Cybersecurity Exercises

Conducting exercises to test your Incident Response Plan is an integral part of preparing your organization for a cyberattack.

Discussion-based Exercises

Discussions-based Exercises familiarize participants with current plans, policies, agreements, and procedures, or may be used to develop new plans, policies, agreements, and procedures. Discussion-based Exercises include the following:

  • Seminar: A seminar is an informal discussion, designed to orient participants to new or updated plans, policies, or procedures (e.g., a seminar to review a new Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure).
  • Workshop:  A workshop resembles a seminar, but is employed to build specific products, such as a draft plan or policy (e.g., a Training and Exercise Plan Workshop is used to develop a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan).
  • Tabletop Exercise (TTX): A tabletop exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. TTXs can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures.
  • Games: A game is a simulation of operations that often involves two or more teams, usually in a competitive environment, using rules, data, and procedure designed to depict an actual or assumed real-life situation.

Operations-based Exercises

Operations-based Exercises validate plans, policies, agreements, and procedures, clarify roles and responsibilities, and identify resource gaps in an organization.  Operations-based exercises include the following:

  • Drill: A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to test a single, specific operation or function within a single entity (e.g., a fire department conducts a decontamination drill).
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