Monday Mar 11, 2024

#172 - Table Top Exercises

This episode of CISO Tradecraft, hosted by G Mark Hardy, delves into the concept, significance, and implementation of tabletop exercises in improving organizational security posture. Tabletop exercises are described as invaluable, informal training sessions that simulate hypothetical situations allowing teams to discuss and plan responses, thereby refining incident response plans and protocols. The podcast covers the advantages of conducting these exercises, highlighting their cost-effectiveness and the crucial role they play in crisis preparation and response. It also discusses various aspects of preparing for and executing a successful tabletop exercise, including setting objectives, selecting participants, creating scenarios, and the importance of a follow-up. Additionally, the episode touches on compliance aspects related to SOC 2 and the use of tabletop exercises to expose and address potential organizational weaknesses. The overall message underscores the importance of these exercises in preparing cybersecurity teams for real-world incidents.

Outline & References:



  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:47 The Importance of Tabletop Exercises
  • 01:53 The Benefits of Tabletop Exercises
  • 03:06 How to Implement Tabletop Exercises
  • 05:30 The Role of Tabletop Exercises in Compliance
  • 08:24 The Participants in Tabletop Exercises
  • 09:25 The Preparation for Tabletop Exercises
  • 16:57 The Execution of Tabletop Exercises
  • 21:58 Understanding Roles and Responsibilities in an Exercise
  • 22:17 The Importance of a Hot Wash Up
  • 23:36 Creating an After Action Report (AAR)
  • 24:06 Implementing an Action Plan
  • 24:34 Example Scenario: Network Administrator's Mistake
  • 25:08 Formulating Targeted Questions for the Scenario
  • 26:36 The Role of Innovation in Tabletop Exercises
  • 27:11 The Connection Between Tabletop Exercises and Compliance
  • 29:18 12 Key Steps to a Successful Exercise
  • 30:43 The Importance of Realistic Scenarios
  • 34:05 The Role of Communication in Crisis Management
  • 37:33 The Impact of Cyber Attacks on Operations
  • 39:57 The Importance of Tabletop Exercises and How to Get Started
  • 40:35 Conclusion

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