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Why You Should Run Tabletop Exercises for Cybersecurity

Why You Should Run Tabletop Exercises for Cybersecurity
Photo by Headway / Unsplash

Cybersecurity is not just about having the right tools and policies in place. It is also about how you and your team respond to a cyberattack when it happens. How do you know if you are prepared to handle a breach, ransomware, denial of service, or any other type of cyber incident? How do you test your readiness and identify gaps in your response plan?

One of the best ways to answer these questions is to run tabletop exercises. Tabletop exercises are simulated scenarios that mimic real-world cyberattacks and challenge your organisation to respond effectively. They are designed to evaluate your incident response plan, your communication channels, your roles and responsibilities, your decision-making processes, and your overall resilience.

Tabletop exercises can help you achieve several benefits, such as:

  • Improve your response skills: Tabletop exercises can help you and your team practice your response skills and learn from your mistakes. You can test your technical capabilities, coordination, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. You can also identify and address weaknesses or gaps in your response plan, such as unclear procedures, missing resources, or conflicting priorities.
  • Increase your awareness: Tabletop exercises can help you and your team increase your understanding of the cyber threats and risks that your organisation faces. You can learn about the latest attack vectors, the potential impacts, and the best practices to mitigate them. You can also raise your awareness of the legal, regulatory, and ethical implications of your response actions, such as reporting obligations, data protection, and customer relations.
  • Enhance your culture: Tabletop exercises can help you and your team enhance your culture of cybersecurity. You can foster a sense of shared responsibility, trust, and accountability among your stakeholders. You can also promote a culture of learning, feedback, and improvement, where you can celebrate your successes and learn from your failures.

Tabletop exercises are not meant to be easy or comfortable. They are intended to challenge you and your team to think critically, creatively, and collaboratively. They are designed to expose your vulnerabilities and prepare you for the inevitable gotcha questions. They are meant to make you better at responding to cyber incidents and protecting your organisation.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning and running your tabletop exercises today and see the difference they can make for your security posture.