Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises - Everything You Need to Know

Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises – Everything You Need to Know

If your organisation falls victim to a cyber incident, you need to have response measures in place to contain and minimise the impact. By developing incident response plans, you outline the procedures and protocols your organisation should follow in the event of a cyber incident, allowing you to react quickly and effectively.  

But how do you know if your incident response plans are effective? 

That’s where Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises come in.  

What Are Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises? 

Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises are role-playing exercises designed to help organisations test their preparedness and response to a potential cyber incident. 

The purpose of the exercises is to learn, practise and play out various incident response scenarios. These exercises give you the opportunity to test your staff’s reaction to an incident, and the resilience of your incident response plans, should your organisation fall victim to a compromise, data loss, insider threat or any other relevant cyber incident. 

Participants will typically work through a series of challenges and decision points, discussing how they would respond in each situation. Throughout the exercise, participants will be led through numerous paths of different situations to mimic real-life cases and courses of action to play out and replicate what could occur. 

Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises can be based and focused on board level, technical department, or specific team or environment. They can contain technical or non-technical contents, and evolve to include real-life attack artefacts and techniques that are designed to mimic malicious software or trigger the current detection systems in place.  


Why Are They Important? 

Regularly conducting Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises are important for a number of reasons:

– Enhances an organisation’s readiness for real-world cyber threats. 

– Makes sure you have effective measures in place for any type of cyber incident. 

– Gives you the opportunity to identify gaps in your response plan. 

– Helps ensure each team member knows their role in the event of an incident. 

– Can improve communication among departments. 

– Minimises the damage in the event of a real cyber incident. 

– Strengthens the organisation’s overall security posture. 


How Do Tabletop Exercises Work? 

A typical Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercise involves the following steps: 

Scenario Development: The exercise begins with the creation of a simulated cyber incident. This scenario is based on potential threats that your specific organisation could face, and real-life threats that organisations in a similar industry have faced.  

Conducting the Exercise: Once the scenario is developed, the participating teams are informed of the incident and asked to respond according to the organisation’s incident response plans. Different injects will be inserted as the exercise develops, ensuring participants role-play every possible scenario. 

Evaluation: The participants performance is then evaluated. Key areas of the assessment include communication effectiveness, decision-making ability, knowledge of protocols, the effectiveness of current incident response plans, and overall incident management. 

Debriefing and Improvement: Following the evaluation, a debriefing session is held where the performance is discussed, feedback is provided, and recommendations for improvements are made.


Benefits of Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises 

Carrying out these exercises enables your organisation to: 

– Identify any weaknesses, gaps and areas of improvement in your current incident response plans and processes. 

– Strengthen and continually update your incident response procedure as the company and cyber security landscape develop. 

– Give your staff the opportunity to prepare and practise how they would respond to a real-life incident. 

– Build your team’s confidence when it comes to responding to an incident. 

– Provide an opportunity for team members to practise their communication and collaboration skills. 

– Have peace of mind knowing your staff are prepared should your organisation face a cyber incident. 


Tabletop Exercises from 3B Data Security  

At 3B Data Security, our core background is in digital forensic and incident response investigations. Our team of expert consultants have responded to and resolved emergency cyber incidents for organisations of all sizes across various industries.   

We use this knowledge and experience to proactively guide our clients and replay the scenarios, lessons learned and organisation reactions to help evolve and develop the cyber security and incident response maturity. 

Our Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises are completely tailored to your industry and organisation. The scope of the scenario is detailed following scoping calls with the relevant stakeholders and technical teams to understand the context of your organisation.  

Our consultants are always staying on top of the latest trends and techniques cyber criminals are using, ensuring your plans can stand up against the most recent cyber attacks.   

Get in touch with us today to find out more about our Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercises and how they can help improve your organisation’s cyber incident preparedness.  

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