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Preparedness requires practice. It’s a principle that applies across many disciplines and pursuits, from competing in sports to playing in a musical ensemble. This concept also holds true for cybersecurity, especially as the stakes get higher in modern business operations and attacks become increasingly sophisticated.
Auditing, testing and continuously improving defense is part of the cybersecurity equation. And as more teams realize the importance of these aspects, easy-to-execute methods of testing are becoming more attractive to organizations. One such method is the tabletop exercise, where a hypothetical threat is introduced and participants investigate how it would impact systems, trying to identify and close gaps.
Tabletop exercises share some similarities with penetration tests in that both involve modeled threats to a network. However, these exercises also offer some unique qualities that give them a distinct place within the security testing repertoire.
For instance, while penetration tests simulate an actual attack on the network, discovering how security would handle the event in the real world, tabletop exercises make the attack and response entirely hypothetical. This allows team members in each role to consider and execute on their best course of action. Think of a penetration test as more of a pop quiz; tabletop exercises are like practice sessions.
When you incorporate tabletop exercises in your security routines, keep a few considerations in mind. First, you will want to have all key stakeholders present so they can simulate their roles in the threat response. You should focus on a handful of high-priority scenarios to play out, and follow four routine steps: see, correlate, stop and remediate the attack.
If you want to learn how to execute tabletop exercises and get some experience with the technique, consider a course from the Lunarline School of Cybersecurity.
To learn more about our programs, as well as our full suite of security products and services, contact us online today.