Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Services

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What Are Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercises?

Cybersecurity tabletop exercises are a type of cybersecurity awareness training created to assess a company's incident response plan.

As technology is currently evolving at an astounding speed, it is no longer a secret that cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated at challenging the resilience of a business network. This creates a demand amongst companies for innovative defence solutions against such cyber threats to minimise their vulnerability to these malicious attacks.

Nonetheless, the amount of effort, processes, and coordination between various stakeholders required to mount proper cyber defences amidst a real-time crisis could be highly complex. Hence, conducting cybersecurity tabletop exercises is an integral step that corporations must adopt to ensure the readiness of their systems and recovery plans in preparation for future threats.

As its name suggests, cybersecurity tabletop exercises are a type of cybersecurity awareness training created to assess a company's incident response plan. The key objectives of these exercises are to observe how the business is likely to respond to a real-life security breach via simulated cyber-attack scenarios, determine the strengths and flaws in their defence strategies, and integrate the necessary amendments to improve the readiness of their business network for future intrusions. Put simply, cybersecurity tabletop exercises are equivalent to situation awareness training, helping organisations spot security gaps and devise the appropriate response to counter identified cyber attacks if they ever happen.

Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Services

Why Are Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercises Important?

Numerous tangible and intangible advantages come along with performing cybersecurity tabletop exercises, especially when they are organised with the guidance of a managed security services provider (MSSP) such as Mindfire:

All in all, these tangible and intangible benefits will result in a much more efficient response to real-life cyber threats, as the company would have built solid expertise and threat intelligence through these exercises.

Raise awareness

Cybersecurity tabletop exercises enable the company to gain insight into the potential impact of a target security breach as well as diagnose weaknesses and inefficiencies in their defence mechanisms. With increased knowledge of resource constraints, your business can adjust its budgets and headcount to achieve risk mitigation goals.

Assess crisis management competencies

A successful cybersecurity tabletop exercise should allow your business to better understand its capabilities in making critical decisions on its business operations. Other than that, your company will gain a more in-depth understanding of the compatibility of the technologies and communication protocols between various internal and external stakeholders. Moreover, your security team will also learn how effectively they manage risks amidst a simulated cyber-attack. Consequently, your company can use these data points to enhance the quality of your in-house cybersecurity training.

Create knowledge-sharing opportunities

Upon completing a cybersecurity tabletop exercise, your organisation will be much more likely to have an enhanced knowledge of the stakeholder roles. As a result, this provides a forum for the various parties to share ideas, improve their coordination, and clarify roles and responsibilities before, during, and after a security breach incident. What's more, a strong sense of camaraderie may be fostered across the different company departments in the best-case scenario, as participants of such exercises have reportedly improved their attitudes towards preventative cybersecurity measures and developed stronger working relationships with their peers.


Mindfire’s Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Process

The classic format in which cybersecurity tabletop exercises are performed by the Mindfire’s team includes the following steps:

  • Evaluating the quality and efficiency of pre-planned actions in response to specific cyber-attack scenarios.
  • Chairing team meetings under the supervision of an experienced IT facilitator to review the proposed tactics and strategies.
  • Incorporating extra challenges to the scenarios discussed to broaden the group's problem-solving ability amid slightly different circumstances.

On that note, there are a number of exercise types Mindfire could conduct. Nevertheless, the suitable forms of cybersecurity tabletop exercises would typically vary from one entity to another, depending on their critical electronic assets (such as sensitive data, networks, and applications), their company operations (e.g., data transmission and processing approach), together with the types of third-party transactions (e.g., between business partners and/or vendors) that the firm employs on a day-to-day basis. Henceforth, the efficacy of cybersecurity tabletop exercises will largely depend on selecting the proper practices for your company's operations, common security issues, and the industry it operates in.

Ideally, as a result of the exercise, your organisation should become familiar with a mixture of common cyber threats as an effective revision alongside emerging threats that your IT department may have never encountered.

Cybersecurity Exercises

Popular Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercises


Whenever third-party hackers deploy malicious software ("malware") attacks (e.g., viruses, spyware, adware, ransomware, or Trojan horses), the specific goal is for them to steal highly confidential data or spy on targeted business networks. Thus, cybersecurity tabletop exercises on malware can boost your company's level of security against malware.

Patch management

Implementation of security patches can help your organisation to protect itself against the exploitation of gaps and vulnerabilities within its security systems. On top of that, patch management is also an excellent method that Mindfire can use to assist your business in identifying critical digital assets that need more secured defence mechanisms.

Cloud security

Possessing top-tier cloud security is crucial for cloud-based businesses because they are used to hosting applications and software as well as file and data storage in the cloud. On that note, cybersecurity tabletop exercises for cloud security allow companies to pinpoint security gaps in critical need of improvement.

Simulation of external threats

Ensuring your company's readiness for external cyber-attacks relies mainly on the robustness of your threat management systems and protocols. Therefore, cybersecurity tabletop exercises mimicking external security breaches may heighten your firm's awareness of its security system's resilience.

Best Practices for Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercises from Mindfire

When hiring a contractor to carry out cybersecurity tabletop exercises, companies ought to be educated on the various best practices within the industry in order to increase the success of these exercises.

Examples of best practices include:

Effective designation of roles & responsibilities

Considering the highly technical and sophisticated nature of cybersecurity tabletop exercises, it is imperative for firms to employ highly experienced IT subject matter experts to facilitate the overall implementation of these exercises and devise appropriate threats scenarios that the business should familiarise themselves with. Mindfire has an experienced team of cybersecurity experts who can help you get the most out of your cybersecurity tabletop exercise.

Proper design of cybersecurity exercises

There are several factors that an organiser must take into account when designing a cybersecurity tabletop exercise, including the context of scenario narratives, the target audience, and the likelihood of such scenarios occurring in real life (especially from the participants' point-of-view).

Practical analysis and assessment

Upon completing the cybersecurity tabletop exercises, Mindfire's team members in charge of its execution will discuss and examine the overall progress and outcome of the exercise. In particular, we will determine areas of improvement so that exercise participants from your company are able to walk away from the simulation with practical learning takeaways and action plans.

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If you are looking for reliable and efficient solutions to enhance your business operations, Mindfire is the perfect partner for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals. Whether you need Cyber Security Services, Managed Security Services (MSS), Consulting Services, Cyber Risk Management Services, Cloud Services, Digital Services, or Digital Transformation, our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us and take your business to the next level with Mindfire.