Tabletop exercises enable organizations to analyze potential emergency situations in an informal environment, and are designed to foster constructive discussions among participants as they examine existing operational plans and determine where they can make improvements. This is often the most time–consuming phase of planning for the exercise itself, but will ensure that the exercise is valuable, McLaughlin says.
For example, a recent exercise in Delaware was a cyber attack on the power grid, “and we included a rep from our largest utility to help write the exercise injects,” Starkey says. Develop a list of business function leaders from across different areas of the company that will be part of the table exercises team in addition to those from security.

Such exercises seem like a natural for information and physical security, because they provide a forum for planning, preparation and coordination of resources during any kind of attack. Involving business leaders in tabletop exercises “also gives senior leadership comfort in knowing that we are doing something to test our response and communications capability,” Chaney says. When structuring a tabletop it’s important to scope the breadth of the exercise, Olson says. Having others from outside security sitting in on a drill can provide “a level of awareness as to why [information security] imposes controls that prior to the drill may have been viewed as excessive,” says Mark Olson, director of information security at Iron Mountain, a provider of storage and information management services.

In a recent exercise with FS-ISAC, GE Capital tested communications inside its environment and determined at what point an event rises to the level where the company should communicate with other FS-ISAC members.

Disaster volunteer programs
Cold survival kit
72 hour kits for toddlers


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