Companies use laboratories to test products and processes before they are put into production. In a similar vein, table top exercises enable companies to test, evaluate and refine cybersecurity strategies, and in so doing, to convert ideas and invention to systematic and scientific discipline.
Airports have three options, explained Gervais: They can rent the crash simulator for their own training; hire The Loomex Group to oversee a smaller, limited-scope scenario; or select a complete exercise ranging in cost from $8,000 to $25,000 (for a medium-sized airport). A basic paper tabletop exercise can be created for as little as $5,000.
Handling cyberattacks is a company-wide concern. Building an effective cybersecurity strategy and culture is an essential competitive differentiator and business enabler. Culture starts with leadership, and leadership starts at the top. Through immersive table top exercises, leaders will gain understanding, and can now start to create in their organizations a culture of cyber resilience.
Being on the lookout for opportunities to mingle with other industry folks engaged in animal disease emergency preparedness, I recently joined the Animal Health Emergency Management Committee of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (). Committee Co-chairs Patrick Webb of the National Pork Board and Leah Dorman of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation arranged a tabletop exercise for participants at the March 2010 meeting. Tabletops can be designed in different ways; this one involved an elaborate tabletop model of several livestock facilities and farms adjacent to a state border. The goal was to engage the industry sectors represented—dairy, beef, and swine—in discussions of how best to respond to maximize continuity of business. Continuity of business refers to the ability to keep animals fed and animals or animal products headed to market channels within the constraints of the emergency response. As the scenario unfolded, it dawned on me that the response that dairy farms might favor could be in conflict with the response that swine producers might favor. Clearly this type of exercise needs to be repeated as various industry groups develop their continuity of business plans to deal with animal disease disasters.
|This officer with the Virginia State Police, along with a group of other trainees, participates in a hands-on tabletop exercise at a session of the SHRP2 TIM responder training.|