New exercise to help businesses in fight against cyber attacks

New exercise to help businesses in fight against cyber attacks

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has unveiled a new exercise that teaches business leaders how to protect their companies from cyber attacks.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is funding the resource, ‘Decisions and Disruptions’, which was initially developed by a team at Lancaster University led by Prof Awais Rashid, now based at the University of Bristol, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Officers in the Met’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (Falcon) unit have adapted it for inclusion in their regular cyber awareness presentations given to businesses and organisations.

Since its first demonstration in June 2017, 13 exercises have been conducted with external companies, 33 have been run internally with an additional eight delivered to other police forces. The cyber teams will carry out another 18 events to more than 100 people during the next two months, which include a bank, and a multiple business event where 10 exercises will run simultaneously.

Several events are being held in partnership with the City of London Police’s Cyber Crime Unit, which has adopted the initiative and is also delivering it as part of cyber-crime awareness offering to ensure businesses across the capital are protected.

The exercise consists of two game boards with Lego pieces that represent a company with separate premises. It is designed to explore the decisions that people make to protect their businesses and organisations from modern day threats such as hacking and malware attacks. All scenarios in the game are based upon real-life situations and current threats.

Current NCSC and Met Police cyber security guidance is provided during the post-exercise debrief. The initiative builds on NCSC’s existing support for companies. The NCSC has already published a Small Business Guide listing tips to shield from potential online attacks.

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Detective Chief Superintendent and head of the Organised Crime Command Mick Gallagher said: “We’ve had excellent feedback from everyone who has been shown this exercise and it is an excellent tool to promote awareness of the growing range of cyber security threats. Due to the physical representation of the game board, it makes cyber security easier to understand and the scoring system introduces a competitive and fun element, which is proven to aid learning.”