Four Reasons to Host A Remote Cyber Tabletop Exercise

You may think after reading the word “tabletop” that this exercise is likely to involve activity in close physical proximity, you imagine your staff members sitting across a table in a large meeting room. Conducting a remote cyber tabletop exercise for your organisation is the same, if not more effective, than conducting a traditional tabletop exercise. In this article, we will share why!

What is a cyber tabletop exercise?

Businesses throughout the globe conduct cyber tabletop exercises to develop, evaluate, and test aspects of their incident response and disaster recovery plans in preparation for actual events due to natural and cyber disasters. Cybersecurity tabletop exercises allow a business to evaluate the preparedness of their critical internal teams and key stakeholders to carry out their key  responsibilities in the event of an emergency. This is a resource-efficient way to enact disaster recovery strategies and business continuity plans, without a major disruption to the business. Tabletop exercises enable your teams to demonstrate that each of their individual DR strategies and system recovery plans are suitable to meet the up-to-date needs of your business.  Leveraging their proprietary expertise to develop effective cybersecurity strategies and aligned security policies to improve the overall cybersecurity posture of the business and provide suitable protections from emerging cybersecurity threats whatever the circumstance.

Four Reasons to Host A Remote Cyber Tabletop Exercise

Cybersecurity tabletop exercises are clearly important for businesses. However, is it actually effective to host a remote cyber tabletop exercise? In a word, Yes! It can be highly effective and beneficial for your business to run a tabletop exercise remotely via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. As we are living in a new normal of increased remote connectivity the timing couldn’t be more right for you to embrace conducting a remote cybersecurity tabletop exercise. To help you get started, here are the top four reasons why you should conduct remote tabletop exercises for your business.

1- It prepares you for a real-life situation

Conducting co-located tabletop exercises has genuine benefits, however, this traditional way of conducting tabletop exercises is not so efficient, nor wholly applicable in the business environment today. As the world is challenged to cope with the disruptions caused by snap lockdowns and on-and-off remote working, it may no longer be feasible to conduct an in-person exercise, seated around a large table in a workplace. Lining up the key personnel such as; CISO, System Owners and Operations Managers and system SMEs to be all at one place at the same time may not be achievable for a considerable period. Agile businesses have adapted by regularly working remotely and working flexible hours.  Conducting a virtual gathering actually simulates the communications channels that will likely be required for an actual cybersecurity emergency. In the post-pandemic world, the question is not so much, “Why not meet virtually?”, as “Why would we plan to meet in person?”.

2-  It is important now more than ever

The heading here says it all. Conducting remote tabletop exercises to enhance to cohesion of your cybersecurity is now more important than ever. As more and more businesses go virtual, the risks of cyberattacks continue to increase. Business commentators report a whopping 600% increase in cybercrimes due to the pandemic. It has become a necessity for business ventures to conduct virtual tabletop exercises to address their current security issues and prepare effective remote working security policies that will enhance digital security and ensure business sustainability and continuity. Conducting remote cybersecurity tabletop exercises can allow you to develop effective remote cyber incident response plans that will better prepare you for remote security risks.

3- It removes the physical barriers

A remote tabletop exercise allows you to connect with everyone you need, wherever they may be on the day. You will be able to keep your employees up-to-date with essential systems changes that they need factor in when preparing for emergencies. Conducting regular virtual disaster recovery tabletop exercises bridges any internal communication gaps, builds inter-team relations, increases connectivity, and assures a contribution from all the required staff that you will call on in case of a security incident.

4- It’s highly cost-effective

The traditional way of conducting tabletop exercises requires you to gather your key executives in one room, and for many businesses that can mean summoning the key executives from different geographical locations, paying for flights, arranging hotel accommodations, paying for travel expenses, cab fares, and causing a significant disruption to their schedules. Simply switching to remote tabletop exercises makes great commercial sense.

As remote connectivity increases, so do the remote cybersecurity risks. In addition to the current tightened travel restrictions, it is also not suitable, nor safe for your business to gather your key staff together for a meeting or function due to the risk of spreading coronavirus. It will be best for your business to leverage remote tabletop exercises to ensure the health and safety of your employees while preparing for remote security risks and creating effective disaster recovery plans.  

If your business is looking for a professional cyber security company to facilitate it’s table top exercise then look no further, reach out to us via the contact form and we’ll be in touch.

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