattack, it is best to find out its flaws and vulnerabilities in a safe environment rather than ‘live’ when such vulnerabilities could cost your business. By testing the plan, you can iron out any problems and plug any gaps without the immediacy of an attack hanging over your head.

·        Cost saving – Although there is a financial investment with implementing incident response tabletop exercises as part of your security assessment it is marginal to what a ransomware attack could cost your business in computer downtime, lost business, lost reputation and potential fines for lack of security compliancy.

·        Teamwork – Keeping your cyber security recovery plan up to date is essential, as a robust security plan relies on teamwork, multi-disciplinary skills and the cooperation of everyone in the organisation. However, if your plan is outdated, and there have been numerous changes in staff the plan may not run as smoothly as you would like.

Training using incident response tabletop exercises ensures that everyone within the organisation knows what to do in the case of a cyberattack (as well as how to prevent one happening).

·        Peace of mind – Whilst no-one is 100% safe from a cyberattack the more you are able to do to prevent one from happening, as well as knowing how you would respond quickly and with minimum disruption can give you peace of mind knowing that your business is covered.

If you think your business could benefit from our ‘Fail Safely’ exercises, or you would like to assess the vulnerabilities within your cyber security recovery plan, or you just want to have a chat about how to improve your cyber security drop us a message today. You can never be too secure, but you can be under-practiced. 

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